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The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan of Cimmeria, Book 3) Paperback – November 29, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Conan the Barbarian Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Howard’s writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks.”
–Stephen King

“Howard honestly believed the basic truth of the stories he was telling. It’s as if he’d said, ‘This is how life was really lived in those former savage times!’ ”
–David Drake

“For stark, living fear . . . what other writer is even in the running with Robert E. Howard?”
–H. P. Lovecraft

About the Author

Robert E. Howard (1906 1936), an American pulp fiction writer who is best known as the creator of Conan, wrote a huge number of stories in a variety of genres, including fantasy, westerns, horror, and even boxing stories.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (November 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780345461537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345461537
  • ASIN: 0345461533
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Conquering Sword of Conan is the third and final volume in the Wandering Star/Del Rey collection of Howard's complete "Conan of Cimmeria". For fans of Robert E. Howard, this is a major achievement, because its the first time all of the Howard Conan stories have been published in the order that they were written, completely uncensored and pastiche free. Now, we are able to get a much more accurate look at the both the evolution of the character, as well as Howard's skill as a writer. In the Lancer/Ace editions, the stories were placed in chronological order and peppered with dreadful pastiches. The problem with this is that it was never Howard's intention for his stories to be read that way. The Conan saga is not a unified Joseph Campbell style hero's journey such as "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings". Rather, it's more akin to James Bond. Each story can be read and enjoyed on its own, without any prior knowledge of the events or characters in previous stories. In fact, in no Conan story are the plot details of any other Conan story ever even mentioned, except in the most general of terms (Conan gives a brief overview of his career in "Red Nails"). This was by nature, a matter of necessity, as these "pulp fiction" stories were geared towards the casual magazine reader who might be picking up a copy of "Weird Tales" for the first time.

Of the five stories in this volume, three of them are considered by fans and literary scholars to be among the best work that Howard ever produced. They are "Beyond the Black River", "The Black Stranger, and "Red Nails".

Beyond the Black River: this is generally considered Howard's finest work, transcending the level of pulp fiction and worthy of serious critical analyses.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let me preface my remarks with this: the stories are fantastic and worth reading and purchase. There is extended content in the physical book; essays about the creation of the stories, artwork, unpublished early drafts that make the volume worthwhile, even though you can find many of these stories in the public domain.

Now, as to the Kindle edition...
When I purchased the Kindle edition, I expected the artwork to be included. The physical book has ink line art that is quite attractive.
The Kindle edition DOES NOT include the artwork from the physical book, not even the cover art. Not certain why, as the Kindle should be able to display the art.

When I bought the Kindle edition it was three dollars cheaper than the physical, but I was still disappointed with the relative 'value' compared to the dead tree edition. Now that the Kindle edition is MORE expensive than the dead tree edition, my scorn for the publisher is without bounds.

Where is the possible justification for this, Del Rey? You charge more for less content, and you Cost of Goods sold is less as well. Bully for your investors, at least until your pricing model cuts your own throat.
For years publishers blamed the price of paper and printing for the increase in the cost of books. Now in the ebook age their song has changed to 'editing and writing are not free'. Utter crap! I get that you charge what the market will bear, but your rhetoric is insulting to anyone using their brain.

Kindle owners: I suggest we boycott the Kindle edition of this book.Get the public domain editions out on Gutenberg, or ManyBooks. Or get the book from your Public Library. Or buy the physical book used. Don't give the publisher another dime.

Based on comments about the other two Conan volumes, they do not include artwork either. I say leave them be.
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Format: Paperback
After years of execrable garbage foisted on us by L Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter, and others (though some of the pastiches by other authors than these are decent), we finally get Conan as R. E. Howard envisioned him. Lacking the softer, milder imitation work of the aforementioned writers, this final volume in Wandering Star/Del Rey's reverent reissue of Howard's original work is a brilliant tour de force. All of the stories here range from passable (Servants of Bit-Yakin, Man-eaters of Zamboula) to great (Beyond the Black River, The Black Stranger) to outstanding (Red Nails, of course). Red Nails--the last story Howard wrote about Conan--is my favorite of them all. In the story, Conan is lustful of the voluptuous Valeria but adherent enough to a code of honor not to force himself on her. (Yes, she does finally give in to his advances.) More than the brilliant interpersonal relationship between the two leads though is the theme of death and decay surrounding the city of Xuchotl (an obvious stand-in for Howard's own home in the year before his untimely death). Both Conan and Valeria come to vivid life on page and drag the reader into Howard's fictional universe by sheer force of will. Howard's writing is full-throttle all the way to the bloody (and surprising) climax. What a way for the Dark Barbarian to exit the stage! As for the other stories, they all have their merits as much as Red Nails, some more so than others. What shines through each though is Howard's clear writing and dark, visceral vision of his savage world. Coupled with all this are drafts of some of the stories, an outline of the history of the writing of the Hyborian Age tales, and the letter Howard wrote to fans Miller and Clark detailing some previously unknown things about Conan.Read more ›
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