The ending is rather weak in this one and there are a few too many coincidences. Conan the Unconquere d by Robert Jordan, Tor, Conan gets on the wrong side of another evil sorcerer. In order to find a weapon strong enough to kill him, Conan and his friends travel beyond Hyrkania to the Blasted Lands, where he has to get past monsters and magic to attain his goal.
This was pretty good but a chunk of the climax involves one of his companions whose staff turns out to be magic after all, a convenient development just as it appears that Conan will fail. Conan the Defender by Robert Jordan, Tor, Conan is seeking work as a mercenary in Nemedia when he gets caught up in the unrest resulting from an ineffective king. A group of nobles, one of whom has found a trove of magical artifacts, is planning to create a simulacrum to replace the king, who will then abdicate in their leader's favor.
Old companions show up as Conan becomes innocently enmeshed in the plot at first, but who takes things personally after several attempts are made on his wife. One of the better Conan pastiches.
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Conan the Invincible by Robert Jordan, Tor, Jordan's first Conan pastiche is an excellent adventure story. Conan is hired to steal some magical jewels for a sorcerer, but there is another sorcerer who acts first.
Although his employer is now trying to kill him, Conan is determined to follow the thieves and steal them himself, but he runs afoul of a group of bandits commanded by a ruthless woman who calls herself the Red Hawk. A well led division of the Zamoran army is also on their trail because they mistakenly believe that the Red Hawk was behind the original theft. Everything plays out at the sorcerer's stronghold in an exciting and well choreographed climax.
Conan signs on to clear some bandits out of a remote mountain range, but what he doesn't know is that there is a hidden magical treasure hidden there, the object of a search by two men who want to become the next Death Lord of Thanza, sorcerers with unequalled power. The twosome are uneasy allies, and the bandits that serve them are led by a woman who also has reason to dislike both.
She ends up as Conan's ally after a series of battles results in the uncovering of the treasure and a secret but imminent threat to the entire world. This was Green's final Conan novel. Conan is wandering around in what will become Africa following the death of his pirate lover, Belit. He becomes involved with a tribe beset by lizard apes, which eventually causes him and some of their people to pass through the demon's gate, a magical portal opened by a sorcerer in the land of the Picts.
In unfamiliar surroundings, the party joins the wizard only to discover that he is insane and is plotting a disastrous invasion of Aquilonia. The two halves of the novel feel very different — an African survival story followed by the familiar battle with sorcery. Okay, but Green's weakest Conan novel to date. Conan is on the run from the Turanian army when he strikes a deal with one of their officers. A mysterious sorceress known only as the Lady of the Mists is behind a series of raids that have affected the family of the Turanian commander.
He knows Conan's reputation and wants his help in ending the menace. Naturally they have some minor adventures even before reaching their objective and ending her reign. This was one of Green's better stories, quite an improvement over the previous one. Conan and Valeria are members of the Red Brotherhood, pirates working along the seacoast. They are cast adrift in a jungle and much of the first half of the book is their difficult struggle to stay alive and fed, which alternates with an account of the Godmen, who have used their magical abilities to dominate one of the local tribes.
This was a pretty good jungle adventure but it does not feel much like a Conan story, and indeed he is not on stage for a good proportion of it. Conan and the Emerald Lotus by John C.
- Conan the Outcast.
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Hocking, Tor, I believe this was Hocking's only novel. A Stygian sorcerer is using a powerful drug to turn his magic wielding rivals into addicts subject to his commands.
The duel of sorcerers becomes more intense but Conan also has to battle bandits, a demon that takes the shape of an oasis, an undead bodyguard, and border guards before he can even get close to his quarry. Conan the Relentless by Roland Green, Tor, There's a Lovecraftian monster in a lake, fierce warriors, a siege, a duel of wizardry, battle scenes, the death of a king, and a falling out among the villains along the way. Standard Conan fare done with a strong interest in background detail. This young adult fantasy is the sequel to Shadowshaper, which I have not seen.
A group of teenagers in Brooklyn, led more or less by a young woman named Sienna, all practice some form of magic. They are aware of the fact that there are evil powers also magically empowered which are working against them. But not all of their enemies are supernatural in nature. There are also some ghosts, visible to Sienna. The characters are really the best part of this urban fantasy, which is written in a rapid, stripped down style that keeps the story moving almost from the opening page.
The story has a climax but not really an end, and it is obvious that there will be further adventures in the series. It's hard to do much new with urban fantasy, but Older has made a good try. Conan the Barbarian by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, Bantam, This one is the novelization of the first Arnold Schwarzennegger Conan movie. Catherine de Camp also wrote part of it but is not credited. A young Conan sees his family butchered and is sold into slavery. After being trained to fight in the arena, he gains his freedom and sets out to get revenge on Thulsa Doom, leader of a serpent cult who were responsible for the death of Conan's parents.
Escapes and captures, a giant snake, a beautiful thief who dies, and an epic battle make up the balance of the story. Not bad, but it does not always feel like a Conan story. Conan the Guardian by Roland Green, Tor, Conan and a small group of former mercenaries agree to act as bodyguards for Lady Livia, head of one of the merchant families who rule Argos. But Livia is being targeted by a rival who wants to secure personal power over the entire city, and he is being secretly aided by a sorcerer, even though sorcery is against the law in Argos.
The usual complications ensue. Green's Conan is a good deal more sophisticated, even as a young man, than he is portrayed in most of the books by other authors. Conan and the Spider God by L. Sprague de Camp, Bantam, De Camp wrote most of his Conan stories with Lin Carter, but this one was his alone and it's a good one.
A murderous encounter with a cuckolded husband leaves Conan a fugitive.
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So our hero decides to rescue the girl and get revenge, but he doesn't count on the fact that the priest's giant spider god is an actual living creature. Much fun ensues. Conan the Valiant by Roland Green, Tor, Conan is talked into accompanying a sorceress and her assistant on an expedition to retrieve a magical artifact from an evil sorcerer who is using it to build a demonic army.
Naturally things do not go as planned. The sorcerer has raised a demonic army and the sorceress is not above being corrupted by power either. Green spends a lot more time on background detail than did some of Conan's chroniclers. Conan the Buccaneer by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, Lancer, I'd bet a lot of money that this Conan adventure was largely written by Lin Carter. It reflects his style and preoccupations a great deal more than it does those of de Camp, and it lacks the latter's light touch with the prose.
Conan is captain of a Zingaran privateer who rescues the kidnapped daughter of a dying king from traitors, slavers, nasty Amazon women with whips, and other dangers.
He also has to thwart his recurring sorcerer nemesis, Thoth-Amon, and foil a plot to usurp the Zingaran throne. Reasonably good plot but substandard writing. Conan the Gladiator by Leonard Carpenter, Tor, Conan joins a traveling circus that ends up in a city where elaborate gladiatorial battles are staged.
He participates for a while, then gets caught up in tension between the local tyrant and the priest class, who want to assassinate and replace him. The closing chapters are quite good but there are some dull sections beforehand.
This was Carpenter's final Conan novel. Conan of Aquilonia by L. Although this is billed as a novel it is actually a series of four novelettes set during Conan's tenure as king of Aquilonia. In the first, he rescues his son from the clutches of a powerful witch. Next he battles an old enemy and leads an army into uncharted lands. Conan and his son are captured but manage to escape sacrifice, driving his sorcerous foe to the southernmost part of the world. The final story involves their ultimate battle, in which Conan is obviously victorious.
These all felt lightweight, as though they were meant for younger readers. This is the latest in Rawn's series about a traveling troupe of actors in a fantasy world.
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They have become increasingly successful after four previous books and are now at the top of their profession. As a consequence, they have become friendly with the royal family and have acquired considerable influence, which puts them in the crosshairs because of the ambitions of a traitorous aristocrat and his wizard ally.
This is the final book in the series, so obviously all of the subplots have to reach their resolution as the final battle is underway for the future of the kingdom. I was kind of sorry to see this series come to an end as I had grown fond of some of the characters. Conan of the Isles by L. This was supposed to be Conan's final adventure. He abdicates his throne in favor of his son and sets off to track down a supernatural menace that exists beyond the western sea. His preparations for his adventure are oddly inadequate and his eventual victory involves a magical amulet given to him in a dream, and is about as obvious a deus ex machine as you can imagine.
His adventures in between are uninspired and at sixty years of age, not entirely believable.