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The Bloody Crown of Conan
by Robert E. Howard

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
384 pages; ISBN: 0345461525

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

The Bloody Crown of Conan
Robert E. Howard
Del Rey, Nov 2004, $15.95, 384 pp.
ISBN: 0345461525

“The People of the Black Circle”. Due to Himelians’ black sorcery King Bhunda Chand of Vendhya dies. His grieving sister who had to kill her sibling to give him peace wants revenge. None of her warriors want to deal with the evil seers except for Conan who fears nothing, neither sword or sorcery.

“The Hour of the Dragon”. Defrocked priest Orastes brings back to life High Priest Xaltotuan, who died three thousand years ago to teach him how to use the Heart of Ahriman. They plan to kill the ruling family of Nemedia through “natural” means, place an ally on the throne, and attack Aquilonia ruled by barbaric King Conan.

“A Witch Shall be Born”. Beloved Queen Taramis of Khauran is stunned when her twin sister Salome visits. Salome was left to die in the desert at birth, but being born a witch she survived. Salome impersonates her sister and uses mercenaries to take over. Conan survives warwounds, an attack by a vulture, and a tying to a cross to lead the counter insurgency.

Miscellanea and Appendices. These segments include intriguing manuscripts and story synopsis by Robert E. Howard that show the development of Conan as a character and much of his age. The appendices further provide insight into the hero, the kingdoms, and his age.

The well written stories by Mr. Howard bring out the best of Conan in an era of sword and sorcery and by themselves would make an ideal gift for aficionados. The miscellanea adds icing to an already delightful collection. Making this a winner for anyone who follows the Barbarian especially the opportunity to read what his originator scribed.

Harriet Klausner

 

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