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Conan the Conquerer (Conan #9)
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Conan the Conquerer (Conan #9) (Original 1967; 1986. Auflage)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen / Diskussionen
9681216,219 (3.84)1 / 10
This deluxe series of Robert E. Howard's immortal character, Conan the Barbarian, is an attempt to preserve the Conan tales in their original form. These are quality volumes with a wealth of illustrations by award winning artists.The Hour of the Dragon is the only novel length story in Robert E. Howard's remarkable Conan series. It is issued here as a part of our deluxe Conan editions.This is a volume of Conan's greatest adventures. The massive Cimmerian finds himself pitted against werewolves, a giant ape, pirates and the malignant and mighty sorcerer who is risen from the dead -- the evil Xaltotun.… (mehr)
Mitglied:luminosity
Titel:Conan the Conquerer (Conan #9)
Autoren:
Info:Ace Books (1986), Mass Market Paperback
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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Werk-Details

Conan the Conqueror von Robert E. Howard (1967)

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I read the OG Howard text, true believer. What a master Howard was. His only full-length Conan novel. ( )
  Cail_Judy | Apr 21, 2020 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Hour of the Dragon
Series: The Essential Conan #1
Author: Robert Howard
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 296
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:


4 Conspirators, using a mystic gem of unimaginable power, resurrect a long dead wizard, Xaltotun. They plan to use his power to further their own aims. What they so carelessly forget is that Xaltotun might have plans of his own, like the resurrection of his whole nation of 1000's of years ago from the Age of Dark Wizards.

One man stands in their way. Conan, king of Aquilonia. A fierce Cimmerian who took the throne by force, Conan is no innocent when it comes to the ways of wizards. After being overthrown by magic, secretly being taken captive by Xaltotun and then escaping, Conan tries to take back his country. Problem is, Aquilonia is rift with factions and Xaltotun, through his puppet, is playing those factions against each other. And should Conan unite the country, Xaltotun will just use his magic to destroy them all again.

With the help of the priests of a cultic god and a wild witch woman from the hills, Conan learns he must find the Heart of Ahriman and use its powers to overthrow Xaltotun. Only then will sword and spear be enough to route the human element. After several adventures, including pirates, a voluptuous vampire and priests of the dark god Set, Conan recovers the jewel.

Xaltotun is unaware and blithely goes to his doom. Every Aquilonian suddenly turns patriot and Conan takes his country back and paddles the backsides of the other nations that did him wrong.

My Thoughts:

This is actually an omnibus edition put out by the Science Fiction Book Club back in the late 90's or or early '00's. It contains 2 other Conan books, which all consist of a series of short stories. This one, Hour of the Dragon, is the only novel in the book. There are forwards and afterwards by some editor who appears to be a big Conan fan and while slightly interesting to a big Conan fan, didn't mean a thing to me. I don't care about Howard's personal life or that he was such a coward that he took his own life at 36. That doesn't get sympathy from me but makes me despise him as a human. And that is just the type of thing I don't want when going into a book.

Sword and Sorcery at its height, perhaps? This was Adventure pure and simple and there was nothing complicated about that. This is not about characterization or rich world building. Conan is a force of nature that hews and kills and fights against all odds and prevails.

While I enjoyed this, I also tend to enjoy crunchy Cheetos. I only eat Cheetos in the small snack packs now, as any larger amount makes me sick. This Essential omnibus is probably going to fulfill my Conan quota for quite some time. It is just the type of writing that you can enjoy but if you overdose, you'll stay away from for the rest of your life. I want to be able to enjoy these stories even while realizing their inherent weaknesses. I mean, really, how many times can you read “mighty thews” and keep your eyes from rolling?

★★★☆☆ ( )
1 abstimmen BookstoogeLT | May 23, 2018 |
"From death to death [The Heart of Ahriman] came, riding on a river of human blood. Blood feeds it, blood draws it. Its power is greatest when there is blood on the hands that grasp it, when it is wrested by slaughter from its holder. Wherever it gleams, blood is spilt and kingdoms totter, and the forces of nature are put in turmoil." -- Thutothmes of Khemi (The Hour of The Dragon, by REH)
The Hour of the Dragon (1934-1936), is Robert E. Howard''s only full length novel of Conan, the barbarian he popularized in short story form. The text is available on-line for free via the Gutenberg project, but there are reason's to track down a paperback. I read the Berkley Putnam 1977 edition, which has splendid additions to the story: comprehensive foreword and afterwords by Karl Wagner explain how the novel formed prior being serialized in Weird Tales; a map of the Hyborian Age (inspired by REH's own drawings) is essential for the Hyborian ambiances; interior illustrations are bonuses; and cover art by Ken Kelly is stellar.

Hyborian Age: As Wagner details, this book was REH's attempt to break into the UK market that demanded novels (and were not agreeable to his proposals for a collection of his own stories). REH presents Conan as King of Aquilonia. Sorcery and treachery dethrone him, and Conan trots about much of Hyboria, either pursing or being challenged by those who have the magical Heart of Ahriman (which we learn in the opening chapter). This touring of the pre-drowned Euro-Afro-Asia continent begs for a map. The traveling adventure amplifies the Hyborian Age concept; REH's Conan lived in rich pseudo historical land that enabled real ancient cultures to interact with mythical ones. Each chapter has Conan (and his enemies) traversing Aquilonia, Nemeda, Argos, Stygia, and more (these roughly translates to central Europe and Northern Africa). I'm not sure if any othe rtale

Missing Chapter Mystery: A deal was accepted but the UK publisher went belly up, so REH worked with Weird Tales to publish the chapters in serial form. As Wagner explains, there is a possibility that one chapter went missing (#20). Wagner left the numbering of the chapters consistent with the numbering as printed in Weird Tales (#20 is skipped); the original manuscript sent to Denis Archer has 4,000 more words (Pawling & Ness imprint) has 75,000 words. That edition never made it to press, but Weird Tales published the novel in serial form...and it had only 71,000 words. Regardless, the story seems consistent, so there is no obvious loss in plot.

Style: REH did not change his writing style, so each chapter maintains a very pulpy feel. Chapters are over saturated with conflicts to maintain a frenetic pace. An over reliance on chance encounters detracts from the enjoyment, but it remains a fun read on the whole. Written in the 1930's, the tone has some racial and misogynistic aspects of the time. Despite the use of the word "negro," Conan appears as a champion/friend to many and even freed many slaves. Woman on the other hand were represented terribly; the few featured are concubines who are cheer leaders of Conan requiring rescue. Here are some examples:
Example 1: Concubine saves Conan and is glad to have him put a knife to her "Walk beside me," [Conan] instructed her softly, passing his massive arm about her lithe waist. "You've played me fair so far, and I'm inclined to believe in you; but I've lived this long only because I've trusted no one too far, man or woman. So! Now if you play me false you won't live to enjoy the jest." She did not flinch at sight of the reddened poniard or the contact of his hard muscles about her supple body.
"Cut me down without mercy if I play you false," she answered. "The very feel of your arm about me, even in menace, is as the fulfillment of a dream."
Example 2: Conan relishes in his obvious manliness "All right," [Conan] muttered. "I'll trust you; though, by Crom, the habits of a lifetime are not easily put aside. Yet I wouldn't harm you now, if you brought all the swordsmen in Nemedia upon me. But for you Tarascus's cursed ape would have come upon me in chains and unarmed. Do as you wish, girl." Kissing his hands, she sprang lithely up and ran down the corridor, to vanish through a heavy double door.
He glanced after her, wondering if he was a fool to trust her; then he shrugged his mighty shoulders and pulled the satin hangings together, masking his refuge. It was not strange that a passionate young beauty should be risking her life to aid him; such things had happened often enough in his life. Many women had looked on him with favor, in the days of his wanderings, and in the time of his kingship.

Example 3: Conan thanks the concubine who saves him by taking his sexual due "A horse is hidden for you in a thicket beside the road that runs westward, a few hundred paces to the south of the fountain of Thrallos. You know where it is?"
"Aye! But what of you? I had meant to take you with me."
A flood of joy lighted her beautiful face.
"Then my cup of happiness is brimming! But I will not hamper your escape. Burdened with me you would fail. Nay, do not fear for me. They will never suspect that I aided you willingly. Go! What you have just said will glorify my life throughout the long years."
He caught her up in his iron arms, crushed her slim, vibrant figure to him and kissed her fiercely on eyes, cheeks, throat and lips, until she lay panting in his embrace; gusty and tempestuous as a storm-wind, even his love- making was violent.

The over arching plot is engaging, as is Conan's adventures as he meets up with past friends/foes/allies of his pre-King days. The titular Dragon refers to the antagonist's standard (there are many other bad guys, often associated with serpents); Conan and his allies have Lion icons. Conan is dethroned in the very beginning, and it is nigh impossible not to read on to see how he can win it back. That said, the constant, intense adventure indicative of pulp fiction doesn't work well in a novel form. There is a chaotic, accumulating silliness: our "wilderness-bred", panther-stalking hero trips in a curtain while attacking his major foe; he routinely stumbles across key foes in random places, encounters that push any bounds of coincidence; he is saved too often by random characters/events; there are too many evil-dude-explains-his-ways scenes; every few pages he comes across new, crazy conflicts that would work well in short story form (ghouls, vampires, etc.). The in-your-face misogyny and high-frequency-chance-encounters/saves is distracting.

The Hour of The Dragon is good adventure and represents Conan and REH's Hyboria well. The story is best when it focuses on the grand battles and weird descriptions of necromancy. A map and context (i.e. from Wagner's essays) make it more enjoyable. ( )
  SELindberg | Aug 14, 2016 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/13409268
  Lunapilot | Jul 19, 2016 |
I'm not a great Conan fan, but if you were around in the late sixties this was one of the few titles available. This is the only Conan novel by Howard, and thus an easy job for De Camp to ready for reprint. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 26, 2015 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Howard, Robert E.Hauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
de Camp, L. SpragueHerausgeberHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Frazetta, FrankUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Published as "Conan the Conqueror" by Gnome Press and the Lancer/Ace series. Do not combine with the "Hour of the Dragon" which is a volume in the Millenium Fantasy Masterworks.

...

Different title and different publisher aren't relevant: if the text is the same, then they're the same work and should be combined.
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This deluxe series of Robert E. Howard's immortal character, Conan the Barbarian, is an attempt to preserve the Conan tales in their original form. These are quality volumes with a wealth of illustrations by award winning artists.The Hour of the Dragon is the only novel length story in Robert E. Howard's remarkable Conan series. It is issued here as a part of our deluxe Conan editions.This is a volume of Conan's greatest adventures. The massive Cimmerian finds himself pitted against werewolves, a giant ape, pirates and the malignant and mighty sorcerer who is risen from the dead -- the evil Xaltotun.

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