The Bloody Crown of Conan: Nobody can touch R.E.H

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Robert E. Howard The Bloody Crown of ConanThe Bloody Crown of Conan by Robert E. Howard

Nobody can touch Robert E. Howard when he was at the top-of-his-game. The three stories in The Bloody Crown of Conan are not only some of his best, they are some of his best Conan stories and Conan was his greatest creation. Howard was the father of Sword & Sorcery and next only to J.R.R. Tolkien in being the largest influence of fantasy today. His stories have stark imagery that’s nothing short of amazing. The action moves at break-neck speed, and despite that they were written as pure adventure “pulps,” there’s harsh reality that lying just beneath the surface.

In “The People of the Black Circle”, a princess and her kingdom are the target of an elite group of evil sorcerers, the Black Circle. Only Conan, the chief of the outlaws ranging her land, can save her.

In “The Hour of the Dragon,” King Conan is struck down by a resurrected wizard from an ancient evil kingdom. Now Conan must take up a long, dangerous quest to retrieve a relic of great power; the undead wizard’s weakness, and rebuild his armies in order to regain his throne and achieve his revenge.

“A Witch Shall Be Born” is the tale of a evil and beautiful witch, who enslaves her twin sister, the queen of the border-city Khauran and allows merciless Shemite mercenaries reign of the kingdom. However, when they nail the captain of the guard, Conan, to a cross in the desert, they make the mistake of not confirming his death.

Del Rey publishing has done an excellent job putting these, The Fully Illustrated Library of Robert E. Howard, books together. They are chockfull of commentaries, letters and notes that can be appreciated by die-hard Howard fans and newcomers alike. Gary Gianni’s artwork for Bloody Crown compliments the story perfectly, as do the artists in the other books. The beautiful illustrations lend a classical feel that’s well-worthy of the master that Robert E. Howard was.


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GREG HERSOM’S (on FanLit's staff January 2008 -- September 2012) addiction began with his first Superboy comic at age four. He moved on to the hard-stuff in his early teens after acquiring all of Burroughs’s Tarzan books and the controversial L. Sprague de Camp & Carter edited Conan series. His favorite all time author is Robert E. Howard. Greg also admits that he’s a sucker for a well-illustrated cover — the likes of a Frazetta or a Royo. Greg live with his wife, son, and daughter in a small house owned by a dog and two cats in a Charlotte, NC suburb. He retired from FanLit in Septermber 2012 after 4.5 years of faithful service but he still sends us a review every once in a while.

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