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The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian #2)

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,119 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
Three of longest tales plus outlines, notes, drafts.
1 The People of the Black Circle Amid towering crags of Vendhya, in the shadowy citadel of the Black Circle, Yasmina of the golden throne seeks vengeance against the Black Seers. Her only ally is also her most formidable enemy - Conan, outlaw chief.

2 The Hour of the Dragon Toppled from the throne of Aquilonia by the evil
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published 2004 by Del Rey
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.G. Keely
Back when I was a young fencing coach, I had an epiphany about how skill develops that has come to define the way I approach learning. I'd be working with students who might have been fencing for a few weeks or a few months when a new face would walk in. I'd put a sword in his hand and set him up against one of the others and, as often as not, the newcomer would get a few points, despite having no foreknowledge of fencing. His frustrated opponent would sigh, shake his head, and declare "it's not ...more
Mar 21, 2016 Jean-marcel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read the great majority of the Conan stories a number of years ago. I enjoyed them so much and quickly sought out other Robert E. Howard writings. The man has his weird quirks and sure, his stuff can be a little repetitive at times, but I would argue that in terms of pulp writers he was probably one of the more diverse, being able to work in a variety of different genres, in contemporary, historical or constructed settings. of course, one of the tricks to his apparent diversity was that ...more
Jared Millet
The second of the Conan anthologies presents Howard at the peak of his craft, featuring some of his long-form work in a novella, a single short story, and Howard's only completed novel. While Howard didn't write the Conan stories in anything like chronological order, the barbarian of these adventures is clearly older, cannier, and more wise to the world than the young, thieving slayer of his earlier tales. The opening and closing stories of this edition feature Conan as a war-chief of various mi ...more
Aug 26, 2011 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second of three books in Del Rey's collection of Howard's original Conan stories. The first book in this set, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, would be a better place to start for anyone new to reading Conan, I think the shorter stories are more accessible in terms of getting into the character.

In The People of the Black Circle, Conan attempts to use a princess as a bargaining chip for the return of his captured lieutenants, but then he's drawn into her quest for revenge. I really
Michael Battaglia
For the second volume of Conan stories, the editors took a different tactic and instead of printing everything in strict chronological order, they put together three of the longer stories into one volume. Which means that the hit-miss ratio has to be better than the first go-round. In the first volume there were like twelve stories and if a couple of them were duffers it didn't matter too much. If only one of these were just Howard going through the motions then it would be almost a third of the ...more
The Bloody Crown of Conan is the third in a series of five collections of REH’s work being published by Del Rey. Three of those volumes feature Howard’s original, unedited Conan stories. The other two cover different fantasy heroes of Howard’s, namely Bran Mak Morn and Solomon Kane ( Apparently, I never reviewed the first Conan collection, the Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, but I liked it. And guess what. I liked this too.

Bloody Crown of Conan contains o
Apr 28, 2015 Leothefox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I guess I'm a confirmed Howard fan-boy at this point, since I can't get enough of his stuff. Here was no exception, since "People of the Black Circle" and "Hour of the Dragon" are among his better stories. "A Witch Shall be Born" is less strong, but it does have the crucifixion scene, so that counts for something.

Some of these stories I already own in other collections, but I picked this book up new at Barnes & Noble as part of my personal crusade to preserve physical bookstores.

It was a ni
A. E. S.
Two of these are novellas, and The Hour of the Dragon can be construed as a complete book, the only book Howard wrote for Conan the Cimmerian. See my review of The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian for Dale Rippke's ordering.

A Witch Shall be Born: This novella deals with themes of paranoia, twist plots and extreme irony, sometimes the cruel type. A queen discovers her evil twin, a witch, has survived being left in the desert to die. Queen Tauramis is arrested and thrown in the dungeon, where it's up
Tom Van Boening
Jan 19, 2016 Tom Van Boening rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where as the stories in The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian were short and sweet, the novellas combined in The Bloody Crown of Conan are enjoyable because you get to spend a lot more time getting into the mind of Conan the Barbarian.

You can feel his paranoia and understandable apprehension behind his hyper-macho exterior. It was also refreshing to realize that while he is brutal, he is not an incompetent brute. This was something that I feel the film adaptations did not capture very well.

It is al
Brian Durfee
Good idea to do nice compilations of Robert E Howard's Conan books for collectors. However, I really think the publisher messed up by not re-acquiring the rights to all the great original Frezetta art and Boris art that coulda really made these editions SING!!!!! The artist they are using are sub-par in comparison. I am collecting each individual original mass-market paperback instead (cuz of the better art and illustrations).
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 21, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The People of the Black Circle
The Hour of the Dragon
A Witch Shall Be Born

This is the second volume of the original, unedited Howard versions of the Conan writings.

Like many Conan is one of my first introductions into fantasy and Conan personifies the Sword and Sorcery sub-genre of fantasy. He was great to read when Howard came up with him and he's still a great read today.
David Giard
The Bloody Crown of Conan is the second volume in Del Rey's 3-volume set of the complete Conan stories by Robert Howard. While volume 1: The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian included mostly short stories, this book contains 3 longer works: The People of the Black Circle; The Hour of the Dragon; A Witch Shall Be Born.

The Hour of the Dragon is a full novel that takes Conan across many countries of the Hyborian world. It is set in a time when Conan has risen to be king of Aquilonia. Conan's enemies r
Damien Sulla-Menashe
The great part of this Conan anthology is that the stories are presented in the order that Howard wrote them instead of some internal chronology. Because of this the reader can see the evolution of his most used phrases and plots. While the stories have many similar themes and characters, the action is exciting and his descriptions of people and places get more elaborate which pulls you in more. This second book contains three of his longest stories. I enjoyed the more complex plots, especially ...more
Peter Carrier
May 28, 2016 Peter Carrier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still one of the standards by which great fantasy is measured.

This collection of stories set in Howard's "Hyborian Age" was nearly everything I wanted it to be. Contained in this volume, for your reading pleasure: "People of the Black Circle", "The Hour of the Dragon" and "A Witch Shall Be Born". Before we get into a review of the content, I will confirm something about this Kindle edition; it DOES lack the illustrations that the print version contains. The omission of those fine black and white
I admit I was a bit worried when I first started reading this book, because it's a truism that writers who are excellent at short stories tend to be unable to maintain their pacing when they try their hand at the longer form--see also Fritz Leiber. Then again, I suppose I shouldn't have worried, since the first Conan story I read years ago was a novel form of "The Hour of the Dragon" and that's what got me interested in reading more Howard stories in the first place.

There are a few things I noti
Newton Nitro
Apr 11, 2016 Newton Nitro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
No segundo volume da coleção com todos os textos de Conan escritos pelo mestre Robert E. Howard, temos três das histórias mais longas de Conan, “The People of the Black Circle,” o romance de 75,000 palavras “The Hour of the Dragon, e “A Witch Shall Be Born.” Todas foram publicadas serialmente na revista pulp Weid Tales, entre 1934 a 1936. Depois dessas histórias de Conan, restaram apenas mais quatro histórias (que estão publicadas no volume três dessa coleção) até o suicídio de Howard em Junho d ...more
Benjamin Thomas
This book compiles three of Robert E. Howard's longer Conan works, including the only full length Conan novel that he ever wrote, "The Hour of the Dragon." It also contains "The People of the Black Circle" as well as "A Witch Shall Be Born" which contains probably the most famous scene in all of Conan literature: the one where he gets nailed to a tree, crucified really, and left to the mercy of the hungry vultures and the elements. As the title implies, all three stories are from Conan's later d ...more
I read this over a longer time than usual, which I was a little surprised about. Didn't I love the first collection? Why was this one not hitting the same sweet spot? Why did I keep putting it down and then having to start the stories over?

That last question helps point the way to one, happier answer: whereas the first volume's stories were all short stories--the longest coming in around 36 pages (about an hour in the audiobook)--this volume has three much longer pieces, including Howard's only
East Bay J
Reading Howard's Conan stories again after so, so many years, two things strike me.

First, how very memorable these stories are. I thought the same thing while reading The Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian. After more than twenty years, every time I start a story, I can remember reading it before. They're like catchy songs in that way; you hear 'em once and they stay with you. It doesn't ruin the stories at all, I'm just impressed by the storytelling.

Second, how very much Howard wrote his stories sp
Sep 29, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second volume of Conan stories. This book only has three stories, but one of them, the Hour of the Dragon, is novel length. Great book. Howard throws you right into the action, and gives very vivid descriptions. The third story is probably the weakest, but it is still well worth reading, and has a scene that is one of the most memorable in all of the Conan stories. I won't spoil what happens, but needless to say, I would not want to be in Conan's shoes. This collection has some great ...more
Keontez George
Jul 30, 2015 Keontez George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I should've started at the beginning, this was an introduction to Robert E. Howard's writing for me. Being a child of the 80's I was familiar with Conan, through the Swarzenegger movies and the briefly lived cartoon -sadly, all I can remember is a talking bird that loved pomegranates- but I really enjoyed REH's narrative prose with was really striking and made the reading enjoyable.
Faisal Alghassab
This book has a different pace than the first book The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian as this book features Howard's only Conan novel, The Hour of the Dragon. This book has only 3 stories juxtaposed to the first one which includes 13 stories, ergo the reader isn't delving into Conan's quick adventures that he/she is accustomed to with Howard's writing and Conan's stories in particular. Overall, it was a good read but I'll take my time picking up the next sequel.
Jun 27, 2008 E.J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of action or thrillers
Shelves: sword-sorcery
The Blue-eyed cimmerian returns! Damn, these are good stories. Originally written as pulp fiction short stories for periodicals like Weird Tales, this 2nd of 3 books features Howard's only Conan novel. Howard's real talent is the way he keeps the narrative going at a blistering pace. There's rarely a few pages without action and Conan is always in the middle of it, calling everyone from beggars to kings my favorite new curse "you dog!" Filled with wit, action and superb writing, these sword and ...more
Guillaume Juillot
Aussi bon que le premier tome, si ce n'est mieux. Loin d'être de la littérature de bas étage à base de violence et de femmes dénudées, le Conan de Howard est d'une poésie surprenante dans un monde d'un incroyable profondeur.
Seul bémol : parfois, la survie de Conan est très rocambolesque, comme si Howard ne savait pas trop comment sortir de façon crédible son héro de la situation désespérée dans laquelle il se trouve.
Apr 22, 2014 Jeremiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hour of the Dragon is within these pages, the one and only Conan novel by his creator Robert E. Howard. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for these Del-rey tradebacks and their bringing the unadulterated REH to readers like myself
This includes three of Howards longer Conan stories, including one that is full novel length, one rough draft of another story, Howards notes on the stories preceding their completion, two essays pertaining to Howard and his writings by people who helped put this book together and on top of all that its full of illustrations throughout the book. Very affordable and the quality of the stories are the top of the heap of the fantasy genre. I count Howard as being one of the my favorite writers. I c ...more
Ted Cross
Aug 12, 2015 Ted Cross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the writing of Robert E Howard, and it saddens me how many younger people today don't read him. They probably think he just writes hack and slash bloody adventures, but they don't understand that Howard was as much a poet as a pulp writer, and his prose is gorgeous. This particular volume contains three of Howard's longer Conan tales, novelettes or novellas, from varying times during Conan's long life. I read all of these long ago as a teen, so it was nice to reread them now as an adult a ...more
Oct 31, 2015 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"The Bloody Crown of Conan" is the 2nd set of enjoyable classic Conan stories written by Robert E. Howard written in the order he sent them to the original publisher.
Riju Ganguly
Jun 22, 2011 Riju Ganguly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While we are being forced to see some of the most vapid superheroes on the silver screen again & again, heroes who have so many personal issues & crisis that their in-house psychotherapists appear much more super-heroic (for being able to keep each of them in one piece), here is one giant who could have galvanised the audience with the uber-cool violence ushered upon dastardly villains, all the while protecting his own people (and taking some time to give terrific examples of dry humour ...more
Dec 01, 2012 DavidO rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I didn't stop reading this book because it was bad. Howard is good with prose, and doesn't overwrite or underwrite, typically. The dialog isn't bad. The problem for me was that the dialog and narration weren't excellent. I found them a bit too workmanish and with little humor or wit. You always know Conan is going to win too, so it's not the most gripping stories ever. Conan's ability to be kill people with a single punch and take a beating that would kill ten lesser men makes the thing a bit to ...more
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Who wants to see more blood & guts fantasy? 5 10 Apr 29, 2013 11:21AM  
  • Conan, Vol. 2: The God in the Bowl and Other Stories
  • The End of the Story
  • Ill Met in Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1-2)
  • Conan of Aquilonia (Book 11)
  • The Savage Sword of Conan, Volume 1
  • Conan the Magnificent (Conan, #5)
  • Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard
  • Conan, Vol. 5: Rogues in the House and Other Stories
  • Jirel of Joiry
Robert Ervin Howard was an American pulp writer of fantasy, horror, historical adventure, boxing, western, and detective fiction. Howard wrote "over three-hundred stories and seven-hundred poems of raw power and unbridled emotion" and is especially noted for his memorable depictions of "a sombre universe of swashbuckling adventure and darkling horror."

He is well known for having created — in the p
More about Robert E. Howard...

Other Books in the Series

Conan the Cimmerian (3 books)
  • The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian, #1)
  • The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #3)

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