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The Hour of the Dragon (Lancer/Ace Uniform Edition of Conan #5)

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  3,196 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Of the 21 Conan the Barbarian tales that Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) completed in his all-too-brief lifetime, Hour of the Dragon was the only novel-length story. It may also be the very best of the series, crafted when the legendary pulp writer was working at the height of his powers. Conan is a huge swordsman fighting both natural and supernatural foes in a time-lost wor ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published August 1st 1977 by Berkley (first published 1936)
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMagician by Raymond E. FeistLegend by David Gemmell
Best Heroic Fantasy
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienHarry Potter Boxset by J.K. RowlingA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jason Koivu
When you think of Conan you think of this...


Then you think of the screaming barbarian...


Whoops, sorry, I meant this...


But if you read one of Robert Howard's original Conan the Barbarian stories what you get is something that should be titled Conan the Part-Time Barbarian, Part-Time Diplomat, because there is WAY more talk and politics than expected.

What did I expect? I thought I'd get more fighting, more monsters and just more action in general. What I got was a whole lotta this *makes talking
S.E. Lindberg
"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 forc es of nature are put in turmoil." -- Thutothmes of Khemi (The Hour of The Dragon, by REH)

The Hour of the Dragon(1934-1936), isRobert E. Howard''s only full length novel of Conan, the barbaria
I'm reading an online version on Wikisource. I think this is the original that was published as a serial in the pulps.

This is a great Conan adventure that winds up showing us a lot of his previous life, so that makes it a lot of fun. All the convenient elements got to me, though. One or two in a short story are fine, but an entire novel was too much. (view spoiler)
May 03, 2015 Artemas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some wicked dark sorcery in this one.
Dec 03, 2013 V. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The problem with a lot of genre classics is that their ideas have been ripped off so often they end up reading like they're full of cliches even though they were the originators of those familiar tropes.

But when it comes to the best of the pulp writers there's an electric vibe that runs through them that doesn't fade. Like the stories of Raymond Chandler or Lovecraft or even Poe, they're just very entertaining and fun.

Conan stories vary in quality, but this one, the only full-length novel, has
J.j. Metsavana
Oct 23, 2014 J.j. Metsavana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Puhas tükk iidsetest ulmekirjanduse katakombidest pärit kulda. Kaetud kummaliste graveeringute, ammu unustatud keeles kirjutatud ruunide ning paljude seda näpata üritanud fantaasiakirjanike aastakümneid tagasi kuivanud vereplekkidega. Salapärane kuju aga särab edasi ja teeb seda ka kaua peale meie surma. Las barbarid uputavad maailma young-adulti või vampiirikroonikate alla, vana artefakt elab kõik nad oma varjatud peidupaigas üle ja särab endiselt kirkalt ka palju aega peale kõigi nende loendam ...more
Arley Dial
Jul 12, 2016 Arley Dial rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this final (chronologically) Conan story, Howard demonstrates why he was one of the best adventure writers of all time. In the only novel he ever produced, Howard is able to maintain the blistering pace he is known for, while still weaving a complex and interesting tale. The story is set during Conan's time as King of Aquilonia, which is a period in the hero's life often overlooked (I'm looking at you, Hollywood.) In act one, King Conan is defeated and the kindom is wrested from his grasp. We ...more
May 04, 2009 Terence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Conan fans
Shelves: sf-fantasy
The only Conan novel written by Howard, The Hour of the Dragon delivers everything a fan of the Cimmerian would want - beautiful women needing rescue, several evil wizards to defeat, and a well-paced adventure that has Conan striving to recover the Aquilonian throne and thwart the efforts of Xaltotun to restore the empire of Acheron. This is the umpteenth time I've read the novel since acquiring this Sci-Fi Book Club edition almost 30 years ago and it's still great fun.

I like to believe the foll
Joe Russomanno
Jul 09, 2012 Joe Russomanno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For people that don't know, Howard is the Father of Modern day Sword and Sorcery. For people that think he invented it, all I can say is see the King Arthur legend and even that isn't the first.

As for this particular story. If you think Lord of the Rings etc. are the centerpieces for fantasy fiction, well you're mistaken. This right here should and is in my opinion, the crown jewel of fantasy fiction.

An evil wizard with power beyond belief. Treacherous rulers who plot against the hero. Epic bat
Jan 03, 2009 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
My edition is from Berkley. This is Howard's novel of Conan with minimal editing.

Howard's only full length novel about Conan, and it contains some sections that are loose rewrites of a few of the Conan stories. This is a really enjoyable novel, with great atomsphere and action.
Gabriel Wallis
May 16, 2014 Gabriel Wallis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 9 in my re-read of the Conan series. Spoilers ahead!

Conan the Conqueror picks up two years after the events in The Scarlet Citadel, and is essentially the same story expanded into novel length. Luckily, I enjoyed The Scarlet Citadel, so I didn't mind the extended do over. And really, if you've made it this far in the series, you should be no stranger to treading familiar ground. Much of the story is comprised of Conan in pursuit of an ancient jewel, the Heart of Ahriman, that will allow him
May 03, 2009 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Howard's only novel-length tale of the redoubtable Cimmerian. When serialized in Weird Tales, it was titled 'Hour of the Dragon,' which de Camp said had little to do with the story. As if "Conan the Conqueror" does.

To me this is the last truly worthwhile book in this series. The tales after this are almost wholly not Howard's work (unless you count some vague notes), and it shows.

This was my first exposure to Conan, other than Marvel Comics. I preferred this to the comics, but I prefer the earl
Jan 02, 2009 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This basically "Hour of the Dragon" retitled to fit the series demands, and edited by L. Sprague De Camp, even though it really didn't need any editing. Still, the power of the original certainly shines through here.
R.D. Villam
Jan 16, 2013 R.D. Villam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, e-book
Hari ini saya terjebak di jalanan Jakarta selama hampir 6 jam. Dengkul sampe sakit nginjek kopling, tapi sisi bagusnya, saya jadi bisa beresin baca ini (lagi) di tablet saya. :-D

Hours of the Dragon adalah buku terakhir dari serial Conan the Cimmerian a.k.a. Conan the Barbarian karya Robert E. Howard. Terbit tahun 1936, dan satu2nya yg berupa novel; cerita2 Conan sebelumnya berupa short story. Dan walau banyak orang bilang novelnya gak sekeren cerpen2nya, its still among the best. Long before Tol
Mark Stone
Jan 01, 2014 Mark Stone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To think that as good as Howard was writing Sword & Sorcery he was even better in writing Westerns according to his contemporaries. While I haven't read his Westerns to comment on that comparison personally, I can tell you that The Hour of the Dragon is perhaps Howard's finest writing in the Sword & Sorcery genre. Some of what happens is a little too happenstance for me, but that wasn't enough for me to knock this book from 5 stars to 4. An incredible read; a must read for those of us wh ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: published-1936

Opening: The long tapers flickered, sending the black shadows wavering along the walls, and the velvet tapestries rippled. Yet there was no wind in the chamber. Four men stood about the ebony table on which lay the green sarcophagus that gleamed like carven jade. In the upraised right hand of each man a curious black candle burned with a weird greenish light. Outside was night and a lost wind moaning among the black trees.
Timothy Boyd
Mar 14, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only Conan novel Howard wrote. Robert E. Howard is my all time favorite writer, but for many years much of his work was heavily edited. This is another of the heavily edited collections of Robert E. Howard's stories. I am a purist when it comes to a writers works. I know some of these stories are no longer PC but they should be read as Howard wrote them and understood that he wrote in another time period. Don't read this book unless you just can't find any others of Howard's unedited books t ...more
Great pulp, but much like Neuromancer offers little that hasn't been canibalised by other authors over multiple media.
Oct 26, 2016 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With this book, Robert E. Howard proved that he could maintain the skillful prose and pacing of his Conan short stories in a full-length novel.

Wonderful passage:

They traversed a long, dark, vaulted corridor in which, Conan noticed uneasily, the skull on the staff glowed phosphorescently. He felt a surge of unreasoning, wild animal panic that urged him to rip out his knife and slash right and left at these uncanny figures, to flee madly from this grim, dark temple. But he held himself in check,
Dec 29, 2016 Lior rated it it was amazing
Can Epic Fantasy get any better than this? In the only Conan novel written by Robert E. Howard himself, an evil wizard dead for 3,000 years is resurrected by a group of usurpers to help them take over Conan's throne in Aquilonia, and ultimately, take over the entire Hyborian kingdoms. The story is fast-paced, inventive and exciting. Conan is what he is. A rough and tough Barbarian, but also a man of honor and integrity. Really amazing when you realize this was written in the 1930's before Epic F ...more
Oct 13, 2016 Ronald rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't care for this but I think if I reread it, it might improve with age; possibly read in spring 1968
Oct 28, 2013 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, dragons
I always liked the Conan the Barbarian movie. I think I became interested in Robert E. Howard, because, like his contemporary, H.P. Lovecraft, it seemed he was very generous in letting other people write Conan stories. I became more interested when I read a snippet of "By This Axe I Rule!" in an article about Howard in the, now defunct, Clockwork Storybook.

So I read the King Kull stories and surely, "By This Axe I Rule!" is a great one. I was impressed with the imagination and energy of the stor
Matt Holmes
Feb 23, 2016 Matt Holmes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will call it "surprisingly good".

Howard's whole appeal is you can't put his stories down. No matter how corny they get, you keep turning the pages because his writing is so crisp and evocative that you need to know who Bronan the Insanian is going to decapitate next, and why, although the why is rarely fleshed out.

I didn't figure he would've been able to keep this up for a full novel, but he did, and it breezed by like one of his short stories. It was a Conan story, so talking about the plot w
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Feb 13, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Interested in the Origins of Heroic Fantasy
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: A Reader's Guide to Fantasy: Seven-League Shelf
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, novels
Yes, it's that Conan--the one that inspired the Schwarzenegger film, Conan the Barbarian. The best way to give you a flavor of the stories and the character is to quote you a bit that appears above the first story published and familiar from the film:

Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneat
Jan 19, 2013 wally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: howard
the 6th from howard for me...the 5th conan story (for me)...this one on the kindle, the "halcyon classics series"...also published as the hour of the dragon...

...22 chapters, then a chapter called "the hyborian age"

story begins:
the lion banner sways and falls in the horror-haunted gloom; a scarlet dragon rustles by, borne on winds of doom. in heaps the shining horsemen lie, where the thrusting lances break, and deep in the haunted mountains, the lost, black gods awake. dead hands grope in the s
This is the only novel Robert E. Howard ever wrote about Conan, and somehow I never got around to reading it. It is a lot of fun; like watching a cartoon or playing a video game: Conan has become the king of Aquilonia, Conan is deposed from his throne by an evil wizard who has been resurrected from the misty past of Hyperboria, Conan goes on a quest to find the one magical jewel that can send said wizard back to the Abyss, Conan beats the crap out of everyone who gets in his way. Plus: a lot of ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Alexis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

When I first started reading the Hour of the Dragon / Conan the Conqueror (on the first page) I thought my problem would be Howard's relentless extravagance: busty women of the "ah, who are you again?" variety fall at Conan's feet begging for a chance to serve him after seeing him walk on the street. Rooms are laden with black velvet. Black candles! Golden chests, shiny armours, etc. Everything fits in Howard's world. But, along the way, kind of like I did with Frazetta's paintings, I grew a
Sep 23, 2014 A.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four defeated lords resort to necromancy and bring back a two thousand year old magician (Xaltotun) from the dead. Their aim? Power. But in order to get it and take over all the kingdoms, they need to kill Conan who is currently serving as the King of Aquilonia. They use magic to collapse the cliff on Conan during a battle, but it was only a stand-in. Conan was struck down by a shadow in his tent before the battle and could not ride out. He rails as his army is left leaderless and lost; thousand ...more
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  • Conan: Road of Kings
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  • Conan: Sword of Skelos
  • Conan the Defiant
  • Swords Against Wizardry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #4)
  • Conan The Hero
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...

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