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

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,080 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
This is the only novel by Howard featuring his Conan character. It was originally published as a serial in "Weird tales" from Dec. 1935 to April 1936. This edition is volume 1 of a set of authorized editions featuring a collection of Conan novellas which were first published separately in the 1930's.
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published December 31st 1977 by Putnam Publishing Group (first published 1936)
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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. HowardThe Savage Tales of Solomon Kane by Robert E. HowardHellboy by Scott AllieTales by H.P. LovecraftHellboy by Scott Allie
Best of the Pulp Magazines
7th out of 68 books — 23 voters
Mage's Burden by Whit McClendonSwords and Deviltry by Fritz LeiberThe Fish the Fighters and the Song-Girl by Janet E. MorrisThe Sacred Band by Janet E. MorrisA Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Best Sword and Sorcery
42nd out of 164 books — 188 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Jun 17, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
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
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
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
May 04, 2009 Terence rated it liked it
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
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
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
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 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
Jan 03, 2009 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 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.
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
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
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
Timothy Boyd
Mar 14, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it did not like it
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
Jan 01, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing
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
Philip Schmohl
Jan 14, 2015 Philip Schmohl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is the only book length telling of the Conan sagas and one of the Howard works L. Sprague Decamp and Lin Carter didn't get there hands on to bastardize! I came of age as a boy to the Conan tales. Howard helped me define my manhood, yeah, that may be pathetic to some, but in an alcoholic household with an absentee father - it was a big help to a confused, searching kid. Unfortunately, these tales made a fighter out of me an alpha-dog in every circle in which I moved or had my being. I made man ...more
Sep 23, 2014 A.M. rated it liked it
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
Stephen Nicholson
Nov 16, 2015 Stephen Nicholson rated it it was amazing
This is the best possible Conan novel. You may know it better as Conan the Conquer, but that title doesn't really reflect the theme Howard was going for.

Set during the Conan's time as King of Aquilonia, dark forces conspire to strip Conan of both is title, and his life. Captured, he narrowly escapes and sets out to reclaim his throne. It's a great read, touching upon some very interesting themes, and the people who help him are often poor or disenfranchised. It's one of the best Conan stories Ho
Great pulp, but much like Neuromancer offers little that hasn't been canibalised by other authors over multiple media.
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
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
Oct 28, 2013 William rated it really liked it
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
May 15, 2013 Anton rated it really liked it
“The Hour of the Dragon” is the only full-length Conan novel Robert E. Howard wrote. It begins with an older Conan ruling as the King of Aquilonia and defending his crown against an alliance of foreign powers and sidelined members of the Aquilonian aristocracy. With the help of an ancient sorcerer, the group defeats Conan’s army and takes the barbarian king prisoner. The rest of the book chronicles Conan’s quest to reclaim his crown. His journey takes him from adventure to adventure, throwing hi ...more
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
Joshua Bennett
Apr 18, 2012 Joshua Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ran across this book at a local coffee/book store for only $3 and could not pass it up. I have always wanted to read Conan as I am a fan of the character, and just have not looked or found a volume of collected stories that I wanted to plunk down my hard earned money on. By Crom! The fortunes truly smiled upon me this day when I found this book. I look forward to breaking its spine from copious readings, which will have to wait until the quarter break. I am most excited that this is also Robert ...more
Rich U
Aug 11, 2007 Rich U rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngreader
I could be mistaken, as I read this book over 22 years ago, but I think it is the only Novel sized story of Conan by the Robert E. Howard. Original called "The Hour of the Dragon", it is this book you find Conan already King of Aquilonia and fighting to save it from Evil.

The main antagonists is a 3000 year old wizard called Xaltotun who is the most dangerous foe Conan has ever matched up against. Xaltotun was raised from the dead in the first chapter of the book with the help of some less than
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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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