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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian #1)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  8,909 Ratings  ·  362 Reviews
Poem and first 13 tales, in order written, plus Miscellanea drafts, notes, maps by author.
Cimmeria poem
1 The Phoenix on the Sword 1932
2 The Frost-Giant's Daughter 1976
3 The God in the Bowl 1952
4 The Tower of the Elephant 1933
5 The Scarlet Citadel 1933
6 Queen of the Black Coast 1934
7 Black Colossus 1933
8 Iron Shadows in the Moon 1934
9 Xuthal of the Dusk 1933
10 The Pool of
ebook, 475 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Del Rey (first published 2002)
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Farseer Yes, it is a good place. These are the original Robert E. Howard tales, unedited and in the order he wrote them. This is book 1 of the complete R. E.…moreYes, it is a good place. These are the original Robert E. Howard tales, unedited and in the order he wrote them. This is book 1 of the complete R. E. Howard Conan stories. The three books are:

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian, #1)
The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #2)
The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #3) (less)
Roger Blakesley This book is an excellent place to start reading Conan. Conan should be read as Howard wrote it, not in chronological order or in outline form or with…moreThis book is an excellent place to start reading Conan. Conan should be read as Howard wrote it, not in chronological order or in outline form or with Oxford Professor niceties in play. Howard wrote Conan as if he were in the room dictating.

In some ways you can say much of modern fantasy is footnotes to Howard. Doors are often "oaken" and girdles are not ladies' underwear in Howard's world, however.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bill  Kerwin

Having finally decided to read Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, I am glad I had the good fortune to purchase the three volume, fully illustrated, Del Rey collection. Unlike the numerous Lancer/Ace paperbacks available to me in the '60's and '70's—the ones with the really cool Frank Frazetta illustrations--this edition does things right.

One of the reasons I never explored Conan's world is that every Lancer/Ace volume I examined in the bookstore sported the name of at least two authors, sometimes
J.G. Keely
What it is that makes Howard so much more compelling than his many imitators? To the untrained eye, it may be hard to see differences, since his faults are sometimes more readily apparent than his virtues, though he has plenty of both. Some might try to 'salvage him' from his pulp origins, but despite all his literary aspirations, I'm happy to call him a pulp author, and one of the best.

I have a great deal of praise for this edition in particular, volume one of a three-part series which collects

*** NOTE: Lesson number 4 above was inspired by Ceridwen’s legendary review of Ulysses and the even more legendary comment section following it....The Guest Speaker doesn't know it but the real goal of lesson #4 is to help the instructors spot and weed out incurable ASSHATS.

5.0 stars. This was my first in depth experience with Robert E. Howard’s Conan and IT…….WAS…….PULPTASTICALLY ……DELICIOUS. However, not only was it more fun than a dungeon full of giant snakes, but it was also very instructiv
Oct 31, 2012 Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've now discovered that the best way to read Robert E. Howard's Conan stories is in big, undiluted doses. Do yourself a favor and avoid any of the stories completed or edited by L. Sprague de Camp. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. And don't dip your toes into Conan's world, plunge into it headfirst and stay a while. Taken as individual snacks, each Conan story has its sweet spots and its bitter bits. But taken as a meal, several Conan stories can provide a rich feast.

The Coming of Conan the C
[Name Redacted]
Apr 03, 2013 [Name Redacted] rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Conan is one of those great literary characters whose true nature has been swallowed up in the morass of media reinterpretation. Howard's Conan the Cimmerian is a giant of a man, yes, but he is not the lumbering bear he later became in the popular consciousness; Schwarzenegger is not to blame for that, as this understanding had become the common one long before his films were made (check out the earlier comic book versions), and he merely played the character as the script demanded. Howard's Con ...more
Mar 28, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know, I used to think I hated Conan stories. That was before I realized that what I had read were in fact imperfect pastiches written by other writers in the 60's and 70's who hoped to cash in on the iconic popularity of the character.

This volume presents the stories of Conan the Cimmerian as they were written by his creator, Robert E. Howard, and a better group of dashing, creepy, brooding sword & sorcery tales couldn't be wished for. The stories are presented in the order they were wri
Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

I’ve finally come around to reading sword and sorcery, and by Crom, Conan was the perfect entrance!

Conan has always been synonymous with Arnold Schwarzenegger in my mind, but that’s all been changed now that I’ve read Robert E. Howard’s original creation. I wish I could put do
Apr 06, 2008 Old-Barbarossa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They've re-released a load of Howard's stuff after it's been out of print for ages, I used to pick it up at bookstalls and second hand bookshops. Great stuff, not very politically correct but hugely enjoyable fast paced stories, mainly all swordfights and heaving bosoms, dark sorcery and cavalry charges, betrayal and lusty gossamer clad dancing girls. He's most famous for these, his "Conan" stories. That was when I was about 14...probably explains a lot. Imprinted with idea that drinking heavily ...more
Apr 20, 2012 Jean-marcel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is huge, terrific, blood-and-thunder stuff of the highest order. The real Conan, not the sanitised version of De Camp or the movies, even though I enjoy the 1982 film for what it is. While at times unbelievable deeds of heroes in stories can be irritating because of a lack of realism, it was these tales that made me decide the difference is all in the quality of writing rather than the likelihood of the acts themselves. After a while you just get so used to rolling with the style of Howard' ...more
This is the first time I have ever read (listened) to a series of Conan stories that were all by Robert E. Howard, undiluted by his imitators and diminishers, and what a revelation. Howard's work was not the pulpy trash of his followers; it was accomplished, vital, deep and rich in characterization, and some of the finest world building ever achieved. It was that thing I love most: a novel in short stories.

Listening to this collection, one gets a full picture of Howard's Cimmerian. Not the "bar
Sep 10, 2013 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This omnibus-thingy collects thirteen of Howard's original Conan stories as well as some cool miscellanea like poems, maps, rough drafts of a couple of the stories, etc. Okay, I came into this expecting (and desiring) pure pulpy cheesiness, and I definitely got some of that, but I was really struck with how literary and modern-feeling Howard's prose is. Honestly, the language in these stories really felt like it hadn't dated at all, even though most of these stories were written in the early 193 ...more
Stefan Yates
May 11, 2012 Stefan Yates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Overall - I really enjoyed this first volume of the collected short stories of Robert E. Howard and his magnificent creation; Conan the Barbarian. There was not a story in the collection that I was bored with or disliked and I would heartily encourage those who enjoy the fantasy genre to delve into these stories and explore the roots of what started the genre that we enjoy today. The only faults that I have with Howard’s writing are the prevalent sexist and less prevalent racist attitudes that a ...more
Average Rating Across All Stories: 3.5 stars

The two best stories are "The Phoenix on the Sword" and "The Queen of the Black Coast"; otherwise, the first half of this anthology holds the best of the bunch, gradually dwindling down to my least favorite two stories: "The Vale of Lost Women" and "Rogues in the House." The final story almost redeemed the second half, but didn't quite pack the punch necessary to overcome the duds immediately prior to it. Please see my status update comments for mini-r
Sep 06, 2007 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Long years ago, I picked up an old collection of Conan stories. It was from the series that L. Sprague deCamp did, and was number one in the series. I was unimpressed. I figured I had simply waited too long to get around to Conan and outgrown the time period when I might have enjoyed the stories. I was so, so wrong.

This collection blew me away. Robert E. Howard was an amazing writer, especially when it comes to action scenes. These stories move, man. I went from unimpressed to fangirl in 2 stori
Ignacio Senao f
Jun 25, 2016 Ignacio Senao f rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Primer tomo de 3. La trilogía definitiva de todo lo concerniente a Conan y su autor hacia él. Con más de 500 páginas de papel couche. Formato grande y tapa dura forrada de tela. Una joya muy cara merecidamente. Sus ilustraciones no son de gran arte pero hay muchas, y a veces se prefiere gran cantidad de imágenes que una muy buena. Haya mapas de las tierras narradas, que realmente son fotos de los originales. Un gran apéndice con todo lo imaginable. Sinopsis, borradores, versiones anteriores, boc ...more
Tim Dale
Aug 13, 2015 Tim Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Conan has alway been my favorite. Collected all the comics and read them for years. Finally read the original source and see why Conan has survived all these years. Great stories and great writing. Robert E. Howard knew how to describe a fight scene.
May 16, 2016 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At some point in my childhood, I probably would have really enjoyed these stories. They aspire to scratch an itch I definitely had at the time, a militaristic presentation of ancient history with a mythological flair. It reminds me of the days I spent ogling the Atlas of World Military History, devising pantheons that were really just cheap riffs on Classical mythologies, and reading much better fantasy. Later works that built on Howard’s foundation but took it in much better directions: things ...more
I find most of the really productive pulp writers to be very inconsistent in their output (see also Philip K. Dick) and Robert E. Howard is no exception. The better stories in this anthology are among some of the best ultra-manly adventure stories I've ever read, the writing managing to be ornate and bombastic without ever feeling bloated or "purple". The setting, which draws mostly upon Greco-Roman antiquity as viewed from the outsider perspective of a Celtic tribesman (or the fantasy equivalen ...more
The Conan stories of Robert E. Howard probably aren't for everyone, and that's a damn shame.

Today, Howard's contribution to fantasy has been obscured or tainted by three things (I would argue):

a) when people look back at early-20th century adventure fantasy, Burroughs is the writer they see. This is certainly the case in academia--I've seen papers on Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, but hardly any on Conan and none on Solomon Kane. In fandom, there is an Edgar Rice Burroughs club, but I'm not a
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 21, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
What needs to be said? It's Conan. If you've only seen the yourself a favor and take a look at these pulp greats.

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.

This is volume one of a three volume set released with Howard's original texts. It contains:
"The Phoenix on the Sword"
"The Frost Giant's Daughter"
"The God in the
Kyle Muntz
Mar 01, 2015 Kyle Muntz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost can't believe it, but (since my roommate loaned me a copy of this book), I read a few of the stories and they were actually really good. They definitely show their pulp roots, but the Hyperborian Age (a kind of proto-history full of Lovecraftian, cosmological awesomeness, and strong roots in history and mythology) is incredibly rich, and the character himself is way more interesting than his reputation. I don't think I can commit to the whole book, but it was nice to get a sense of the ...more
Jun 30, 2012 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A collection of the Conan stories as they were orignally meant to be published by Robert E. Howard himself, without all the added, and less than stellar material, inserted by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. In addition to carrying all the published Conan stories, there are also fragments and early drafts in the back of the book that are fascinating for the scholar. Highly recommended.
Alex Windes
When I was a kid Conan was a huge hero of mine. I watched the Arnold movies religiously, and instead of playing cowboys and Indians, I was Conan riding around on an imaginary horse swinging a plastic sword. I've read so many books in the fantasy genre that I'm not sure how I just now got around to reading the original Conan material.

You would think as old as this literature is (some of it being written as early as the 1930s) it would be difficult to read, but i didn't find this to be the case a
The early Conan stories are some of the best material of the pulp era. This book also includes rough drafts, unfinished tales, extensive notes on the Conan publication history, and gorgeous artwork that perfectly encapsulates the setting and tone of Conan's adventures. With Howard's superb mixing of myth and history, I would almost argue that the original Conan stories had more influence on Dungeons and Dragons than Lord of the Rings did!

Aside from two titles, most of the stories focus on Conan'
An Odd1
Feb 27, 2015 An Odd1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, fan
I'm caught. Despite repetitive plot devices, requisite (nearly) naked white women pursued by black monster, the words flow like poetry and drown me deep. Boogle these big books meant to be read as written, once monthly in magazine; tales lose vitality if forced swallowing in single gulp, time too brief. Chronology ordered by Conan's age rather than year of publication, is a big relief; would be brain swoggle, switching old man to young and around.

"Conan yelled stridently and struck them like a
Jan 06, 2012 Jacqui rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Conan, it's really, REALLY important to keep in the back of your mind that these stories were written in the early twentieth century, which was a vastly different period than our own. By keeping that in mind, I was able to read through the majority of this book without taking the blatant racism and sexism too much to heart. I see the stories contained it The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian much in the same way I see exploitation film; it is a relic of its time, and thus it is populated wit ...more
Feb 11, 2010 Tristan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird-fantasy
Robert E. Howard wrote without using much other than his emotion and imagination. That is what these books are filled with and if you are up to a passionate and driven read, than look no further for Conan is here! These books are animal-like in their power, Howard takes you back to a time where humanity was far more savage and the rest of the world reflected that. There is an energy that drives each of these stories and it doesn't stop until the last words of the last story have stopped echoing ...more
Mitch Harden
May 06, 2009 Mitch Harden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so Conan the Barbarian has become cliche, but when Howard was writing him back in the 30s it was a different story. You have to be very careful what edition you get, as most of the Howard stories are in omnibus format now. It is important to get one that is in order of publication, instead of chronological order. Howard himself said that the stories weren't meant to flow together, or to create a chronology, as they are written as if a drunken barbarian is retelling his adventures as he rem ...more
May 26, 2015 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conan stories are tremendous; it is nice to finally discover what all the fuss is about. What keeps this volume from reaching 5 stars is simply that the latter third of the stories start to become formulaic: damsel in distress? check. giant snake or ape? check. evil sorcerer or demon? check. But there are a good half dozen absolute classics of the fantasy genre here. One really nice bonus is the first submitted draft of Phoenix on the Sword, which I felt was slightly better than the abridged fin ...more
Craig Childs
Robert Howard is rightly known as the father of the sword and sorcery genre. In the 1920’s and early 1930’s he created several long-running characters such as Conan the Barbarian and Kull the Conqueror that have lived on in books, comics, movies, cartoons, and tv shows up to the present day. This book contains the first 13 Conan stories, restoring Howard’s preferred texts and original titles, presented in the order they were written (not publication order). This is important since over the years ...more
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  • Conan, Vol. 1: The Frost Giant's Daughter and Other Stories
  • The Savage Sword of Conan, Volume 1
  • Ill Met in Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1-2)
  • Conan of Aquilonia (Book 11)
  • Jirel of Joiry
  • Darkness Weaves
  • The End of the Story
  • Conan the Magnificent (Conan, #5)
  • Elric
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 Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #2)
  • The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #3)

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