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The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian #3)

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  2,461 ratings  ·  59 reviews
“FOR HEADLONG, NONSTOP ADVENTURE AND FOR VIVID, EVEN FLORID, SCENERY, NO ONE EVEN COMES CLOSE TO HOWARD.”
–Harry Turtledove

In a meteoric career that covered only a dozen years, Robert E. Howard defined the sword-and-sorcery genre. In doing so, he brought to life the archetypal adventurer known to millions around the world as Conan the barbarian.

Witness, then, Howard at his...more
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Published November 29th 2005 by Del Rey (first published 1935)
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Dan Schwent
The Conquering Sword of Conan is the third and final volume in Wandering Star's Robert E. Howard collection of Conan stories. I'll be reviewing them as I read them. That's the plan, anyway.

The Servants of Bit-Yatkin: The Servants of Bit-Yatkin is a story about Conan scouring a ruined temple in the jungle for the Teeth of Gwahlur, a cache of priceless jewels. Complicating matters are the priests who have come to the temple to consult the oracle, as well as the deceased Bit-Yatkin's servants.

I alw...more
Evgeny
This book is notable for two hard-to-find tales from Conan universe from the creator of the most famous barbarian himself. There is not much to say about Conan the Barbarian tales: they are still fun to read despite their age. The plot of the most stories can be outlined in the following way. A problem comes to Conan, usually started by an evil sorcerer. Conan solves the problem using his sword, or even just bare fists taking care of the bad guy along the way.

I will give more details about the...more
Benjamin Thomas
By finishing this book, I have now read all of the original Conan stories by Robert E. Howard. It was not always the easiest journey as some tales are certainly better than others. But the publisher’s decision to present these stories over three volumes in the order they were written instead of chronological order was the right one, I believe, as it is wonderful to see Howard’s skills as a writer grow.

This volume, the final set of the Conan saga, includes only five stories, evidence of the lengt...more
Sam Saturday
After several years of reading them on and off I've finally finished reading all 21 of Robert E. Howard's original Conan stories. I can't say I've loved every single one but as a concept, as a whole, I can't think of any other character that has had as much impact on me as Conan the Cimmerian. This final volume, Book 3 in the Del Rey series, is not my favorite of the books, but I have immense respect for the stories contained within.

The Del Rey editions of REH's Conan stories present the tales i...more
Seth
Howard's "Conan" stories have a legendary aura around them, but some of their mystique comes from the horrible pastiches written like Conan - and later stuff like DeCamp's actual Conan stories themselves, most of which are sub-par. DAW's third book concludes the Conan cycle with the last bits of uncut, completely raw stories, all as Howard would want them.

Conan stories are best when they capture and magify the gloomy, headstrong personality of the creator, and two of the stories in here, "Beyond...more
Bryan
After reading this book, I have now read all 21 of the original Robert E. Howard-penned Conan stories. Some were good, some were bad, and some were excellent. I'll review the stories from this volume individually.

The Servants Of Bit-Yakin: A mediocre-at-best Conan story, and one which I've read a number of times over the years, usually under the title "Jewels Of Gwahlur". It contains the usual Howard racism and simperingly idiotic female companion without much of Howard's typically highly charge...more
Jonah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cwn_annwn_13
Having read the old 1-12 series of Conan paperbacks religiously when I was teenager and going back to re-read the stories from time to time I was VERY happy when these were put back into print in nice and inexpensive volumes that were unedited pure Robert E. Howard written versions of the stories. Conan is a much deeper character than the public, even those that have read Conan, seem to understand. As well as Howard does not get the credit he deserves from the mainstream. As I have said before t...more
Newton Nitro
E infelizmente chego ao fim de todos os textos originais do Conan, escritos pelo Robert E. Howard. Eu já estou familiarizado com a melancolia que sinto ao terminar um livro ou uma série de livros que me envolveram em sua leitura, mas dessa vez é maior, pois sinto uma grande pena por termos perdido Howard muito cedo, no momento em que sua escrita amadurecia e mostrava um potencial literário fantástico. Nesse terceiro volume estão duas das melhores histórias de Conan, “Beyond the Black River” e a...more
Orren Merton
Of the three illustrated Conan the Cimmerian books that cover all of Robert E. Howard's original Conan stories, the third one probably includes less classic tales than the first two. Never the less, REH's Conan adventures are still vibrant and entertaining, his characters fun (even if some of his language is anachronistic to us these days). The paintings in the book are also top notch, and there's enough miscellany in the back to be really interesting to Conan and REH completists.

If you've not...more
Daniel
This collection contains longer Conan works, including "By the Black River", in which Howard laid out many of his theories and thoughts about the decadence of the civilized world.
Brian
"Barbarism is the natural state of mankind," the borderer said, staring somberly at the Cimmerian. "Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph."
-Robert E. Howard, "Beyond the Black River"
I started this last volume with trepidation, since my experiences with Clark Ashton Smith and Fritz Leiber had taught me to expect a decline over the course of the writer's oeuvre culminating in either mediocrity or active disgust on my part, but my expe...more
Brad Wheeler
Call this 3.5 stars. I'm a big fan of Howard's Conan mythos; it's some of the only sword-and-sorcery fantasy that I enjoy. This collection, however, failed to grab me as most of the Conan stories do and I'm still trying to figure out why.

Here's what I've come up with so far. First, Conan is way too powerful. Obviously, he's always been powerful, right from the beginning, but in the earlier stories he seems to lose more battles. He gets captured, knocked unconscious, ensorcelled, whatever. Instea...more
Jake
This book is the final in a series of three collections from Del Ray (the other two being Coming of Conan the Cimmerian and Bloody Crown of Conan) that collect the entire corpus of Robert E. Howard’s writings about his now well-known, if often misunderstood, barbarian hero. This volume contains the last stories written by REH about Conan, including Beyond the Black River and Red Nails, which are apparently (and deservedly) two of the more famous of the Conan stories.

As a recent, but avid, fan of...more
Michael Battaglia
For one reason or another, Robert Howard had some fascination with the Picts, who make a case for being Conan's best recurring villain, which is impressive considering how many antagonists who are thought to be constant foils for Conan only really appeared in one story (I'm looking at you, Thoth-Amon). Either the Picts either came to Howard in a dream and ticked him off, or they just caught his eye to stand in for a general lack of civilization. Whatever the case is, they massed and painted pres...more
J
And, with the third and final installment of the complete, unadulterated Robert E. Howard Conan stories, we have the final piece of proof, should any more be needed, that this is how anyone and everyone interested in reading Conan should do so.

I could leave this review right there but reading these books lead to research and contemplation, which leads to the following…

Speaking to the “coauthored” Conan stories and the dozens of pastiches, I present a fine article by Dashiell Hammett Tour leader,...more
Mark
May 02, 2012 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: libertarians
Fun- but not AS fun as the earlier stories. Too much hardcore realism; not enough existential threats to existence, baroque conspiracy. It is great to finally get to see the Picts in action, but two of their stories in a row wore a bit thin. Also, they just don't make geopolitical sense; Aquilona, as the clearly dominant regional power, should punch through for a warm water port. They are NOT the Native Americans; they don't have a whole continent at their back. Theirs is such a comparatively na...more
Brian Lee
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).
Tayvonne
The best stories are told in the volume. I enjoyed the two preceding books but this one, holding his most prized works, felt like I was reading when he hit his stride. He knew what he had done with the character before and what he wanted to do so I felt more confidence in the writing style and I definitely saw a lot more skill.

No matter how much I love Conan and people love Howard sometimes his writing does come off as stiff and quite bad. This book clear up most of the hurdles I had with his e...more
Michael
Crom! Sadly, these are the last Conan stories that Robert E. Howard ever wrote. He definitely finishes with a bang though. What makes these stories especially interesting is how much the stories vary from one another. "Beyond the Black River", which is considered to be one of the best Conan stories, features Conan defending a fort on the edge of civilization. "The Black Stranger" is a great swashbuckling pirate adventure where all of the main characters take turns stabbing each other in the back...more
Timothy Boyd
YES!! the Conan stories restored to their original texts. Read Conan as Howard intended him to be. You will find that Conan is more than just a big semi-naked barbarian with a sword. He speaks and reads many languages and thinks his way through a lot of what he encounters. But then when that doesn't work he can swing a sword with the best of them. Highly recommended
Christopher Sutch
Although the editor makes much of Howard's growth as a writer by this stage of his career, shortly before his suicide at age 30, only two stories in this collection are worth anything ("Beyond the Black River" and "Red Nails"). The other stories are rehashes or mediocre attempts that don't even hang together (e.g. "The Flesh Eaters of Zamboula"). And the editor entirely fails to even mention Howard's racism. Yes, he was writing at a time when racial attitudes toward African-Americans were nearly...more
David
Here's Conan in all his gloriously unedited best written by the originator Robert E. Howard. Not only do you get the final volume of Howard's Conan compilation, but contained within are "Beyond the Black River", "The Black Stranger, and "Red Nails", which many claim are the three best Conan pieces written by Howard. I'll vouch for "Red Nails" because of the strong characters. There's no doe eyed female goggling over Conan or overblown villain just pure purpose set to pen.
Conan is the ultimate a...more
Michael
I highly recommend the new Del Rey editions of the Conan stories which are printed just as Howard wrote them. "The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian", "The Conquering Sword of Conan", and "The Bloody Crown of Conan".
Before reading Conan I loved adventure stories and swashbucklers like Tarzan, Three Musketeers, Lord of the Rings, Davy Crockett, Western gunfighters, Zorro, etc. Robert E Howard's stories and characters especially Conan is the most deeply satisfying storie in any of these genres.
When...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I don't know, I have the hard back but it wasn't listed...

This is the third volume of the three volume set of Howard's versions of the Conan stories. It contains:
"The Servants of Bit-Yakin"
Beyond the Black River
The Black Stranger
"The Man-Eaters of Zamboula"
Red Nails
Untitled Notes: "The Westermark: ..."
"Wolves Beyond the Border", Draft A
"Wolves Beyond the Border", Draft B
The Black Stranger, Synopsis A
The Black Stranger, Synopsis B
"The Man-Eaters of Zamboula", Synopsis
Red Nails, Draft...more
Riju Ganguly
Although chronologically speaking Conan was followed by Bran Mak Morn amd countless other persona who had dared to challenge and defy destiny as presented to them by shrouded dark characters, he was the ultimate fantastic hero who depicted everything we may desire from the protagonist in a pulp-style fantasy (different from Tolkienisque and Lewisian writings). He was the final expression of brute strength, savage passions, and yet, a strange code of honour. This last book containing Conanical wr...more
Dave
I had no idea going into this book that the original Conan stories were so incredibly rife with racism and misogyny, to the point where even though the plots are interesting and the setting excellent, I can't overcome my disgust every time (and it is EVERY TIME) that Conan has to save a near-naked white girl from the unspeakable horrors that "brown-skinned men" will inflict on her. Ugh. Have to quit this one 3/4 of the way in, I'm afraid.

Typical of pulp fiction for the time, I'm sure, but I'll j...more
Shane
I've really enjoyed these 3 volumes of Conan stories. There have been the more average stories amongst them all, but on the whole all 3 volumes have been a delight. This 3rd volume had some great stories and I know I'm going to miss Robert E Howard's Conan. I'll look forward to re-reading a lot of the stories from these volumes at various points in the future. I've seen it said that this 3rd volume is the best, and maybe it is, but to be honest after having read all three I'd be hard put to choo...more
Valerio
Questi volumi, integrati da splendide illustrazioni, contengono tutte le storie brevi scritte da Robert E. Howard riguardanti Conan il Cimmero.

I 3 volumi della Del Rey dedicati a Conan presentano i testi originali dell'autore texano nell'ordine in cui furono scritti (e soprattutto non alterati dalle mani di altri scrittori).

Index:

Shadows in Zamboula (The Man Eater of Zamboula)
Beyond the Black River
The Black Stranger
Red Nails
Jewels of Gwahlur (The Servants of Bit-Yakin)
Wolves Beyond the Border

Gary
I am a huge fan of Robert E. Howard's Conan series and almost all of his other writings. Just pure fun and good fantasy. Nothing heavy but well written. The most astonishing thing about Howard's vision of Conan is when you realize where he lived (in the middle of no-where Texas on the west plains) and how could a guy like that manage to write material like this. Incredible. Nothing heavy, just good he-man fighting and love making. Some creative plots and characters. Just good mindless reading fo...more
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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
More about Robert E. Howard...
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian, #1) Conan of Cimmeria (Conan 2) The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #2) The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane The Complete Chronicles of Conan

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