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The Complete Chronicles of Conan

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,687 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
Conan the Cimmerian — the boy-thief who became a mercenary, who fought and loved his way across fabled lands to become King of Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian age. Collected here in the chrono ...more
Hardcover, Centenary Edition, 927 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 2006)
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The Sacred Band by Janet E. MorrisElric of Melniboné by Michael MoorcockThe Complete Chronicles of Conan by Robert E. HowardSwords and Deviltry by Fritz LeiberThe Fish the Fighters and the Song-Girl by Janet E. Morris
Sword and Sorcery
3rd out of 389 books — 320 voters
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
20th out of 524 books — 803 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Olivier Delaye
Apr 05, 2016 Olivier Delaye rated it really liked it
I’m glad I finally got around to reading the Conan stories, even if I did take my sweet time to do it. The reason for my delay is twofold: firstly, I thought these stories hadn’t aged well considering that they had been published for the most part in 1934, which is three years before The Hobbit itself was published (so to those out there who think that Tolkien created modern Fantasy, well, sorry guys, but even if his contribution is hugely seminal, Howard was there first. Don’t get me wrong, I a ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
May 12, 2011 Jayaprakash Satyamurthy rated it it was amazing

Right. So I'm re-reading (and in a number of instances reading for the first time) the original Conan canon courtesy of this handsome volume (albeit my copy is a bit cat-scratched in a manner that actually makes it more befitting of its battle-scarred subject). I'll be updating this review with my comments on the stories as I read them.

The Phoenix On The Sword: It begins near the end. Near the end of Conan's career as a wandering thief, mercenary and pirate, when he has finally settled
Feb 05, 2012 Carl rated it it was amazing
Sexist. Racist. Culturally imperialist. But, you know what . . . I had a dang fun time reading them! What? It's pulp fiction about a barbarian who doesn't understand "civilization" and has a personal code of ethics and the swordarm to enforce it among the "civilized" people of the mythical Hyborean age. Were you expecting Shakespeare?
Oct 03, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing
Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) lived a short live but created some brilliant characters, for example Solomon Kane the puritan swashbuckler & Kull. Most famous is his creation of Conan the Barbarian. About whom he wrote between 1932 & 1934, lots of short stories and one whole novel "The hour of the Dragon" and while that book did borrow somewhat from his earlier stories it did have the excitement and tension of the shorter Conan stories.

This book contains most shor
Scott Gray
Oct 17, 2011 Scott Gray rated it it was amazing
It's hard to make adequate comment on a writer whose work created an entire genre and the larger creative industry that genre spawned. Conan the Barbarian means different things to different people, because the character exists in so many different versions— the original Robert E. Howard stories; the de Camp and Carter pastiches that expanded on Howard's vision and popularity; the new generation of books that the original pastiches inspired; the Marvel comics that pushed sword-and-sorcery into t ...more
May 27, 2013 Evgeny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The original Conan the Cimmerian - what more needs to be said? Robert E. Howard is the grandfather of sword and sorcery genre; Conan is the grandfather of all barbarians (the most recent example that comes to mind: Karsa Orlong from House of Chains is exact copy of Conan) and mighty sword-fighters (too numerous to name). The stories are written almost 100 years ago, they are still very entertaining and impossible to put down; their age did nothing to diminish their fun value.

The plot of most of
J. Hamlet
May 19, 2011 J. Hamlet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epic-tomes
Despite the unfortunate racial attitudes in Conan the Barbarian lore (as he was writing these in the 1910s through 1930s, he has some of the same problems his contemporary HP Lovecraft had), Robert Howard was perhaps one of the greatest pulp writers ever. After treading through nearly 1000 pages of Conan stories, Howard's imagination never falters. Conan himself is a complex character, a prototype and ancestor of all the anti-heros we see popping up in movies and books. Usually portrayals of Con ...more
Rachel the Book Harlot
Story 1: The Phoenix on the Sword - rating: 4 stars
Story 2: The Scarlet Citadel - rating: 4.5 stars
Susan Laine
Jun 26, 2012 Susan Laine rated it it was amazing
Conan is my favorite hero, and sword & sorcery has been a favorite genre of mine since I was a kid. I have read all these stories before in other anthologies, some in English, some in Finnish, but it's good to have them all in one book. My favorite stories in this are The Tower of the Elephant, The Slithering Shadow, Red Nails, and The Pool of the Black One. Highly recommended!
Oct 16, 2015 Craig rated it it was amazing
This is a very handsome edition collecting all of Howard's wonderful Conan stories. I've read them all before over the years in various versions, but it's nice to have them all in a single volume. This one would be on my list if I were to be marooned on an island for a year and could only pick five books to take with me.
Mar 29, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I originally bought this tome for a friend for christmas, but whilst wrapping it up i thought i'd give it a quick look and found myself instantly enthralled. Over the next few months i would i constantly ask myself 'where has conan been all my life?'
Up until Conan, i, and im sure the rest of you, have had to make do with whoosy lead characters who are described as tough but dont do anything?! And when they do finally kick back their chair and roll up their sleeves, they take one smack on the ch
Oct 07, 2009 Simon rated it it was amazing
Although I've only read about five stories from this edition (so far), I've read most of the Conan stories before in various collections over the years. I already know that it's going to get five stars because most of the stories are great. Those that aren't are still good and are not going to detract from overall high standard of this collection.

This collection contains all the Conan stories written by Robert E Howard in the order they were published including those published posthumously and
Feb 17, 2011 Krzysztof rated it really liked it
The Conan stories are great, even though many of them follow a very similar pattern, and some even "copy-and-paste" sentences between them. The language of the stories is terrific, however, despite some words being archaic as this point. It certainly cracks you up when Conan 'ejaculates' (shouts). The quality of the stories is pretty constantly high, with some of them a bit weaker than others. None of them aren't bad in any way, however.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to all who haven't
Jan 26, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This was a great collection of Robert E. Howard's stories centering around Conan the Cimmerian (a.k.a. Conan the Barbarian). A very complete appearance of his published Conan stories and of The Hyborian Age, an article describing the peoples and regions of Hyboria. The stories are among the most influential of fantasy, and a must for serious fans of the genre.
Also included are story drafts, a fragment, and synopsis for works that were not completed during Howard's life. A valuable addition to fa
Dan McClure
Nov 30, 2014 Dan McClure rated it really liked it
Once you get past all the racism and misogyny (but be warned - there's a lot), you can easily see why Howard is the father of sword and sorcery fantasy. He wrote as if in a fever dream (he likely was) and the resulting Conan stories pull the reader along like his hero drags distressing damsels past their various plights, usually naked. You don't have to be naked to read it, but I recommend the no-pants option.
John Montagne
Aug 03, 2011 John Montagne rated it it was amazing
Good old Conan. You love this work or you hate it. I consider them classics so to review it would inevitably repeat much of what has been said by countless others. Personal opinion, I love it. It is straight forward escapism. Character development? Not so much... is it needed? Not so much... I always loved Howard's history of Conan's world, in fact, I have just as much enjoyment reading about the world and the tribes as much as the stories. And this particular book is a work of art, a leather to ...more
Apr 01, 2010 Libromaniac rated it really liked it
Robert Howard gets short shrift in any discussion of important 20th century authors. He founded an entire genre of literature, and is indirectly responsible for Arnold Schwarzenegger being governor of Kahlifohnia. While this collection, when read in it's entirety, points up the somewhat formulaic nature of Howard's writing, it never fails to thrill. Mildly sexy and exuberantly violent, these tales make for an excellent escape from humdrum modernity, where life's Gordian knots cannot be simply he ...more
Mar 16, 2014 Robert rated it liked it
Conan the Barbarian is one of the best known heroes of fantasy fiction and a considerable number of authors have written stories about him. This book collects together all 21 of the original Conan stories written by his creator, Robert E Howard, and also includes a number of unfinished fragments and drafts, as well as two articles about the world of Hyboria and its people. The book also features a very interesting Afterword by editor Stephen Jones, which helps to put the stories into context.

Mar 10, 2014 Christian rated it it was ok
This rating is an average for all the Conan stories I read, before I got sick of them. It's more like 2 for most of the longer stories and 4 for the short stories. At it's best, Conan possesses a sort of barbarian vitality mixed with the Weird Fiction feel of Lovecraft or Lord Dunsany. But at its worst - and its frequently at its worst - its a repetitive morass of rippling thews and giant muscles and evil Africans and Conan beating the shit out of everything with very little conflict or intrigue ...more
Apr 26, 2010 Vomithatsteve rated it really liked it
This is a whole lot of Conan. Let's be honest. It's WAAAY too much Conan! If you like classic, misogynistic dark fantasy, there'll be something for you to enjoy here.

It's stories are actually pretty fun in a pulpy, over-the-top way. It's always fun to read about some giant barbarian killing some horrid monster from beyond the stars with his teeth.

It's way more conan than you'll ever actually need, but I still enjoyed reading it.
Nick Roles
Apr 26, 2016 Nick Roles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Brilliant, an utterly compelling collection of some of the best fantasy fiction ever written.
Heath Lowrance
Jan 13, 2014 Heath Lowrance rated it it was amazing
Well, it's Conan, the ORIGINAL Conan, by Robert E. Howard. So hell yeah, I loved it. If you're interested you can find my entire review here:
Nov 17, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, novels, conan
Fans of REH'S Conan stories have been waiting for this book for years!
And I was all giddy to get this and re-read the stories within.
WOW! These are not the watered down verions I'd read as a teen. This is Howard as his crudest Weird Tales versions.
This is THE book displayed prominently on my bookshelves!
Nathan Dehoff
Jan 30, 2015 Nathan Dehoff rated it really liked it
While I'd obviously heard of the famous barbarian hero before, I've never seen any of the movies or anything, and I really wanted to explore the original source first. I'd recently read about how Howard frequently corresponded with H.P. Lovecraft, and often intended his stories to be set in the same universe. The little of Lovecraft I read didn't really grab me, and I've heard he was pretty racist, although that doesn't always make someone's writing bad. I wondered if Howard had some of the same ...more
Aug 02, 2010 Bill rated it it was ok
If you like 1930s-style eugenics racial theory, the inherent sexism of the period, and blood 'n' guts, this book is for you!!!
A. J. McMahon
Aug 11, 2015 A. J. McMahon rated it liked it
Howard has a vivid imagination and a fairly clear vision of who and what Conan is as a warrior in a mythical landscape where supernatural situations can be as expected as not. The weakness of the stories themselves in the end make the whole business of reading Conan an uphill struggle at times. There are flashes of wit, some OK dialogue, some insights into Conan and his world that can keep the reader going, but not enough to make up for all the deficiencies of the stories. I laid down the book a ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
The Conan stories are brilliant, I am a big fan, many of the stories follow a very similar pattern, but each hold their own as a great story. The language of the stories is terrific. The quality of the stories is high.

I highly recommend this book to all who haven't read Conan stories yet.

The Stories:

The Hyborian Age
This is an essay by Robert E. Howard pertaining to the Hyborian Age, the fictional setting of his stories about Conan the Cimmerian. It was written in the 1930s but not published dur
Scott McPherson
May 08, 2015 Scott McPherson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
This book is amazing. I was interested in the Conan stories after watching the movie with Arnie, and figured I would try to read the stories. I saw this tome on the offer on Amazon for a good price, and I immediately bought it, hoping my money wasn't wasted.

It wasn't.

For being such a big book, I found it almost impossible to put down, each story was as good as the last I, felt, with Conan playing the role of badass warrior flawlessly in each story. My favourites were Queen of the Black Coast, Be
Ана Хелс
Mar 08, 2014 Ана Хелс rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-have
Конан не е просто мускулягата с лош акцент и тъповато-стероиден поглед, насаден ни от екранизациите с младия бате Арни. Конан е абсолютния образец, символ, бенчмарк, зрънцето изначална идея за това какъв трябва да е един истински фентъзи герой – физически внушителен, външно привлекателен за женското око, безспорен майстор на меча и всякакво друго оръжие, което може да унищожи или поне нарани кожените торби с вътрешности, наречени човешки или не точно тела. С неясно минало, без роднини, за които ...more
R.M.F Brown
Feb 23, 2015 R.M.F Brown rated it it was amazing
A treasure trove of swords and sorcery

On the face of it, Conan doesn't and shouldn't stand up to critical scrutiny. A pint sized King Kong who roams the land, slaying various wizards and evil do'ers, bedding buxom barmaids, and sticking his nose where it's not wanted. Improbably, as long as he has a sword in his hand, and his back to a wall, he can fight off ten times his number without breaking sweat. He shrugs off wounds that would kill a god, and has more lives than a barrel load of cats.

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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
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“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 sandaled feet.” 109 likes
“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 beneath the stars.” 31 likes
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