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Conan The Liberator

(Conan the Barbarian)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  653 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In marketplace and roadside inn, in village and hamlet, it's whispered across the land: the Liberator comes! Conan the barbarian leads an army of warriors to smash the tyrannical reign of King Numedides. But their greatest foe will be: the vile sorcerer Thulandra Thuu. Dark clouds loom ahead for the people of Aquilonia; only Conan can save them.
Published November 8th 2003 by Tor Books (first published 1979)
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Juho Pohjalainen
So how did Conan become the King of Aquilonia, exactly? It's rather an important step in his saga, a turning point in his life, yet one Robert E. Howard never got around to telling before he died. So it was that a storyteller of the new generation, L. Sprague de Camp, set forth to this unenviable and harrowing task instead.

And you know what? It's good. Occasionally great, even - probably the closest to Howard's own vision we'll ever get, and that is a high praise indeed. His prose almost hits
May 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, pulp
Content warning: These remarks contain heresy against certain beloved genre icons. They also go on rather longer than a book of this quality really deserves.

Fist of all, on its own qualitative merits this book really earns only about two stars. The plot is predictable, the story deerivative, and the protagonist, Conan, does little in the novel but be there and be Conan. The action goes on about him leaving him little to do. I gave it for stars because of how much I enjopyed what it says about
Иван Иванов
Поредната слаба Конан-имитация. Жалкото в случая е, че всъщност сюжетът в по-голямата си част не е чак толкова зле и в ръцете на някой талантлив автор би могла да се получи съвсем прилична книжка. Де Камп и Картър обаче са предпочели да не си дават зор и вместо това насочват историята в желаната посока по най-елементарния начин: като карат героите да се държат като идиоти. Мързеливо писане или просто авторите толкова си могат? Трудно е да се каже.
Отново ме дразнеше изобилието от архаични думички
Daniel Ionson
DNF 25%

Huge difference between this book & Howard's. Not enjoyable.
Dec 31, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
definitely better than Conan and the Spider God. I enjoyed it fairly well. Interesting cover painting too.
Kevin welter
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best non-howard conan tales told.
Stuart Dean
A major question has always been "Just how did Conan gain the Aquilonian throne?" Here it is answered. King Numedides is insane and under the thrall of the wizard Thulandra Thuu. The peasants are revolting and Conan is leading a band of rebels from Argos. He marches on the capital against a much larger Aquilonian force, and also faces treacherous spies, raging floods, plague, rockslides, ambushes, and a saucy wench.

It's like Conan was dropped wholesale into someone else's novel. A novel where
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cleary, Conan novels are about the life and times of our hero, and this particular title delves into his life as the general of an army of rebellion trying to take Aquilonia.

So, as a general, Conan is portrayed planning troop movements, leading skirmishes, and overseeing the campaign against King Numedides. The latter is crazy and seeks immortality through his dark sorcerer, Thulandra Thuu. The wizard is actually ruling the country, the king but a figurehead.

I won't spoil the tale. Suffice it to
Dennis Hanley
I found this to be an awkward contrivance. It leans heavily on borrowed conventions without fully understanding Robert E. Howard's most influential and enduring character. Absurd solutions to problems the main character faces literally pop up without warning, foreshadowing or backstory. I wonder how little time was invested in thinking through plot complications. Characterizations of the two main characters are sloppy bearing little resemblance to Conan of the Howard stories, save the physical ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un libro necesario de esta colección, como en otras ocasiones, la temporalización es un poco extraña, supongo que será por orden de publicación, este libro está escrito por Sprague de Camp, y cubre una parte imprescindible de la historia de Conan, Howard escribió mucho sobre la vida del bárbaro Cimmerio, desde su juventud como ladrón, hasta su reinado en Aquilonia, pero faltaba el relato de como se convirtió en rey, y eso es lo que se cuenta aquí.
A pesar de no ser de Howard, se nota que se ha
William Miller
A good but conflicted Conan read

De camp turns in a better than average Conan tale unfortunately, in this one, it seems like the author couldn’t decide if he was writing a Conan adventure or a military fiction. Most of the book reads like Tom Clancy wrote a medieval war story. There is enough high fantasy here to keep you entertained and pass the time. On the whole, it is light years ahead of most of the lesser Conan pastiche works.
Aaron White
Typical. A bit more army warfare than normal.
Jean-Francois Boivin
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: conan
Most complaints about this book is that Conan doesn't take part in much of the action of this book. In fact, there is not much action at all. It's mostly military units marching over vast distances and long periods of times, with stops along the way and skirmishes between Conan's rebel army or mad King Numedides' royalist legions. At one point, Conan is even incapacited for almost a month and not even able to get out of bed!

But I find this all appropriate for this story. It is after all the
May 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So; from some of the best fantasy I've read in awhile to... well, to Conan. A friend on the Boyz Trip was reading one of the Conan books, and I thought I'd give one a try just to see what they were like. Had a hard time picking one; the whole timeline is kind of confusing. It ended up that my library only had one of the books on the shelf, anyway - Conan the Liberator, a later title by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. It was kind of hard to pick up the thread of where in his career Conan was ...more
Felipe Guerrero
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esta un poco aburrido y la verdad es que Conan aparece y hace poco durante el libro pero es parte importante de la historia del Cimmerio. Aquí se relata, por fin, que ocurrió exactamente con el rey Numedides y como es que Conan obtuvo la corona de Aquilonia, hechos que se relataran anteriormente en el relato ”Lobos más allá de la frontera” donde al protagonista le llega la noticia despues de sus propias aventuras en los limites de la frontera Picta.

Dave White
These licensed Conan novellas always mystify me. The character clearly inspires a great deal of passion in certain audiences, to the point where they are clamoring to see more of his adventures. And yet the licensed novels seem to be completely devoid of the charm of Robert E. Howard managed to invest into his character.
Stuart Rimmer
One of the 'dryer' additions to the early De Camp/Carter pastiches. It feels like a gap filling exercise, to explain Conan's rise to the throne of Aquilonia - something which Howard himself never did. It serves its purpose without sparkling.
Keith Bell
While an essential part of the Conan saga (rise to King of Aquilonia), this installment was unnecessarily wordy. The authors had the characters speaking as if they were Shakespearean actors at times. Too much focus on intrigue and plots with little action. Conan becomes a minor character.
Robert Day
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The books I'd take to a desert island.
The books I'd save from a house on fire.
The books I read over and over.
The best of the best.
Mark Lacy
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
not bad, but not enough time spent on Conan and fighting, kind of watered-down compared to other Conan tales
rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2011
Michael Corradino
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Feb 09, 2019
Joseph Thai
rated it it was ok
Apr 26, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Nov 11, 2007
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Sep 14, 2012
Mike Harnish
rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2017
Virtuals Alibi
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Nov 13, 2018
Mark Di Sabato
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Dec 20, 2015
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Apr 08, 2016
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What's the Name o...: ABANDONED. Which Conan? 10 204 Jul 25, 2015 07:53PM  

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Lyon Sprague de Camp, (Pseudonym: Lyman R. Lyon) was an American science fiction and fantasy author and biographer. In a writing career spanning fifty years he wrote over one hundred books, including novels and notable works of nonfiction, such as biographies of other important fantasy authors.He was widely regarded as an imaginative and innovative writer and was an important figure in the heyday ...more

Other books in the series

Conan the Barbarian (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Conan (Book 1)
  • Conan of Cimmeria (Conan 2)
  • Conan The Freebooter (Conan, #3)
  • Conan the Wanderer (Conan, #4)
  • Conan the Adventurer (Conan 5)
  • Conan the Buccaneer (Conan, #6)
  • Conan the Warrior (Book 7)
  • Conan the Usurper (Conan, #8)
  • Conan the Conqueror
  • The Return of Conan