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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian

(Conan the Cimmerian #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  12,845 ratings  ·  658 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
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published November 22nd 2005 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2003)
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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)
Henrik Havighorst Howard's pen-pal Lovecraft actually preferred the Kull stories. I think Conan is the newer, more streamlined incarnation of Kull and the better place …moreHoward's pen-pal Lovecraft actually preferred the Kull stories. I think Conan is the newer, more streamlined incarnation of Kull and the better place to start. You can read the Kull stories at a later point(less)

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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
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Me Like Me Some Yummy Barbarian Cimmerian for Breakfast Buddy Read (MLMSYBCfBBR™) with the Scarlet Citadel Hordes of Doom (SCHoD™), namely My One and Only Male Hatchling and The Most Dreaded Overlord

Mathematically Computed Overall Rating: 3.917640615 stars.

So. Before reading this Slighty Very Bloody Shrimping Entertaining Collection (SVBSEC™), my knowledge about Conan was limited to this:

Yes yes yes, I know, I should be disgustingly ashamed of myself. And I am, actually. Most revoltingly ash

*** 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 instruc
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My first time reading Robert.E.Howard stories. These tales had so much passion and energy. I was totally enamored.

The stories switch back and forth in time. Some of them have Conan as a King while in others he is a travelling mercenary for hire or a pirate.

Howard is not too big on plotting. But the descriptions of spectacular cities, palaces, jungles, islands, other worldly beings, violent battles and passionate men and women are what makes these stories worthwhile.

There is a marked attempt to
[Name Redacted]
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
RJ - Slayer of Trolls
Collection of early Conan stories by his late creator Robert E Howard, including:

- Cimmeria - 3/5 - brief poem describing Conan's homeland
- The Phoenix on the Sword - 4/5 - Conan's first appearance is a Game-of-Thrones-esque plot to overthrow the barbarian king
- The Frost-Giant's Daughter - 3/5 - initially rejected for publication and eventually published posthumously, this brief tale exhibits mythological elements of Conan's world
- God in the bowl - 3/5 - Also rejected during Howard's lifetime
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Note, May 23, 2021: When I wrote this review, I stated that no one had ever published a complete collection of Howard's poetry. Actually, though I didn't know it then, one was published in 2009, so I've just updated the review to reflect this.

Conan the Barbarian is undoubtedly the best-known of the several series protagonists created by pulp-era giant Robert E. Howard; his corpus of Conan stories essentially created the whole sub-genre of "swords-and-sorcery" fantasy. I came to REH's work relati
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 written
Feb 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Just fantastic, original fantasy that has so obviously inspired so many writers ever since. You cannot help but be immersed totally in these stories that span the long life of Conan. Robert E. Howard is undeniably a brilliant writer and his effective prose is so smooth and riveting. Can't wait to get to the next volume. ...more
Leo .
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great series of books. I love the Conan character. Conan what is best in life...I'll be back!
Oops! Right actor wrong character. My two favourite characters Arnie played on screen. I love the Conan books and the first film; not the rubbish remake with the Game Of Thrones actor in it; Conan The Barbarian starring Arnold Swartzenegga in it was brilliant. Shame he never made a third film before he got all wrinkly like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky 37. Oh! That was a pun in the film aeroplane 2. Showin
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Buddy Read with ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ and Evgeny, with some occasional guest appearances by other friends (we spread this out over the course of about 6 months).

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian is the first of a definitive three-volume set featuring Robert E. Howard's stories about the titular barbarian, arranged in the order they were written (not necessarily the same order in which they were originally published). The stories in this particular volume were written between approximately March 1932 (tech
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: _personal-canon
Oh Conan. I was wrong about you, and I am so very thrilled that I was.

You're not a macho fantasy devoid of interesting ideas that I'd always cast you as. Instead you're the meeting point between the childhood hot cocoa of sword and sorcery tales, and some dark and strange new way of telling stories. You lulled me with a world full of ancient mysterious ruins, bustling desert towns, and cosmic glittering treasure. Around every corner lurks another pretty girl, or evil sorcerer, or a band of ruthl

- Keldon Warcaller - Aaron Miller (MTG, Wizards of the Coast, 2018)

In this world men struggle and suffer vainly, finding pleasure only in the bright madness of battle; dying, their souls enter a gray misty realm of clouds and icy winds, to wander cheerlessly throughout eternity. (...) I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

Now mercenary, then pirate, sailor, and thi
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The first 13 REH Conan stories complete with his poem "Cimmeria", drafts, synopses, artwork by Mark Schultz, notes, maps, and Howard's sprawling "The Hyborian Age" history are included in this remarkable book.
But the major highlights are the stories and the gems like "The Tower of the Elephant" in which a young Conan attempts to steal from an impregnable tower in the seedy city of Zamora and comes across more than he ever thought possible in his world in elephantine Yag-kosha" along with "Quee
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It just goes to show, things are not always as they seem. My conception of Conan the Barbarian came from Arnold and a long line of imitators using the name in the franchise for the cheapening of literature for the sake of nude, panting women in print.

Robert E. Howard, the original prolific writer who had died VERY young, had kept food on the table by writing these stories, and while he sometimes did the market thing, he was very conscious of and headstrong in his craft. He was about the farthest
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
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
What needs to be said? It's Conan. If you've only seen the movie...do 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
Mar 02, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably considered heresy, but Conan < Solomon Kane ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 coul
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Michael Sorbello
The Phoenix on the Sword - 3/5

Conan is a hardcore badass that loves danger, adventure and beautiful maidens as much as he enjoys bashing in some heads with heavy weapons; man and monster alike. He might not be the deepest in terms of character, but you have to admire the sheer amount of adrenaline, excitement and gory intensity he delivers with nearly every scene he's involved in. Although this is the first tale in the Conan series, it takes place near the very end of his journey in terms of chr
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing

That's it. That's the review.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 23, 2012 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.
Jul 23, 2010 added it
Shelves: audiobook
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
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
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
Mar 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
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
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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 pa

Other books in the series

Conan the Cimmerian (3 books)
  • The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #2)
  • The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #3)

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