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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian

(Conan the Cimmerian #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  11,806 ratings  ·  550 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 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)
Benjamin Hare Assuming you are asking about the quality of the literature; it's purple prose right from the pages of a 1930's pulp fiction magazine. Lines such as: …moreAssuming you are asking about the quality of the literature; it's purple prose right from the pages of a 1930's pulp fiction magazine. Lines such as: "This is a city of ghosts and dead men! Let us go back into the desert! Better to die there, than to face these terrors!"

This edition does include interior line art by Mark Schultz, usually one drawing per story.

Yes, I would consider this content mature but not graphic. Appropriate for a high-school freshmen (14), or a well read middle-school child (12). There is no sex, but there are plenty of hints about sexuality thanks to a cast of scantily clad women.(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
[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 from the LBC
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 relatively late in my reading life (though I now count him as a favorite author), and was introduced to Conan through the collection The Essential Conan. My review of that book is here: , and many of the comm ...more
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: survival-kit
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
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
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
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
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 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
Michael Sorbello
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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
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.
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing

That's it. That's the review.
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
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
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
A collection that introduces the original Robert E Howard Conan, in all his muscled, fighting, warring, wenching, pirating, murdering, thieving, raping, racist glory.

The Phoenix on the Sword
It's interesting that the first Conan story Howard published placed him as King of Aquilonia (though a former Barbarian), since our popular image of him is the peripatetic thief, rogue & reaver. This isn't the only King Conan story in the collection, either.

The beginning of this particular story, in which Kin
Nathan Wilder
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don't like fantasy much but Conan hits all the right buttons for someone raised immediately post 80's action movie.

Conan is a man's man, built like a (panther? some type of big cat?) and goes on a variety of adventures which may or may not be linked. The concept is usually the same- Conan will enter into some supernatural situation or event, there will be people afterward who doubt him and then finally it will end with everyone realizing he was right all along. Similar pacing to H.P. Lovecraf
Stefan Yates
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
UPDATE (1/25/2018): Rewritten for clarity.

The early Conan stories contain some of the best material of the pulp era. With Howard’s superb mixing of myth and history, the original Conan stories probably had more influence on Dungeons and Dragons than Lord of the Rings did!

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian is an excellent jumping-on point for new fans. Aside from two stories, the book focuses on the classic character's early years as a thief, mercenary, and pirate in the mythic-esque Hyborian Age
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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

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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