Thursday, November 11, 2010

13. Tor #5 Conan the Magnificent by Robert Jordan

From Hyborean Apocrypha
After a delay to get over my boredom from the Leonard Carpenter one, I'm back with the first Robert Jordan Conan book that I've ever read. Like a lot of Fantasy fans, I've read his enormous Wheel of Time series. I liked it all right, but there weren't a shortage of moments when I didn't feel an injection of Conan couldn't have helped..

So hope you enjoyed the two reviews for Conan the Adventurer, I plan to finish the series eventually. so there will be more to come.

Prologue and chapters 1-3

Among the high places of the Kezankian mountains running between Zamora and Brythunia, dark rituals are being presided over by Basraken Ismalla. Human sacrifice, and other blood letting is the order of the day, for only the deaths of infidels will please his dark god. The true God. And all he lacks to make the world see its error and repent are the legendary Eyes of Fire.

It's nighttime in Shadizar, not a safe place for the unprepared to wander. But Conan is anything but, after his months long journey through the desert he has at last made it to Shadizar, the City of the Wicked. During the long periods of boring travel, he has gotten himself indebted to a spice merchant after some unlucky runs of dice, and is tasked with stealing an emerald cup as repayment.

Unfortunately for Conan another thief has beat him to the treasure house, she is there to steal a different item. but her interference nearly gets Conan captured by the guards. With a mighty bellow of CROM! he fights his way free and escapes. Without the emerald cup
however he won't get out of debt.. so nursing a grudge, he returns to his dive bar of choice.

No satisfaction from the tavern wenches doesn’t improve his mood, and the Tavern keeper is unable to tell him anything about the female thief who cost him his economic freedom. Conan waits till the morning then visits another source who may know more. He eventually finds the thief, but she doesn’t make it easy for him. After a bit of back and forth she leaves him once more balked.


David J. West said...

Spot on about Jordan' Wheel of Time-far too many times it bogged down into dress shopping nonsense.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Well its as I remarked elsewhere, the major flaw with the trend towards making fantasy tomes bigger and bigger.. say.. a base word count of around 300k words.. is that it creates a false sense of value to the consumer.. I know I'm guilty of it in my youth.. when money was much harder to come by.. a 700page book for 6.99 was a much better choice than a 288page book for 6.99.. This of course makes them more popular.. and then The problem inevitably comes when you have to stretch out a story that should have been no more than 288 pages into a book that is now 700 in order to get a publisher to want to buy it.

I'm certain that that is why Goodkind's books are such huge sellers.. they simply are big fat books but they don't cost any more than a little skinny book. And it's almost assuredly why Tor, Del Rey and Hasbro are putting out so many reprints of old Book Club omnibuses all of a sudden. It allows them to turn older, shorter works into new huge trade paperbacks.. and what could be a better deal than getting 3 books for the price of two?

Jordan packs a lot of detail into this relatively slim volume. And its much improved by it. Especially when taken in comparison to Perry and Carpenter, He is easily the best of the Tor writers I've read so far.. and compared to the pastichers in general.. he is easily better than DeCamp and Carter.. but maybe not quite as good as Offutt when it comes to writing Conan.