Chapters 17-20, Epilogue, and Review
With the hunting party decimated and Jondra missing. After attempting to organize the scattered remnants into some sort of order, Conan leaves Tamira in hiding while he goes to look for his erstwhile lover and employer. His plans are to collect Jondra, double back and pick up the rest of the group then high tail it back to the safety of Shadizar.
Jondra is herself in no small measure of trouble, She is completely ill equipped to be on her own in the wilderness. So it's some good fortune on her part that it isn't long before she is found by Eldran, the Brythunian who she had patronized and sent away after his earlier offers of help. He is willing to let bygones be bygones and agrees to help her again. This time she takes his offer. But it isn't long before the would be rescuer is laid flat by Hillmen and Jondra is finally within there grasp.
Finding the unconscious Brythunian sometime later Conan has the events explained to him. So it's now even more important he find Jondra. Soon recovered, Him and Eldran and several other Brythunians set off to find her. This will come none too soon to suit Jondra, as now that she is captive of Basraken Ismalla, and he now has the Eyes of Fire. It is time for the calling forth of the True Gods.
With the Eyes they will obey him, but before he can complete the ritual, Conan and the Brythunians attack the village where she is held captive. During the attack the ritual is completed and the true god comes forth as it was bidden by Basraken. It begins laying waste to the enemies of the hillmen, though rather indiscriminately. Between Eldran and Conan they manage to finally slay the beast with Eldran's magic sword, just as the Zamoran army tops the ridge and comes into view of the village. With the women safe, Basraken and the hillmen scattered and the dragon slain, its time to return to Shadizar. Something which is becoming a trend with the mighty Cimmerian.
Review: Well this was the first of the Robert Jordan penned Conan books I've read. And I must say I'm impressed by it. He is no Robert E. Howard.. but he certainly the best of the Tor Pastiche Writers and certainly better than DeCamp and Carter. It is interesting to see certain aspects of his which show in this volume and also re-appear in his magnum opus "Wheel of Time" series. Over all I went through this in just a few days, as compared to the huge slog I went through with the Perry and Carpenter volumes. Though I could be giving Carpenter a short shrift based on only one book, especially since he seemed to have the action where it was based on trying to bridge the gap between Sword of Skelos and Magnificent. To add a point C between Zamboula and Shadizar, it's just a shame that it was mostly boring.
Locations, Zamoran side of the west branch of the Kezanikan mts.
Characters: Conan, Jondra, Tamira, Eldran, Basraken Ismalla
Languages Spoken: Cimmerian, Aesir, Hyperborean, Brythunian, Zamorian, Kothic, Turanian, Shemitish.
Up Next is another from Robert Jordan and also the very first of the Tor volumes, Conan the Invincible.