Monday, September 27, 2010

12. Tor #24, Conan the Outcast by leonard Carpenter, part 5

Now in league with Khumannos, and leading the procession of the stone Idol. Conan regains entry to the town of Qjara. Church business is church business, and who are city guards to argue with that sort of reasoning. The great church combination must proceed so the Idol, Khumannos and Conan are allowed into the city.. if not welcomed.

After some time of waiting all the components of the Idol have arrived in Qjara, and Khummanos and his workmen are busy assembling it in its new temple. during this time, Conan has the opportunity to converse with Princess Afriandra about the nature of religion and things of that sort.

Shortly following the completion of the idol, crowds have begun to form. Afriandra and her sister priestess's beseech the people of Qjara to cast out Khummanos and his blasphemous idol, when Khummanos asks for calm and explains the whole situation. That Qjara is to be a sacrifice to his dread god, Votantha, so that Sark may live again. Conan, feeling he has been taken for a fool has to suppress the urge to simply dispatch Khummanos then and there, and after he helped the priest across the desert and everything..

His plan blatantly revealed to the masses the pilgrims and priests of Votantha begin to rampage through the city and the giant, now animate, idol begins to attack and consume all the Qjarans it can lay its testicles on. Conan, finds his knife from the Shanki ineffective so he "acquires" a magic sword.. and magic armor.. which which to hopefully slay the demon.

After the battle, having saved the city for a second time. The King and Queen announce that Conan is no longer an outcast, and Conan quite amicably states that he's never been one to hold a grudge. Friends again, dark priests plans foiled, as soon as a Northern bound caravan is available it will be time for Conan to once more begin his journey north to Shadizar.

The End.

Review, This book was boring, really boring. so boring that it took me nearly a month to read it. And Conan was extremely not Conan in it. despite all my moaning about Steve Perry.. His books were silly, but at least his Conan at least shared a few identifiable features.

Mr. Carpenters Conan however, spends an inordinate amount of time doing well.. helpful.. things. He teaches the local orphans how to fish. He seems to expend a lot of worry over the slaves who are moving Khummanos's Idol through the desert. He also whines about something not being Fair.... if you have ever seen the program Venture Brothers.. I expect Carpenter's Conan to talk rather like the character Shore Leave.

On the plus column, this book adds geographical and political levels to the normally empty "Shem" on the maps. It provides that deep into the deserts of Shem, around water courses, there are a number of small city states. That is rather more interesting than the story itself.

Locations, Eastern Shemitish Desert.
Towns, Sark, Qjara, Yb the cursed.
Characters: Conan, Khumanos, Anaximander, Zaius,
Languages Spoken: Cimmerian, Aesir, Hyperborean, Brythunian, Zamorian, Kothic, Turanian, Shemitish.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

12. Tor #24, Conan the Outcast by leonard Carpenter, part 4

The day of the duel has arrived, Conan v. Zaius, winner take the princess. The bulk of the town has turned out to witness this event, understandably so, since if it's as dull as it seems they probably haven't had this much excitement since the last outbreak of Shemitish sand fleas. Zaius blusters and struts, thinking the Barbarian easy prey for his disciplined sword arm. As Monarch and townspeople watch, Zaius raises his sword and then neatly cuts his own head off*.

Conan is astounded and demands what sort of farce this contest is, but he is quickly shushed by the priestess's of Qjara lest he spoil the moment with his blasphemous chatter. Conan is thus defeated, through a technicality, and is shunned by the tiny nation-state of Qjara. He protests, but this avails him nothing. So in leaving Qjara, he reflects on what brought him here in the first place.

After leaving Zamboula, he began to journey northwest. But a series of dry oasis necessitated his veering off course during his journey. His ultimate goal was and still is to return to Shadizar, but since he had been thwarted by nature, he chose to wait in Qjara for a northbound caravan. But that has now been denied him as well, not one to sulk, he sets off on his own.

After some days he finds himself in a deserted city in the middle of the waste. He realizes with horror that this city is the cursed Yb. A demon haunted ruin shunned by everyone. He eventually encounters an unlikely procession, a great wagon bearing a stone idol, headed towards Qjara under the auspices of Khumannos the high priest. With a desire to right the wrongs inflicted on him by the people of Qjara he accepts Khumannos as a traveling companion and they head eastward once more.

*I swear I'm not making this up.

Monday, September 13, 2010

12. Tor #24, Conan the Outcast by leonard Carpenter, part 3

After a vacation to recuperate from a crippling attack of boredom. we will be Picking back up with Conan The Uneventful..err The Outcast.. were we left him.. in exactly the same place he has been for 100 pages..the world knows what he will do now.. but I suspect exactly the same thing he's been doing for 100 pages... nothing.

Conan is teaching the local gutter snipes to fish the ready creek that he has been camped near for days. But soon has to babysit the whole herd of them when the city is attacked. He then proceeds to help out about town fending off the attacking nomads, its an awfully civilized thing for him to do. This gains him some prestige with the populous.. but nothing but a disdainful look from Guardian Zaius. For his gallantry Zaius earns special blessings of church and state, and to Conan too is honour bestowed. He receives as his reward a kiss from the Princess, and as result is forced into a duel with Zaius.

Before this happens however, the King and Queen of Qjara ride out to meet the coming mission of King Anaximander of Sark who has come to discuss matters of kingly import. Philosophical debates ensue, and a proposal to marry the two city-states faiths is batted about, then the two rulers embark on a field trip to the desert. Its while on this trip that Anaximander is alerted to the progress of priest Khumanos in fulfilling his designs.

The Princess and Conan converse for some time, dwelling on her proof of her prophetic powers.. in the end she beseeches Conan not to fight Zaius, for he will surly lose.