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The Conan Chronicles: Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon

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Conan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become king of Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian Age. Collected together for the first time anywhere in the world, in chronological o Conan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become king of Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian Age. Collected together for the first time anywhere in the world, in chronological order, are all Robert E. Howard's definitive stories of Conan, exactly as he wrote them, as fresh, atmospheric and vibrant today as when they were first published in the pulp magazines more than sixty years ago.


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Conan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become king of Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian Age. Collected together for the first time anywhere in the world, in chronological o Conan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become king of Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian Age. Collected together for the first time anywhere in the world, in chronological order, are all Robert E. Howard's definitive stories of Conan, exactly as he wrote them, as fresh, atmospheric and vibrant today as when they were first published in the pulp magazines more than sixty years ago.

30 review for The Conan Chronicles: Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon

  1. 4 out of 5

    Builyyy

    Not bad. A classic Conan story. It has a little bit of everything, from dungeon crawls, to full scale battles, magical sorcerers, pirates and court politics and intrigue. Most of Howard's Conan tales are short stories and in some ways, Hour of the Dragon felt like a series of short stories stitched together. There is an overall narrative that keeps things moving but there is an episodic quality to it. Some of the plot and characters seem a bit cliche now, but at the time I imagine they were actua Not bad. A classic Conan story. It has a little bit of everything, from dungeon crawls, to full scale battles, magical sorcerers, pirates and court politics and intrigue. Most of Howard's Conan tales are short stories and in some ways, Hour of the Dragon felt like a series of short stories stitched together. There is an overall narrative that keeps things moving but there is an episodic quality to it. Some of the plot and characters seem a bit cliche now, but at the time I imagine they were actually quite groundbreaking. So I can't really knock it for that. It does suffer from the invincible hero syndrome wherein Conan always seems to come out on top. Even when things don't go his way, he is only temporarily setback and always gets his revenge. Some of the dramatic tension is lessened as a result. It is the exact opposite of the today's trend in fantasy to have shocking and dramatic turns of fortune for main characters. Of interest to myself was how I could see the obvious influence that Conan stories, like this one, had on the high-fantasy genre itself. Case in point, Dungeons and Dragons borrows far more from Conan in style and substance than LotR. So it was interesting to see the original in action. Overall, it was a well written novel. Howard's writing evoked the unique Hyborian setting with ease and Conan is a fascinating character in his own right. I look forward to reading more of this short stories in the future.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joel Puga

    "Hour of the Dragon" é, sem dúvida, a minha história favorita do Conan. Um grupo de rivais tenta depor Conan do trono de Aquilonia e, para esse fim, despertam o ancestral necromante Xaltotun. Depois de uma batalha inicial em que as suas forças são derrotadas, Conan parte numa enorme aventura para descobrir o único artefacto capaz de enviar Xaltotun de volta para a campa, o Coração de Ahriman. É incrível a quantidade de ambientes pela qual o nosso bárbaro favorito passa, as aventuras que vive, os "Hour of the Dragon" é, sem dúvida, a minha história favorita do Conan. Um grupo de rivais tenta depor Conan do trono de Aquilonia e, para esse fim, despertam o ancestral necromante Xaltotun. Depois de uma batalha inicial em que as suas forças são derrotadas, Conan parte numa enorme aventura para descobrir o único artefacto capaz de enviar Xaltotun de volta para a campa, o Coração de Ahriman. É incrível a quantidade de ambientes pela qual o nosso bárbaro favorito passa, as aventuras que vive, os monstros que derrota e as situações porque passa. Acreditem, acontece mais nestas duzentas e poucas páginas que em muitas sagas de fantasia com dez livros. E, ainda mais surpreendente, em nenhum momento senti que a história estava a ser apressada. Tudo se passa ao ritmo certo. Não sei se nos livros do Conan publicados pela Saída de Emergência se pode encontrar esta história, pois eu li a versão do fantasy masterworks, vista acima, e que inclui muitos outros contos (já agora, também recomendo a "The Phoenix on the Sword"), mas merece ser lida por todos os fãs de fantasia, especialmente os amantes de sword and sorcery. E, ao falar desta novela, não posso deixar de vos mostrar a incrível figura do Xaltotun criada pela Macfarlane's Toys. Publicado originalmente no meu blogue.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dion

    Had I read this as a young adult I would have been utterly captivated by the character, the writings, and the wider world which Howard sets his tales. As an adult reader, encountering these tales for the first time, I've found them engaging but flawed for the most part. Whilst there is much to be admired in the world-building and in the immediacy and urgency of the writing, I found the characterisation to be pretty one-dimensional, and the plots a little too full of lucky happenstance. I can see Had I read this as a young adult I would have been utterly captivated by the character, the writings, and the wider world which Howard sets his tales. As an adult reader, encountering these tales for the first time, I've found them engaging but flawed for the most part. Whilst there is much to be admired in the world-building and in the immediacy and urgency of the writing, I found the characterisation to be pretty one-dimensional, and the plots a little too full of lucky happenstance. I can see why they are thought of as classics of the fantasy genre, and would certainly recommend them to youngsters looking to step beyond the safety of YA books into a darker, more exciting, and brutal vein of story-telling, but I don't see myself hunting down the first volume of these stories any time soon. I'd be more likely to reread Elric of Melnibone - a series that shares many of Conan's joys (and flaws) but which I encountered at the 'right' age to worm its way into my heart.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Harrison

    You can never go wrong with Robert E. Howard's Conan stories. I have read these stories numerous times and every time I get completely lost in them. These stories have blood and guts fights and grand battles, damsels in distress, pirates, thieves, assasins, sorcerers with dark magic and supernatural beasts..... what more could you want! Highly recommended!! You can never go wrong with Robert E. Howard's Conan stories. I have read these stories numerous times and every time I get completely lost in them. These stories have blood and guts fights and grand battles, damsels in distress, pirates, thieves, assasins, sorcerers with dark magic and supernatural beasts..... what more could you want! Highly recommended!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Phil Syphe

    I rate Robert E. Howard as the most imaginative author that I've ever read. His creative powers are perhaps the most notable in the world of Conan. Howard's detailed map of the fictitious Hyborean Age and its history, including that leading up to the time of Conan's birth, are exceptional. I've read some of the stories featured in this collection twice before, first in my pre- and early teens, secondly in my early twenties. Other stories here are brand new to me. I read a lot of fantasy and sword I rate Robert E. Howard as the most imaginative author that I've ever read. His creative powers are perhaps the most notable in the world of Conan. Howard's detailed map of the fictitious Hyborean Age and its history, including that leading up to the time of Conan's birth, are exceptional. I've read some of the stories featured in this collection twice before, first in my pre- and early teens, secondly in my early twenties. Other stories here are brand new to me. I read a lot of fantasy and sword & sorcery as a child and as a teen, yet in adulthood my tastes have mostly changed, except I still love Howard's Conan stories and most of his other works. Of the two volumes of the Conan Chronicles, this second one appeals to me less, though that's not say they fail to impress. While Volume 2 features an older Conan vying for power and getting involved in more political battles, the first volume shows the barbarian at the beginning of his fame - and that fame had nothing to do with being crowned king or being political - and for my tastes I much prefer the Conan featured in Volume 1, as he is always in search of adventure, which often includes him stealing treasures from a dangerous situation, encountering a scantily-clad - or naked - woman along the way. All good fun! Howard is, in my opinion, the best writer of battle scenes. Conan's sword fighting is superbly depicted. His plotting is always well done without being over-complicated. His characters are vivid, as are his descriptions. A supreme author and a superb read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    F.

    I have read this book before and I realized it about half way through. I don't think I ever finished it the first time though and if I recall correctly that may because I was in the middle of reading this as I had to leave for basic training 11 or so years ago. This is a great book and unfortunately I have not read the other one, the first part of the collection. Or at least not all of it, but who honestly knows. The way that Howard's stories have been printed and reprinted dozens of times with I have read this book before and I realized it about half way through. I don't think I ever finished it the first time though and if I recall correctly that may because I was in the middle of reading this as I had to leave for basic training 11 or so years ago. This is a great book and unfortunately I have not read the other one, the first part of the collection. Or at least not all of it, but who honestly knows. The way that Howard's stories have been printed and reprinted dozens of times with a different cover on each and ever one both singly and as part of numerous compendiums I have probably read half the first volume already as well and just don't know it yet. I actually had to shelve this as a classic as well as a fantasy considering that Howard and Tolkien are the fathers of fantasy and that these stories were all written in the early 1930's. If you're a fan of dark, violent, gritty fantasy then the Conan stories are something you should get off you ass and read. If that's not your thing then, well . . . why the hell not?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pasquale

    Pretty cool to see Conan in print. Decent for what it is; 1930s pulp.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ricardo

    El criterio editorial a la hora de ordenar estos relatos de Conan hizo que me terminara gustando más el primer volumen, que es el que reúne las historias más cortas (y en mi opinión las mejores) del bárbaro de Cimmeria. A pesar de eso la obra de Howard está por encima de la mayoría de la narrativa épica que me he encontrado jamás, y es increíble lo moderna que se siente a pesar de que muchos de los textos reunidos aquí tienen alrededor de ochenta años. Me gusta que este volumen incluya además un El criterio editorial a la hora de ordenar estos relatos de Conan hizo que me terminara gustando más el primer volumen, que es el que reúne las historias más cortas (y en mi opinión las mejores) del bárbaro de Cimmeria. A pesar de eso la obra de Howard está por encima de la mayoría de la narrativa épica que me he encontrado jamás, y es increíble lo moderna que se siente a pesar de que muchos de los textos reunidos aquí tienen alrededor de ochenta años. Me gusta que este volumen incluya además un borrador de "Lobos de allende la frontera", que tiene la particularidad de mostrarnos un poco cómo era el proceso creativo de Howard, quien por lo visto armaba un esquema argumental que luego iba desarrollando por partes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Incredible stories of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E Howard. They work brilliantly through the pure energy the stories thrive on, almost like Conan is in a bar retelling his stories to a group of spectators, animating out all the action in his grand gusto. This collection is better than the first, mainly because the first one had some by-the-number stories whilst this includes the likes of Red Nails and Hour of the Dragon. Hour of the Dragon was sadly Robert E Howard's only completed novel but Incredible stories of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E Howard. They work brilliantly through the pure energy the stories thrive on, almost like Conan is in a bar retelling his stories to a group of spectators, animating out all the action in his grand gusto. This collection is better than the first, mainly because the first one had some by-the-number stories whilst this includes the likes of Red Nails and Hour of the Dragon. Hour of the Dragon was sadly Robert E Howard's only completed novel but its incredibly fast paced for one written in his time and a worthy conclusion to the Conan chronology.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ian Banks

    "To Xaltotun, grand fakir of Nemedia: Dog of Acheron, I am returning to my kingdom, and I mean to hang your hide on a bramble. "Conan" Just brilliant. Not perfect, but close enough as to not matter a damn. This collection holds a few novellas and the only novel in the Conan canon, The Hour Of The Dragon, which is astonishingly good for all that it crams several trilogies worth of action into less than 200 pages. "To Xaltotun, grand fakir of Nemedia: Dog of Acheron, I am returning to my kingdom, and I mean to hang your hide on a bramble. "Conan" Just brilliant. Not perfect, but close enough as to not matter a damn. This collection holds a few novellas and the only novel in the Conan canon, The Hour Of The Dragon, which is astonishingly good for all that it crams several trilogies worth of action into less than 200 pages.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Justin Barker

    Conan the ultimate man! Hard as nails and a cavorter of women! What are the best things in life Conan? To have a chocolate doughnut, read a good comic book and be in a World of your own, hmm, not quite the same, as to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Superb, really haven't aged. As good today as ever! Superb, really haven't aged. As good today as ever!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Iain Watson

    Conan Chronicles, The by Robert E. Howard (2001)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Florin Pitea

    Read it. Loved it. Recommended. For a detailed review, please visit my blog: http://tesatorul.blogspot.ro/2009/07/.... Read it. Loved it. Recommended. For a detailed review, please visit my blog: http://tesatorul.blogspot.ro/2009/07/....

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marcus

    Robert E. Howard taught me that there's no problem which can't be solved by "iron thews," "leather wrapped broadsword," and "supple breasts." Robert E. Howard taught me that there's no problem which can't be solved by "iron thews," "leather wrapped broadsword," and "supple breasts."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Reading one of the novellas every now and then. Red Nails left me a little underwhelmed - it's interesting because of the historical context, but it's not aged well. Reading one of the novellas every now and then. Red Nails left me a little underwhelmed - it's interesting because of the historical context, but it's not aged well.

  17. 5 out of 5

    RandomSkev

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stirling Westrup

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dantegideon

  20. 5 out of 5

    Colin

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael Dean

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wildkhaine

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mauricio Soares

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Williams

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mjb

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sérgio

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bokeshi

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Peppan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael

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