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The Bloody Crown of Conan [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Robert E. Howard , Todd McLaren

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Book Description

Aug. 24 2009 Conan of Cimmeria (Book 2)
In his hugely influential and tempestuous career, Robert E. Howard created the genre that came to be known as sword and sorcery—and brought to life one of fantasy's boldest and most enduring figures: Conan the Cimmerian, reaver, slayer, barbarian, king.

This volume gathers together three of Howard's longest and most famous Conan stories:

THE PEOPLE OF THE BLACK CIRCLE

Amid the towering crags of Vendhya, in the shadowy citadel of the Black Circle, Yasmina of the golden throne seeks vengeance against the Black Seers. Her only ally is also her most formidable enemy—Conan, the outlaw chief.

THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON

Toppled from the throne of Aquilonia by the evil machinations of an undead wizard, Conan must find the fabled jewel known as the Heart of Ahriman to reclaim his crown...and save his life.

A WITCH SHALL BE BORN

A malevolent witch of evil beauty. An enslaved queen. A kingdom in the iron grip of ruthless mercenaries. And Conan, who plots deadly vengeance against the human wolf who left him in the desert to die.

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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor; MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (Aug. 24 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400162246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400162246
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,229,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Stories such as “The People of the Black Circle” glow with the fierce and eldritch light of his frenzied intensity.”
–STEPHEN KING

“I adore these books. Howard had a gritty, vibrant style–broadsword writing that cut its way to the heart, with heroes who are truly larger than life. I heartily recommend them to anyone who loves fantasy.”
–DAVID GEMMELL, author of Legend and White Wolf

From the Back Cover

“Stories such as “The People of the Black Circle” glow with the fierce and eldritch light of his frenzied intensity.”
–STEPHEN KING

“I adore these books. Howard had a gritty, vibrant style–broadsword writing that cut its way to the heart, with heroes who are truly larger than life. I heartily recommend them to anyone who loves fantasy.”
–DAVID GEMMELL, author of Legend and White Wolf

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See the unedited versions for the first time.. Nov. 24 2004
By Picardfan007 - Published on Amazon.com
I was unaware that an editing process took place with the books. I always believed that the stories were always printed in their original form. This wasn't the case. If you are a Conan and Robert E. Howard fan; these are the best editions ever. I only wish there were more beautiful chapter illustrations. They really add a quality to the book that otherwise wouldn't have been there. If you want to see a good movie about the real Robert E. Howard I'd get "The Whole Wide World" ...it has lots of insight as to the type of person he was...
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PURE HOWARD MAGIC Jan. 5 2005
By Tim Janson - Published on Amazon.com
I've read practically everything that Robert E. Howard has ever written, from Conan, Kull, Kane, and Bran Mak Morn to Kirby O'Donnell, El Borak, Sailor Steve Costigan, Pike Bearfield and most of his other weird menace, horror, boxing, and adventure stories in the middle. But I never tire of reading them again, especially when they are in handsome, lavishly illustrated editions such as the Bloody Crown of Conan. The book contains only three Conan stories but they are among the longest and best.

"A Witch Shall Be Born" written in 1934 contains among the most powerful images in all of Conan Lore as Conan is crucified in the desert and left to the pickings of the vultures. It is among the most vivid testaments to his strength and fortitude to have survived where any other man would perish.

"The Hour of the Dragon" was Howard's longest Conan tale and the only true Conan novel that REH ever wrote. Having just become King of Aquilonia, intrigue from neighboring Nemedia where the exiled Valerius had fled, results in the ressurection of one of Acheron's most powerful wizards Xaltotun, dead for some 3,000 years.

Conan is deposed from the throne and tossed into the dungeons to rot but is saved by a salve named Zenobia, who Conan would later re-pay by making her his wife and Queen. Conan then goes on a quest to find the Heart of Ahriman, the one item that can destroy the wizard. A truly epic Conan story and one where he must admit that his sword cannot win the day without help. Some make undue comparisons to Tolkien but Hour of the Dragon was written LONG before Lord of the Rings and there's no evidence that Howard was even aware of Tolkien.

The last story is another Classic, The People of the Black Circle. the plot involves a group of wizards on Mount Yimsha who kidnap the Devi Yasmina to their mountain stronghold. Conan must join up with another ruffian and rescue her. While all the characters are remarkably multifaceted, I particularly liked Khemsa, a novice wizard who is talked into rising above his station (and defying his masters) by his beautiful, scheming girlfriend.

Best of all these tales are not the edited versions you may have read in the old Ace and Berkely paperbacks, but pure, unedited Howard. Great stuff!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three of the Best Feb. 24 2005
By amster - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The second volume of Del Rey's definative collection of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories contains three of the best ones, The People of the Black Circle, The Hour of the Dragon, and A Witch Shall Be Born.

The People of the Black Circle: Its obvious early on that Howard was really starting to hit his stride with the character by the time he wrote this . It was, at the time, the longest Conan story he ever wrote, and contains multiple plotlines which converge. It also contains some great black humor which would be right at home in today's cinema. My favorite line is, "I think I'll have your heart, Kerim Shah!", at which point the evil wizard telekenetically rips the heart out from the victim's chest. This is basically an oriental adventure story. The geographical names are changed just enough so that the reader will immediately identify with its historical counterpart. India is Vendya, etc. Many people consider this the finest Conan story that REH ever wrote. While its not my personal favorite, its definately in the top five.

The Hour of the Dragon: The only full length Conan novel that Howard ever wrote. Yes, while its true that certain plot elements are derivative of earlier Conan stories (particarly "The Scarlet Citadel" and "Black Colossus"), this is nevertheless a remarkable achievement, and one of the best fantasy adventure novels of all time. Chronologically, its the last Conan story in the saga. Here we have a Conan that is less reckless, and more mature and responsible than his younger counterpart. After he loses his kingdom, he's driven to regain it, not for personal wealth and glory, but to bring justice back to the land on behalf of his subjects. King Conan is depicted as a wise and just ruler craves peace and prosperity, rather than war and conquest, for his kingdom. As its noted in the essay inside the book, whoever renamed this "Conan the Conqueror" missed the point entirely. Don't be fooled though. There's plenty of slaying for even the most die-hard REH fanatic. Let's just say that Conan doesn't kill anyone who doesn't have it coming to them.

A Witch Shall Be Born: Basically, the story itself is pretty forgettable. What makes this story stand out is the one scene that everyone remembers, which is Conan being crucified (this scene was depicted on film very faithfully in the first Conan movie). Was Howard, perhaps on a subconsious level, expressing his views on Christianity? Its an interesting thought. Conan, even after being crucified, is not one to "turn the other cheek". As you'll see, he remains defiant even in the face of certain defeat.

I can't wait for the third and final volume to come out, "The Conquering Sword of Conan".
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version Lacks the Illustrations. July 5 2012
By Phillip Atkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While there already is a review highlighting the Kindle versions problems, it deserves repetition. The Kindle version lacks the illustrations and what makes this more regrettable is the fact that the description in the Kindle store took the description from the original paper copy and talks up the missing illustrations. There is also a forward in each book that is written by the illustrator discussing his work. Without the illustrations, the main factor for purchasing what are mostly public domain stories is lost.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original is Best March 2 2006
By Jonathan C. Pike - Published on Amazon.com
In my youth I read the Conan stories of Robert Jordan and his contemporaries, mostly in the late 80's and early 90's. They were pretty good, and I thought one of those guys must've been the creator of Conan. How wrong I was. Howard's original stories blow every other Conan book I ever read out of the water. The man was a true master of sword and sorcery. Hell, he basically invented the genre! Every barbarian hero since Howard's time owes something to Conan. The stories are gripping and intense, and I even enjoyed reading the commentaries and analysis presented by the editors. All around an excellent compilation of some of Howard's best Conan stories. I highly reccommend picking up the other two books in this series, which round out all of Howard's original work.
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