A new Conan adventure--Conan of Venarium--from one of today's most popular writers of fantasy and science fiction, Harry Turtledove!
For decades, millions of readers have thrilled to the adventures of Conan, the barbarian adventurer invented by Robert E. Howard and further chronicled by other fantasy greats, including such notables as L. Sprague de Camp, Poul Anderson, and Robert Jordan.
Now Harry Turtledove, one of today's most popular writers of fantasy and SF, contributes a novel to the Conan saga--a tale of Conan in his youth, in the year or so before he becomes the wandering adventurer we know from the tales of Howard and others.
On the verge of adulthood, he lives in a Cimmerian hamlet, caring for his ailing mother, working in his father's smithy, and casting his eye on the weaver's daughter next door.
Then war comes: an invasion by the Aquilonian Empire. Conan burns to join the fight, but he's deemed too young. Then, from the border country, comes an unbelievable report: The Aquilonians have smashed the Cimmerian defending forces, and can rule as they please. Soon their heavily garrisoned forts dot the countryside. Their settlers follow after, carving homesteads out of other men's land.
Every Cimmerian longs to drive the intruders out with fire and sword, but they must stay their hands, for the Aquilonians have promised savage reprisals. Then, intolerably, the Aquilonian commander takes a wholly dishonorable interest in the weaver's daughter -- and he's not a man to wait, or even ask permission.
It's not a recipe for a peaceable outcome.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Master alternative historian Turtledove (American Empire) attempts to inject some life into the well-trod Conan sequel subgenre, but this coming-of-age story of Robert E. Howard's barbarian hero is, alas, just as commonplace as all the other imitations by the late Lin Carter and company. Expansion-minded Aquilonians have invaded and occupied Fort Venarium in southern Cimmeria. Their lecherous commander, Count Stercus, seizes a pretty local girl at whom Conan has often gazed silently, like any tongue-tied teenage boy. You can bet the shy, untried Conan will take on the dastardly count, but will he get the girl? Later, Conan fights with the northern Cimmerians, who have gathered to drive out the Aquilonians. Eventually finding himself alone on the cusp of manhood, he realizes that his life will always be that of a wanderer and a thief. The fantasy elements are disappointingly few-a demonic bird, a huge venomous snake, a seer who foretells the boy's incredible future, a vision of a ruined temple that disappears as suddenly as it appears. Only Conan diehards and Turtledove completists will be likely to pick up this sword-with-little-sorcery novel.