Robert Jordan is one of my favorite...
....not the gritty Barbarian that Howard created.
^^^Great previous post, Boot. I can see I agree with some of your conclusions, and will look forward to reading more Jordan Conan. I also thought of maybe saying to people "read Invincible first" for a Conan newb since as you mentioned there is a "commercialized", slightly more mainstream/palpable style for the character in the book.
Still, I like the way Jordan reconciled the two portrayals of the character in the novel. Conan definitely is not without an edge here. And Jordan helps realistically explain his more "out-of-character" turns of heroism through things like Conan as a barbarian being superstitious about breaking an oath he swore to his Gods and so on.
For ex, the Conan here wouldn't just run toward peril to save a princess out of the good of his heart but his motivation for such a quest might come from stumbling upon the princess while stealing from her captors only to then impulsively swear an oath to free her, partially based on the raw anger he feels toward those who've imprisoned her and/or his own personal greed of being able to further loot more treasure along the way.
Another thing I liked about how Jordan wrote this book was that victims in the book including Conan, often seemed to be at the mercy of a real threat/danger. Often you don't feel this as much in books or movies because you either don't care about the characters in the first place, or the stakes seem low, or just because the threat seems shallow in general.
But, for ex, even though the wizard villian here endured some corny descriptions of his attire/style/etc - what he was ultimately doing to his victims was written to be truly shocking/frightening. Plus, Conan's first encounter with the bandits, the two armies ordeal in the mountains, what eventually happens to Karela as she deals with the wizard, etc. - were all things that could set you skin on edge if you let it.
Edited by amiableakuma, 10 February 2012 - 01:16 AM.