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Review Of Conan The Invincible (Robert Jordan)


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#21 amiableakuma

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:09 AM


Robert Jordan is one of my favorite...
(quote trimmed)
....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 your skin on edge if you let it.

Edited by amiableakuma, 20 June 2014 - 01:26 PM.


#22 Boot

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 03:43 AM

I love this book.  I really do.  I read it in high school at 16 years old.  I loved it then.  And, I've read it two or three other times since then.  I'm re-reading it now.  I'm about half way through.

 

The chapters fly past.  The prose is superb.  Karela is about as complex a character as you will ever find in a Conan tale.  The book is full of memorable characters, such as Hordo, the one-eyed lieutenant to Karela Red Hawk bandits.  Jordan hits all the highs of a great Conan tale.  There's dark sorcery and an evil Stygian necromancer who commands non-human, snake-like men.  There's bandits and soldiers chasing them.  Theres a powerful demon from the haunted times long forgotten.  And, there's Conan, top of his game as thief in Shadizar, plying his trade even among the royal palace of King Tiradates' court.

 

I think it would make an excellent film.

 

And, I especially like how Jordan mentions other Conan tales in the story.  Most often, Conan stories are episodic with little link to anything that has gone on before or after it.  Conan The Invincible begins in Shadizar.  Conan is still very young, but he has become known as one of the best thieves in all of Zamora.  The events from The Tower of the Elephant are mentioned.  Conan still has the ancient broadsword that he obtained in the story The Thing in the Crypt (also retold differently in the 1982 movie).  Abuletes, the tavern keeper, and one of his whores, Semiramis, both make appearances in the tale.  Both characters are also seen in the story The Hall of the Dead.  And, at the end of the tale, Conan makes for for Larsha, obviously about to live the adventure of that story.

 

This is a top knotch, high quality, excellent Conan tale.  Highly recommended.

 

I like it so much, I'd even call it a "perfect" Conan story.

 

Not everyone will agree, of course, but I like it that much.



#23 Tex

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:46 AM

This book is discussed in detail here...

 

Review Of Conan The Invincible

 

You even talked about it here.

 

Tex

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#24 Tex

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:52 AM

This was my first Jordan from back in the day.

 

Our very own Lagomorph Rex, at his Hyborean Apocrypha site, reviews it here.

 

Tex

(I concur with his views on it)



#25 deuce

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:43 PM

This book is discussed in detail here...

 

Review Of Conan The Invincible

 

 

(Advanced Search is your friend)

 

Merged.  :)


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#26 Buxom Sorceress

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:52 AM

...

I think it would make an excellent film.

...

 

I agree.
Tis a cracking good very entertaining S&S adventure, and is 1 of the best pastiches.
Thanks for all your comments. :)
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