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Conan The Defiant


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#1 edgerat

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 09:47 AM

Just read 'Conan the Defiant' by Steve Perry. I'm vaguely collecting the masses of pastiches as I come across them; also have an interest in 'early life' stories. However this one was a real stinker. Following on directly from 'The Thing in the Crypt' (a De Camp/Carter story I find hard to dislike as it's so simple, more of a sketch than a tale) this jaunty adventure has Conan fighting assorted rogues and enemies in a revenge quest. set amidst some supernatural hokum. The plotting reads more like the output of a role-playing game than a novel. 'Zombies' don't ring true in the Brythunian setting (and hadn't Conan just fought 'Legions of the Dead a few weeks or months before? A little variety would be good.) The light-hearted treatment doesn't sit well and seems unrealistic for a character who, decades later, will still find the supernatural a source of dread. Worst of all - would Conan really have casual sex with an attractive, if cold, 'zombie girl'? I don't think necrophile tendencies appear anywhere else in the saga. Perhaps they meant to call it 'Conan the Deviant'.

#2 grim cimmerian

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 11:53 PM

Steve Perry is at the bottom of most Pastiche fans lists. He even writes Conan having sex non humans. I think perhaps he has issues that need therapy :)

I am glad that you wrote a review of defiant on here. I think we need more of that around here! There are some reviews by Ringhaunter, Buxom and others but most titles haven't been discussed yet. I have commited myself to rereading all of the TOR pastiches I own (38 out of 43) and doing a review of each and every one. :D
How many do you have edgerat? We were just discussing this on the Conan Pastiche thread (check it out for a complete list of all 71 pastiches)
"WOE UNTO MY FOEMEN, PITY THEIR WIDOWS AND KIN."
All flatlanders are soft and frail, I enjoy those qualities in their women.
"By CROM if you so much as touch your hilt I'll split you from crown to crotch and see if your guts are as yellow as I think they are!"

#3 edgerat

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 10:14 AM

How many do you have edgerat? We were just discussing this on the Conan Pastiche thread (check it out for a complete list of all 71 pastiches)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'm not at home to count 'em, but I need 34 so have a long way to go. Will write comments as I read them. I recently reread 'Road of Kings' and enjoyed it more than when it first appeared. Liked 'Valorous', tolerated 'Emerald Lotus'...
Anyway, you're a brave man reading all the Tors - hope you don't need therapy at the end of it!

#4 High Lord Dee

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:38 AM

I put this together for the Mongoose Game forum but I thought I would share it here. Nothing other than cut and paste mostly. I found the book to be OK as far as Perry goes but will not argue the overall quality. Still, it is Conan and there is always something interesting to take away from the story. This could be considered a spoiler to some so read at your own risk:

Conan the Defiant
Steve Perry
Copywrite 1987


Non-Player Characters:

Neg the Malefic ? Brythunian Scholar (Necromancer)
Ranked amongst the highest in his control of necromantic energies. Most likely the most powerful scholar in Corinthia. Typical of one of his power: egotistical, short tempered, and hungry for power. Interesting relationship with Tuanne but overall just another boring all powerful Necromancer (but with some cool artifacts!).

Tuanne ? Zamoran Noble Zombie
She had been beautiful in life and in death kept her beauty for over 100 years. She has long black hair and flimsy clothing. Her skin made the palest ivory seem dark. Her body was as lush and as rich as any living woman?s. She does not bleed and any wounds heal immediately into the whiteness of her skin. She can still feel human emotions and has the ability to cry.

Cengh ? Priest of Suddah Oblates ? Brythunian Scholar
Perhaps 30 years old, he was a tall man with light hair and a short beard. Cengh dressed in the dark robes of the Priests of Suddah Oblate. He used a short wooden stick, a slightly curved cane of sorts, as a weapon (fimbo). Cengh falls to the blade of Skeer in his burglary attempt to seize the Talisman of Light.

Mikahl the Messenger ? Priest of Suddah Oblates ? Shared in Cengh?s fate.

Oblate Kenshas ? Master of arms of the Priests of Suddah Oblates ? Brythunian Scholar/Soldier. 65 winters old,

Oblate Malo ? Brythunian Scholar/Soldier. Kenshas? best student. 20 years old and muscular. Vain and brash.

Skeer ? Brythunian Thief
Thief, footpad, spy, and assasin. Under the pay of Neg the Malefic. Specialized in spying. His face radiated truth and innocence. His smile was so angelic, that even his victims would have a difficult time not liking him. It had been said that if he were caught stabbing a merchant, he could say that he was merely cleaning his dagger and get away with it. Skeer has the ability to commune with Neg by drawing his symbol in fresh blood. His real passions were women and smoke-weed. Skeer was poisoned by Neg after delivering the Source of Light. Neg had brought Skeer back to life as a loyal undying zombie.

Elashi ? Khauran Nomad/Noble
Her hair was hacked off short, but her face was more than that of a girlish male. Early twenties. Worships Mitra. Daughter of Lorven, Chief of his tribe. He was slain by agents of Neg. She is to avenge her father?s death and retrieve the stolen property. She is a woman of deadly resolve. She can read trail signs as well as any man in her village. Whatever else she was, she was no sword fighter. After Conan had slain Neg, she traveled briefly with him until she returned back to her desert village.

Emreaves ? Zamoran Scholar ? High Priest of Opkothard

Disguise Master ? Zamoran Thief
His disguises are second to none. In 20 winters, he had never been seen for what he was while he plied his trade. He has amassed a fortune over the years. Gold means nothing to him. Craft and Honor means everything. If he is ever detected, he will stop at nothing to avenge his honor. He also knows sailing terms well being impressed into service by a ship?s gang and was forced to sail the Vilayet Sea for over a year. His weapon of choice, if forced to fight, was the cross bow. He was slain by Conan in the Vanata village (beheaded).

The Brute ? Assassin
The man was a killer. He is big, dirty, brutal, and course. He stank of sweat and wine. He has plied his trade for 6 years and still lives. His reputation has him killing over 17 men in personal combat. Double that number were killed due to backstabs. Brute was slain by Conan in the Vanata village.

Zenk the Knife Maker ? Zamoran/Brythunian Noble
Maker of knives and swords for the City of Mystery.

Imelda ? Brythunian Commoner
Works at the Boiled Pig Inn within Neg?s Domain as a server and whatever else the customer is paying for. She is known for being able to keep secrets.

Belinda ? Brythunian Commoner
Local trull at the Boiled Pig Inn. She has long beautiful hair.


Organizations:

Men-With-No-Eyes ? Captives kept in the cold under dungeon of Neg the Malefic. Men called them the Dead-but-not-Dead or Zombies. They have no need for light. They wish for nothing more than to slip from the Grey Lands into true death. Their eyes are entirely white with ?clouds? moving back and forth in the milky globes. An ordinary man watching might fear his own sanity. Salt(water) seems to immobilize them for a short time. The Men have hearing beyond that of normal men. They are unnaturally fast and strong.

Priests of Suddah Oblates ? Do not believe in killing men. While they oppose violence, they realize that nothing else will suffice. They train in the use of the cane as a weapon. Also will use nets and ropes. Will not eat meat or fowl or anything with warm meat. They will eat fish. Reknown for their wineries. They lived a communal existence. No mechanism for coin existed.

Priests of the Eight Legged God With No Name ? Cult that headquarters in Opkothard. They worship the Eight Legged God With No Name. They will tolerate no insolence as it pertains to their God and will strike first if they believe there is any threat to their They have an informal alliance with the Priests of Suddah Oblates.


Artifacts

The Source of Light ? Artifact
Talisman that provides its bearer with the ultimate control of the undead. It was found in the ruins of an ancient city uncovered by the shifting sands in the deserts of Khauran. The artifact must rest in a crystal carved to receive it, receive all of the proper geas, and have the proper incantations spoken. Once activated, it will begin to glow, pulse as if alive, and give off a radiant light of such clarity that it will hurt the eyes gaze upon it. The talisman gives the bearer the ability to take away life and return the victim as an undying, loyal zombie. The power is great enough to create an Army of the Night and affect all undead within 15 miles. It also has the power to create the ?True Death? for those undying creatures that cannot pass to the Grey Lands.

BiblioNecron ? Ancient Book of Necromancy
The Book of the Damned ? Ancient Book of Necromancy
The Black Folio - Ancient Book of Necromancy

The Curse of the Shes ? Spell
An ancient curse created by the Priests of the Eight Legged God With No Name. A powerful ritual magic, the final phase required incense. The Shes, once summoned, would not stop until their task was accomplished. The Shes are spiders ? thousands of them, hairy legged and big (the size of a man?s hand).


Conan setting descriptions:[/b]

The Temple That Will Not Fall ? Massive stone structure perched impossibly on a thin spire of rock. Support struts extended from the spire to the base of manmade structures. The struts bore a number of arches. The place was easily the size of a small town or large village. The entrance is gained by climbing steep steps cut into the mountain rock and leads to a split wooden gate set into a rock wall (easily thrice the height of any man). The gate itself is approximately 2 feet thick and on iron hinges for strength. It is also manned by guards. Inside, the rich smells of people, animals and cooking flowed out of the temple air. There were streets, houses and larger buildings. Women are not allowed inside the temple. The Priests are a celibate order. Public baths are cut out of a smooth white stone building. Inside, mint steam runs out of the clean water. Rooms were clean but not luxurious. The large dining hall was laid out with long tables.

Neg the Malefic?s Domain
Neg?s Keep ? p. 37 = cyrstal room. Vast it was and ancient. Time had weathered the dark grey stone. The blocks had been set and quarried without mortar. Years could not wash out the evil that the castle radiated. The castle has only one entrance that is surrounded by a moat. The moat housed fish the size of men with sharp teeth as long as a finger. And in the depths, monsters that feed on the fish make them seem small. Guards (Men Without Eyes) patrolled the walls
Vanata Village ? It has many names but it is generally known as Vanata in honor of a local man who had proved himself with politics a hundred years past. It is also called the Necromancer?s Hold by those who are aware of Neg. The local villagers simply call it Rain Town due to the unnatural amount of rain that they receive even when the surrounding areas are dry.
There are 3 inns in the town. The Smoking Cat is one. The Boiled Pig is the smallest. A large grain shed stores grain for the village and the castle. Neg destroyed his village with the Army of the Night as a test of his newfound power (Talisman of Light).

The High Brythunian Road ? A desolate place. Even when the sun warmed the lower lands, cold shrouded the mountain passes with permanent blankets of snow. Narrow paths were kept clear by the boots and mounts of travelers but winter saw the thickening of the snow to thrice the height of a normal man (15-16?).

The City of Opkothard, the City of Mystery ? Lying in the valley of the Death Mask. Massive walls surround the city (at least 12 times the height of a man!). The walls are the exact color as the surrounding rock. The South Gate is made of iron gates leading into the city are roughly half the height of the walls. The path leading to the gates narrows to a single dray (to avoid siege). To either side, a sheer drop looms to sharp jagged rocks below. Just before the gates, a domino bridge finished the path. There is a large symbol of a fat spider painted near the gates representing the Nameless God, a patron Diety of Yezud.

Inside the city, the smells of people, cooking, and waste all blended together to create an aromatic odor. A cleared area in front of a row of buildings holds a man-sized carving of a spider. The streets seem relatively wide, but numerous alleys branched from them, narrow paths between the manmade rock structures. There are two entrances to the city. The first is the gate and the other leads to the enclosed valley where the crops are grown.

Trader Store ? Stock kept mostly outside under a blue tarp.

Tarantula Inn ? Located in the seedier side of town, several torches line the walls creating a smoky, yellow cast. The central room is large with a large fireplace

The Temple of the Eight Legged God with no Name ? A black temple in the middle of Opthokard.

Temple of Vela ? Small temple dedicated to the worship of Vela, a minor harvest deity.

Opthokard Morgue ? The morgue had been dug deep within the ground. The only light comes from sconces set here and there on the walls.

The In-Between Lands - Other dimension of Hyboria. A bit D&D like with regard to Etheral travel but interesting nonetheless. This was one of the low points for me in the book.



Creatures

Stith ? Tall as Conan, 2 short arms and 2 legs. Scaled and greyish green, it dragged a thick tail that tapered to a sharp point. It has the face of a lizard, slits for nostrils, and yellow eyes. Its lips look like they were made to whistle. On top of its head was compartmental plate that rattled when it walks. Its teeth are the size and shape of a child?s dagger. Can spit a stinking steam of glowing emerald liquid that causes illness or death. Lives in the mountains surrounding the Temple That Will Not Fall in Northern Brythunia/Southern Hyperborea. They are solitary and territorial.


Dire Wolves ? Half the size of a horse and as white as the surrounding snow with finger long fangs.

[b]Werewolves
? They look like wolves and act as wolves but have human intelligence and are impervious to normal weapons.
Men are sheep and I am the shepherd

#5 Xaltotun

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:49 PM

Great info.
Thanks.
I recognized the Stith. It's statted out in Road of Kings.
But are any of the others mentioned/statted in the books thus far?
If you could make this type of list for each of the pastiches that would rock!

Edited by Xaltotun, 09 August 2006 - 04:52 PM.


#6 Buxom Sorceress

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 05:11 PM

hey HIGH LORD DEE, thanks for your detailed rpg-style disection/spoiler of Defiant.
very interesting and useful. B)

Perry often has some imaginative and fun ideas.
his action and creativity are usually far more entertaining than most of the dull dross which was churned out by carpenter and green.
but his 'lite' version of conan is like a jester compared to the superb grimness and impressiveness of the great Conan by JMRoberts.
----
[ right, back to my poem. i'm in the middle of some new exciting pirating action with Amra and Belit. may Loki and Set, and the lotus fumes continue to inspire me... :) ]

AVATARS GALORE
HYBORIAN Limericks + Rhymes
Lots of FUN and serious new RHYMING Hyborian/Fantasy poetry.

"So I took to a life of adventure and daring
leaving most warriors drooling and staring.
After I danced with my exotic flesh baring
I would vanish into the new Sunrise glaring."

#7 sherlock

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:34 PM

I thought that this wasn't a bad pastiche at all. The review below is one of several on my blog. I try to include a cover picture with the reviews there as well. They usually feature classic sword and sorcery illustrations, as you all know.

Though many of his stories have grave warts, I think that Robert E. Howard was an amazing writer: specifically in all but creating the sword and sorcery genre. Some of the Conan tales are simply outstanding.

There have been dozens of pastiches (Conan tales by other authors) of varying quality. (note to self: poke fun at fellow Sherlockian attitudes toward pastiches. They'd have conniption fits if Holmes was treated like Conan has been).

Tor #13/1987

This is the econd of the five novels that Steve Perry wrote in the fifty-book Tor Series. In William Galen Gray’s chronology it is the fourth Conan tale (following Conan of Venarium, Legions of the Dead and The Thing in the Crypt), taking place before Sean Moore’s Conan the Hunter.

The young Conan comes upon a lone priest being waylaid by five bandits. Impressed with the stranger’s skill with a wooden staff, the Cimmerian wades in and helps the man dispatch his opponents. Cengh, a priest of the Suddah Oblates, is later murdered, sending Conan on a quest of justice for his short-time friend.

In typical Conan fashion, he beds Elashi, a desert-bred warrior maiden as well as Tuanne, a beautiful zombie. Yep, a zombie. Being the irresistable stud he is, the trio engage in threesomes all along their trek to the bad guy’s castle. More adolescent fantasies in a Conan book here.

Neg the Malefic is a necromancer who needs a gem called The Source of Light to raise and unleash a horde of undead minions to conquer the world. Both Conan’s and Elisha’s quests are a result of Neg’s machinations, even though the evil spellcaster has no idea who they are.

There is no shortage of foes in this tale, with undead, the Men with No Eyes, Neg’s lackey, the Suddah Oblates, agents in the employ of The One With No Name and an ensorcelled pack of spiders providing more than enough bad guys at every step of the way. With so many enemies to deal with, it is surprising how often Conan finds time to have sex with his two travelling partners.

The story, which is rather linear, is an okay read. There is enough tension throughout, with the time element constantly in play and moving things along. The final confrontation with Neg is a bit of a let down and I had to read it a second time, as it didn’t quite make sense on the first try. I’m still not sure it did the second time, either.

Conan the Defiant is worth reading for fans of the muscle-bound sword swinger. On its own merits, it is not a bad heroic sorcery tale. You’ve got fighting, hot women, zombies and an evil sorceror bent on world domination.
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#8 Boot

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:11 PM

I'm going to have to go back and read Perry again, I guess. I read all four of his novels a decade or so ago, and I thought that they were awful. Although I like some of Perry's other stuff (loved his adaptation of the Alien comics in the trilogy starting with Earth Hive), I usually put Perry up there with Roland Green as examples of how not to write a Conan pastiche. In the past, I've described Perry's four books as "barely readable" and "definitiely NOT CONAN".

Perry's Conan books seem more like taking Conan and transplanting him into a more normal-Fantasy, D&D-ish, Hyborian Age. He doesn't seem to write in the Sword & Sorcery genre at all. I didn't care for his books at all.

But, hey, maybe I was on crack. I still have them. Maybe in the future, I'll give them another go and see if my opinion of Perry's work as changed.

#9 sherlock

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:25 PM

I'm going to have to go back and read Perry again, I guess. I read all four of his novels a decade or so ago, and I thought that they were awful. Although I like some of Perry's other stuff (loved his adaptation of the Alien comics in the trilogy starting with Earth Hive), I usually put Perry up there with Roland Green as examples of how not to write a Conan pastiche. In the past, I've described Perry's four books as "barely readable" and "definitiely NOT CONAN".

Perry's Conan books seem more like taking Conan and transplanting him into a more normal-Fantasy, D&D-ish, Hyborian Age. He doesn't seem to write in the Sword & Sorcery genre at all. I didn't care for his books at all.

But, hey, maybe I was on crack. I still have them. Maybe in the future, I'll give them another go and see if my opinion of Perry's work as changed.


Defiant was more D&Dish, but I don't mind that. In fact, if it's done well, I rather like it. True, those don't stand up to Howard's tales as well, but I think Howard was just a much better writer than almost everybody in the genre.

So, we are probably seeing similar things in Perry, just taking them in differently.

I didn't review it, but I think Perry might have written the pastiche with the hermaphroditic necromancer, which I didn't like.

Edited by sherlock, 10 April 2012 - 06:26 PM.

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