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Hah - Why does that chapter title tickle me so much!? Jan 22, Seth Skorkowsky rated it really liked it Shelves: One of Howard's better stories. Here, we follow Conan as he fights to defend a outpost from the local Picts who are none too pleased to have Aquilonians moving into their territory. The Pictish tribes have united, and with the help of a dark wizard, move to destroy the invading settlers.

The story flows wonderfully, gaining steam as it moves along, and the action is vivid. Sep 21, Thomas Kroepfl rated it it was amazing. For me the is THE Conan story. I loved it the most and yet nothing really happened in it. Mar 24, Timothy Boyd rated it it was amazing Shelves: These stories are presented unedited as they originally appeared in the magazine. Jan 18, Seth Kenlon rated it it was amazing Shelves: Other Conan stories are filled with intrigue, betrayal, sexual tension, conflict, and heroism. This one is flat-out brutal.

It's an interesting one because Conan's basically multi-classed as a ranger, in this one. He even gets an animal companion.


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He also gets a male companion rather than his usual female. His enemies in this one are the fierce Picts, who are evil, savage, and genuinely frightening. Lots of gore in this one, so prepare yourself. Jun 29, John rated it really liked it. Kind of another one of his "let's add Conan into the stories.

Good build up, but the sudden end surprised me as to it's abruptness. This book took a short turn in an awkward direction and then had to end too suddenly. Immersive and well-paced, "Beyond the Black River" is a fun bit of adventurous nihilism that may be a dark salve for these times of capitalist decay if you can get beyond the incredible racism. Down to earth and grim as only Conan can be.

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Short and to the point like a broadsword. Mar 06, Matt rated it really liked it. I struggled with the book of it because if one was to erase the name Conan and some of these stranger place names you could literally take this tale and put it into Old West or even the frontier prior to the Revolutionary War. I was a bit perplexed by Conan in this story.

At times he seemed like an educated gentleman and then other times he became a ferocious savage. I know the writer was attempting to show us a character with death but sometimes the flip and switch between An interesting book. I know the writer was attempting to show us a character with death but sometimes the flip and switch between educated bourgeoisie and wild and ferocious savage was so stark that it jolted me out of the story. As the Aquilonian's push the frontiers of their expanding empire westwards into the Pictish wilderness, they hand out their idea of justice to a powerful wizard named Zogar Sag, who in turn promises to have his revenge on those men that dared to cross him.

When those men turn 'loon' and wander off into the forest to meet their fate, the captain of the camp fears for moral and calls on the woodcraft of Conan, 'barbarian of a thousand generations of barbarians' to lead a raiding party into uncivili As the Aquilonian's push the frontiers of their expanding empire westwards into the Pictish wilderness, they hand out their idea of justice to a powerful wizard named Zogar Sag, who in turn promises to have his revenge on those men that dared to cross him. When those men turn 'loon' and wander off into the forest to meet their fate, the captain of the camp fears for moral and calls on the woodcraft of Conan, 'barbarian of a thousand generations of barbarians' to lead a raiding party into uncivilized Gwawela.

Dark and brutal, wild and wonderful, the isolated frontier atmosphere of suspense and hidden dread is skillfully evoked by Howard throughout 'Seldom a menacing figure appeared, but the sentries knew that they too were watched, fiercely, hungrily, with the mercilessness of ancient hate. As if that wasn't enough there is also a bloodthirsty canine companion, Slasher. The writing is generally excellent throughout too, dreamlike and spacey at times, taut as a Pictish drum elsewhere, dripping with blood and brains.

If you are thinking of reading the original chronicles by the original writer Howard there are seventeen in total , I can't think of a better place to start than here. There is still, though, one choice example of Lovecraftian loquaciousness that I simply had to quote in all its awfulness: I do like this story.

Beyond the Black River

I'm not an aficionado of Howard's work this is the first I've read; I was drawn to it through my love of the soundtrack for the original film , and I'm not fully aware of the social and cultural context in which Howard was was writing, but there are some obviously racist elements in the story which a modern reader might find jarring.

It's possible to read these in the frontier spirit of the world in which it's set think the barbarian frontier of the Roman Empire, a histor I do like this story. It's possible to read these in the frontier spirit of the world in which it's set think the barbarian frontier of the Roman Empire, a historiographical view of the late antique world prominent at Howard's time of writing , but the blunt delivery doesn't help.

The story is not long, but there is plenty of action, and it never stands still. The setting is suitably ahistorical, but there is enough that is familiar to make mental visualisation easy. Some of the writing is rather clunky, particularly in the use of adverbs, and the description is laid on a bit thick, but it does the job. This story's value is undoubtably its status as originator of a genre rather than its inherent literary merit. Nov 23, Kyra Dune rated it liked it. Too much telling going on to get the point across. This could have done better as a full length novel.

And any time one character starts a bit of dialogue with some variation on "As you already know But in a good kind of way. It could have used with less explaining things that didn't need explaining, but other than that I enjoyed it.

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Aug 20, Antonio rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It is a whim of circumstan "He was a man," said Conan. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph. Apr 22, Greg rated it really liked it Shelves: If you've never read Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, this is as good a place as any to start.

A fun read with muscular prose and a love of language that makes this era's love of limited vocabulary and clear prose seem bland.

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Fight scenes, action, exotic creatures, and a story that pits civilization against barbarism Howard comes down on the side of barbarism. Sword and sorcery a genre Howard invented at its finest. Oct 11, Ray Smith rated it really liked it. This is routinely called the best Conan short story, sorta like King Lear is considered Shakespeare's greatest tragedy yes, I'm being facetious here. Both entertaining and rather scary at times too. One of the best short stories about Conan by Robert E. Howard in terms of writing style, plot, and other measurments of writing.

Also my personal favorite. I must have read this particular story a half dozen times although this was the first time I have listened to the audiobook. The audiobook is free through librivox. Jan 02, Puppy rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the best of the Conan stories. I believe it's the only one in full length novel form. The situation is a frontier outpost under attack from savage natives, and Conan gets embroiled in pure survival. He has to use as many of his skills and cunning at his disposal to survive, and hopefully live to tell the tale. Ahhh, here were all the stereotypical things I was expecting in a Conan story.

Conan manages to warn the salt-gathering party in time, but finds he has been marked for death by the gods of darkness for misusing the symbol of Jhebbal Sag, and he is attacked by a demonic creature who tells him that it and Zogar Sag are of one blood. Conan triumphs against the creature, but the fort is lost, and so is the entire province. The story ends in a tavern on the other side of Thunder River, the former boundary to the Pict Lands in Conajohara. A survivor tells Conan about the courageous act of Balthus and Slasher, and how their final stand had delayed the Picts just barely long enough for the settlers to reach safety.


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  4. He also relates that in the midst of his triumph at Fort Tuscellan, Zogar Sag was mysteriously struck dead, sporting the same kind of wounds Conan had inflicted on the swamp demon. Upon hearing of Balthus' and Slasher's demise, Conan vows to take the heads of ten Picts to pay for Balthus, along with seven heads for the dog, who was "a better warrior than many a man.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Art by Margaret Brundage. Archived from the original on 8 March Retrieved 28 December Beyond the Black River. Sprague de Camp Roland J. Hocking Robert Jordan Sean A. The Mysteries of Time Conan Conan: The Hyborian Age Conan chronologies.

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    Cohen the Barbarian Conan the Librarian. Retrieved from " https: Pages using deprecated image syntax Articles with LibriVox links. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikisource. This page was last edited on 16 September , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Cover of Weird Tales , May Wikisource has original text related to this article: Original Howard Canon publication order. Original Howard Canon Dale Rippke chronology. Stories, books Books Conan books.

    Authors Creator Robert E.