Book review: Conan the Barbarian stories by Robert E. Howard

Conan: The Barbarian complete collection by [E. Howard, Robert]I was in the mood for a bit of fantasy fiction lately and started in on the Conan the Barbarian: complete collection I have on my Kindle.

The Phoenix on the Sword by Robert E. Howard

The Scarlet Citadel by Robert E. Howard

The Tower of the Elephant (Conan, #3) by Robert E. Howard

These first three stories were so much fun. Mayhem, magic and rippling muscles – everything a girl could hope for from a Barbarian. I was impressed by the flowing, epic language and thrilled by the adventure. The latter part of The Tower of the Elephant got a bit spacey but otherwise, three stars for each of these.

The Slithering Shadow (Xuthal of the Dusk)  by Robert E. Howard

The Pool of the Black One by Robert E. Howard

Things got very different when women were introduced to the stories. The misogynistic language in The Slithering Shadow was just eye watering. The sexism was slightly less pronounced in The Pool of the Black One, but that was problematic in so many other ways, it hardly seemed to matter. One star (or less!) for those two.

It seems there are many, many, many more Conan stories in the complete collection… but I’m not sure if I’ll be venturing there again.

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