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Conan the Invincible

by Robert Jordan

Series: Serie Conan (7), Conan's Journeys (12), Conan Series (21), Conan-Saga (25)

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250487,775 (3.1)4
A sword and sorcery fantasy about Conan, the Barbarian hero from Hyperborea.

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This is the first time I've read a non-Howard Conan story in at least 10 years.

"Conan the Invincible" is a Conan novel by Robert Jordan, from before he started his own work with the Wheel of Time series, when he was still writing stories about Robert E. Howard's character. When it was first printed in the 80's the cover said "No one alive writes Conan better than Robert Jordan" but he's gone now, and the book certainly isn't any better...

In this we follow a less than 19 year old Conan, already a master thief, already letting most of his money slip through his fingers on wine and women, from the Desert district of Shadizar in Zamora on the trail of some gems and a slave girl he promised to free.

Along he way he twice saves the life of Karela, also known as the Red Falcon, the leader of the most feared bandits around Zamora, and then is captured by her band. As usual, he quickly goes from being captive to virtually a leader, but not quite in this case.

He shows some leadership and strategy skills by several times pitting enemies chasing the band against each other, with narrow escapes.

And a final confrontation with the evil sorcerer who uses the gems for magic protection and the slave girls as sacrifices...

Jordan's writing is pretty rotten and Conan didn't feel like Conan, not Robert E. Howard's Conan. In "The Invincible" Conan swears oaths to the gods and refuses to break them, even when he wishes he could to save Karela at the end, compared to Howard's Conan who wouldn't make oaths to the gods anyway, and if so, would still always do what he thinks is right anyway, gods be damned...

Jordan writes quite a bit, here and there, about the womens' breasts in it, whether it's Conan or the evil mage who's fondling or staring. Not that that's a bad thing, but it just makes the character not seem like Conan.

Overall, a mediocre fantasy book, that would work better by itself if he didn't bring down Conan. ( )
  KevinRubin | Aug 6, 2020 |
Jordan's Conan is ok, but very sterile and anticlimactic. Hocking's Conan is by far the better of the post Howard writers. ( )
  Joe73 | Jun 24, 2019 |
Well-spun Conan yarn with plenty of action and an intriguing cast of characters.

While no writer seems able to match Robert E. Howard portrait of the bluff and brutal yet honorable and wily barbarian, Jordan comes closer than most.

Except for a flat and unconvincing climax, this is a nice addition to the Conan annals. ( )
  JackMassa | Nov 23, 2016 |
This may be heresy, but I prefer Robert Jordan's version of Conan than Robert Howard's original. I think Jordan does an excellent job of capturing what Conan is all about. The style is visceral. Conan is a swashbuckling, womanizing, simplistic warrior who goes through life seeking adventure and smashing and bashing his way through problems. Despite his flaws, he has a strong sense of honor and justice.

In Conan the Invincible, Conan is hired to steal a powerful talisman. In the process, he is taken prisoner by Karela, a reoccuring quasi-love interest of his. In the end they work together as they are in the middle of conflict between evil wizards. The fight scenes are well-crafted and the action is non-stop. I wish that Jordan would take this approach in his Wheel of Time series, which tends to be long-winded. If you haven't read a Conan book, pick up a copy of this one. It captures the essence of what Conan is about.
Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity ( )
  Carl_Alves | Oct 20, 2012 |
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A sword and sorcery fantasy about Conan, the Barbarian hero from Hyperborea.

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