The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian - Robert E. Howard The early Conan stories are some of the best material of the pulp era. This book also includes rough drafts, unfinished tales, extensive notes on the Conan publication history, and gorgeous artwork that perfectly encapsulates the setting and tone of Conan's adventures. With Howard's superb mixing of myth and history, I would almost argue that the original Conan stories had more influence on Dungeons and Dragons than Lord of the Rings did!

Aside from two titles, most of the stories focus on Conan's early years as a thief, mercenary, and pirate, making The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian an excellent jumping-on point for new fans. However, it should be noted that some stories come across as exceptionally racist and sexist to modern sensibilities. Furthermore, the last handful of stories become rather formulaic--while not as bad as some later Conan writers, the drop in quality is noticeable.

Even so, when Howard was at his prime, he put out some of the best fantasy of the early twentieth century. The book's a must-have for any Conan fan.