Now comes the era of Steve Perry. Wow. Where do you even begin? Perry has written a handful of Conan novels and is typically considered somewhere between a B or C grade character author. I may even venture to say, well pulp fiction hack. Where De Camp and Carter's stuff is written fairly well...Perry is just flat out lifeless. His scenes go off into so many tangents that I literally had to jot down notes as I had no idea which character was alive, dead or somewhere in between. At the end of the day none of it really mattered as this whole book went absolutely nowhere.
'Conan The Defiant' was released by the Tor brand in 1987. I downloaded the book for iPad and thankfully didn't spend a hard earned dollar on this one. The book finds our hero shortly after he has left the cave of 'The Thing In The Crypt'. His wandering path leads him to the aid of Engh, an Oblate priest who is fighting off enemies using only a staff. Conan is intrigued and eventually the two are friends back at Engh's temple. There is a tussle, Engh is dead and Conan is off to right the wrong in the traditional vengeance formula.
This is where things really get bizarre. A necromancer named Neg The Malefic has a small army of zombies, one of which is a beautiful woman named Tuanne. Neg also employes a vile henchman named Skeer. Why? Because he needs an amulet/charm thing called The Source Of Light. Apparently, if he has this amulet he can make even more zombies than he has now. Neg is basically trying to become Evil Ernie and rule the world with his corpse companions. In the way is Conan, the recently escaped zombie Tuanne and another beautiful wench named Elashi (she is after the amulet as well).
Perry goes on the deep end three fourths into this book. He has an army of tarantulas after Skeer, our main characters on the hunt for Neg, an armed assassin and his crew on the hunt for Conan and Neg himself has a crew of a dozen or more blind zombies on the hunt for Conan. Who can keep up with this nonsense? I just tuned out on who is after which character and why. To make matters even more confusing, Conan, Elashi and Tuanne become lovers of each other along the way. The end result was a battle that was quickly dispatched and disposed of in less than five pages. The absolute worst part? Conan actually cries at the end of the book. Crom be damned.
There are at least four more Perry novels in this list and I'm not sure I can read another. This was absolute rubbish. It has a few nice covers sitting out there...but beyond that just simply stay away.