Saturday, June 8, 2013

Conan - Conan the Defiant

Where does on even begin to discuss the Conan contributions of author Steve Perry? Where L. Sprague De Camp and Lin Carter's collaborations and novels are written fairly well, Perry is just flat out lifeless. His scenes go off into so many tangents that I had to jot down notes. 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 Conan the Defiant went absolutely nowhere.

Conan The Defiant was originally published as a paperback original by the Tor brand in 1987. 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 predictable vengeance formula. This is where things 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.

Perry goes on the deep end three-fourths into this book. He has an army of tarantulas hunting Skeer while the main characters are searching for Neg and an armed assassin and his crew are pursuing Conan. Neg himself has a crew of a dozen or more blind zombies trailing Conan. Who can keep up with this nonsense? To make matters even more confusing, Conan, Elashi and Tuanne become lovers of each other along the way - relationships, partners, enemies, heroes, etc. 

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 with a pretty cover. Hall of Shame was built for books just like this one.

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