Saturday, June 8, 2013

Conan #05 - Conan the Hunter

Sean A. Moore's 'Conan The Hunter' is thrust into this chronological list after the wretched 'Conan The Defiant'. Some argue that 'Conan The Indomitable' would be next but I'm not terribly certain and I don't know that it really matters in the grand scheme of all things Conan. This one came out in 1994 on the Tor brand and this is one of three Moore entries in the series.

I can't say Moore is any worse than Perry, but he certainly isn't miles better either. 'Conan The Hunter' would have been a much better book if it wasn't written in phases. We get a huge cross section of this book that plays out like a city thriller. Then Moore changes the pacing and scope of the book tremendously by having it stretch hundreds (if not thousands) of miles across desert wasteland to eventually culminate in a finale inside yet another desolate temple.

This one opens with a drunk gambling Conan in the area of Zamora (he does say at the end of 'Conan The Defiant' that he is headed there). He has picked up a night wench called Yvanna and has made arrangements to pay for her sex by giving her a jeweled bracelet. The bracelet was stolen from a murdered princess and Conan takes the fall. After a few chase scenes, some treachery and intrigue we see Conan trapped in a dungeon courtesy of the deceitful Mutare.

Again, Moore does a fantastic job with the pacing and inner sanctum turmoil of the King Of Brythunia. The battle with the sewer monster was really well done and other than a few Superman moments, Conan is written well - brawn over brains. It is once Conan teams with Salvorus, Kailash and a priest named Madesus that things really get weighted down. I thought the chase scene across the desert in pursuit of Mutare was unnecessary. We could have skipped thirty pages here and just put the band of heroes right in the temple. But anyway, the climatic battle is decent and Conan fights temple gargoyles. Who can argue with that logic?

I can't say I'm completely impressed with Moore but I much prefer his writing over Perry. I'm not dreading his next two entries but before the next Moore I have...gulp...four more Perry novels and two from a guy named Leonard Moore. Crom!

Buy a copy of this book HERE

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