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Conan the Indomitable    by Steve Perry order for
Conan the Indomitable
by Steve Perry
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 1989 (1989)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Conan the Cimmerian was a character created by Robert E. Howard in 1932. The brawny (but adequately brainy) barbarian continued through seventeen stories in the roles of adventurer, thief, pirate, mercenary and then ruler of Aquilonia. Authors like Robert Jordan, John Maddox Roberts and Steve Perry have carried on the tradition by continuing to write in Conan's world. Conan the Indomitable is one of these efforts and, while I prefer the original, it does have the same flavor.

The Conan series is one of the earliest examples of the sword and sorcery sub-genre, or perhaps it should be sword versus sorcery in this case. Conan hates magic, which is not surprising as he always ends up fighting witches, wizards, sorcerors, sorceresses and their bizarre creations. He always wins too, for Conan the Cimmerian is simple, but by no means stupid. His stories are all a bit like the (later) Dungeons & Dragons adventure game. Conan and his party end up exploring new territory, fighting off attacks of monsters and winning treasures along the way.

In Conan the Indomitable, our hero is accompanied by desert woman Elashi. She is impulsive and argumentative, and Conan's attempts to deal with her result in some funny scenes. And of course, every time he starts to feel at ease, there is a new wave of attacking monsters from man-eating plants to bloodsucking bats and bigger beasties. Much of the action is spent below the surface in a vast series of caverns and subterranean lakes, and there is another interesting character who joins the group. Poor Lalo has been cursed to continually smile while he insults everyone he meets. It's a wonder that he survived to meet Conan.

Of course Conan and his band do defeat the witch, the wizard and the bespelled hermaphrodite, along with their hordes of monsters, but our hero does not end up getting the girl ... just the treasure, which will fund his further travel and adventures.

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