Conan - Blood of the Serpent (S. M. Stirling)

29 November 2023

Conan - Blood of the Serpent

As sword for hire for a mercenary troop, Conan finds himself in Sukhmet, a filthy backwater town south of the River Styx considered “the arse-end of Stygia.” Serving in the company known as Zarallo’s Free Companions, he fights alongside soldiers of fortune from Zingara, Koth, Shem, and other lands?a hard-handed band of killers loyal to anyone who pays them well.

In a Sukhmet tavern he encounters one soldier in particular?Valeria of the Red Brotherhood, a veteran of freebooters with whom Conan also sailed, launching raids out of the Barachan Isles on the Western Sea. Valeria’s reputation is that of a deadly swordswoman, a notoriety she quickly proves to be accurate. When she runs afoul of an exiled Stygian noble, however, things take a deadly turn, embroiling them both in the schemes of a priest of the serpent god Set.

Average Rating:

Ross Hetherington (31 January 2024 22:45)

Much too long, with okay but sometimes very pedantic writing. I was the only person there who is a real Robert E. Howard fan - this fell into less of the pitfalls that everyone seems to hit who tries to write Conan, but that still didn't rescue a character who works best over the course of a novella, maximum. I wouldn't recommend. Why write a prequel to one of the worst of the original novellas, anyway?!