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Beyond the Black River

Robert E. Howard

Book Overview: 

Conan the Barbarian is employed by one of the civilized countries to help in it's push to claim lands from the primitive Picts. The Picts are not excited about the idea however. Old gods and mythical creatures are called up by the Pict witches to contest the invading army and Conan finds himself battling for his life amid the blood thirsty hordes that include saber-toothed tigers, 40 foot long venomous snakes and a demon from another dimension who is intent on crushing him. The huge dog Slasher makes an appearance here and distinguishes himself so well in a doomed battle to delay their forces that Conan openly praises his courage and pledges that 7 Pict heads will roll in his honor.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Tiberias was a fool to start for Velitrium alone, and so close to dusk. But each one of the victims seemed to be smitten with madness just before doom overtook him. Look here; the signs are plain enough. Tiberias came riding along the trail on his mule, maybe with a bundle of choice otter pelts behind his saddle to sell in Velitrium, and the thing sprang on him from behind that bush. See where the branches are crushed down.

'Tiberias gave one scream, and then his throat was torn open and he was selling his otter skins in Hell. The mule ran away into the woods. Listen! Even now you can hear him thrashing about under the trees. The demon didn't have time to take Tiberias' head; it took fright as we came up.'

'As you came up,' amended Balthus. 'It must not be a very terrible creature if it flees from one armed man. But how do you know it was not a Pict with some kind of a hook that rips instead of slicing? Did you see it?'

'Tiberias was an armed . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Conan is fighting as a mercenary for Aquilonia, the realm he eventually becomes king of. Its distant, out-of-touch leaders are attempting to expand into a wild jungle frontier, and the local animal tribes of Picts (ancient Scots) barbarians are having none of it.

As will happen, a wizard is in the p

Beyond the Black River Robert E. Howard, Fast paced storyline thats completely engaging and enjoyable, spoilers ahead so quit reading now, Conan is a scout and soldier in the Aquilonian army serving in the border fort Tuscelan built on recently conquered Pictish lands. The situation is precarious be

It seems that many people rank this as their favorite Conan story, and I am in agreement based on the selection of stories I've read so far. The plot is tight with no wasted time or or words, and it breaks from the usual formula without betraying the essential nature of Conan. This gives me hope for

This is a clear standout among the Howard Conan stories I've read. More mature and tightly plotted, Howard's prose is also consistently superb here. There is a tense foreboding to the story right from the start that builds steadily through to the chilling end. Much of the story is told through the P

A fort full of settlers near the Pictish border finds itself under attack by the Picts and Conan is there to help the settlers. This is quite a well-written Conan story full of sword and sorcery action and excitement. It’s gripping, a bit atmospheric and very entertaining. The ending is also a bit u

Ето че гаврътнах и седмия том. Впечатленията ми накратко:

The Grisly Horror - Изненадващо слаб разказ, който би стоял по на място сред ранните произведения на Хауърд. Някакъв тип, бледо подобие на Соломон Кейн, спасява любимата си от зловещ негърски култ. Стилът е добър, но сюжетът и героите са елеме

Conan battles the savage Picts in an attempt to protect Aquilonian settlers who have established homesteads on the border of their territory.

This is one of Robert E Howard’s best stories, with powerful, evocative prose and a well-constructed frontier milieu. Howard had a life-long interest in histor

This collection of long stories contains 4 Conan stories, including the under-appreciated “Jewels of Gwahlur” aka “The Servants of Bit-Yakin”. Like anything by Howard, it's worth the trip.

Included here also is the collaborative story “The Challenge from Beyond”, which Howard worked on with no less

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