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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

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

Very heroic stuff. With some trusty sidekicks, Conan helps save the countryside from an invading horde. I really enjoyed this one. Conan is more unselfish in Beyond the Black River than some of the other stories. His sidekicks are a fierce dog and a sympathetic warrior capable in his own right. This

By the time Robert E. Howard wrote this tale of Conan the Barbarian, he had both thoroughly learned the craft of writing and fixed the world of the Hyborian Age in his own imagination and the imagination of the reader. The result, in Beyond the Black River, is a taut, surprisingly melancholy tale to

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

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

I've read many Conan short stories so far, and almost all of them follows the same pattern: cheesy, calculated plot with an entertaining value. This one is like written by another author, has a different atmosphere, a totally different outcome I used to, and far beyond pure entertainment and pulp. I

My Barbarian Paramour's adventures. There's nothing quite like them, if you ask me.

No slightly bludgeoning the enemy with beef bones in this one, and much to my (and Conan's) utter dismay, no Babe of the Lithe, Supple Figure (BotLSF™), but lots of vicious creatures, evil villains, deliciously sever

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

For me the is THE Conan story. I loved it the most and yet nothing really happened in it.

One of Howard's better stories. Here, we follow Conan as he fights to defend a outpost from the local Picts who are none too pleased to have Aquilonians moving into their territory. The Pictish tribes have united, and with the help of a dark wizard, move to destroy the invading settlers.

The story f

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