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The Hour of the Dragon

Robert E. Howard

Book Overview: 

The Hour of the Dragon, also known as Conan the Conqueror, is a fantasy novel by American writer Robert E. Howard featuring his sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian.

Recommended for fans of Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Who are you?' demanded the king belligerently, struggling to a sitting position in spite of his chains.

'Men call me Xaltotun,' was the reply, in a strong, golden voice.

'What place is this?' the Cimmerian next demanded.

'A chamber in the palace of King Tarascus, in Belverus.'

Conan was not surprised. Belverus, the capital, was at the same time the largest Nemedian city so near the border.

'And where's Tarascus?'

'With the army.'

'Well,' growled Conan, 'if you mean to murder me, why don't you do it and get it over with?'

'I did not save you from the king's archers to murder you in Belverus,' answered Xaltotun.

'What the devil did you do to me?' demanded Conan.

'I blasted your consciousness,' answered Xaltotun. 'How, you would not understand. Call it black magic, if you will.'

Conan had already reached that conclusion, and was mulling over something else.

'I thin. . . Read More

Community Reviews

When you think of Conan you think of this...

Then you think of the screaming barbarian...more

The problem with a lot of genre classics is that their ideas have been ripped off so often they end up reading like they're full of cliches even though they were the originators of those familiar tropes.

But when it comes to the best of the pulp writers there's an electric vibe that runs through...more

Questo primo approccio all'universo di Conan il Barbaro non mi ha affatto deluso. Lo stile di scrittura di Howard risulta essere fresco e attuale, nonostante il romanzo risalga ai primi del '900 ( è invecchiato proprio bene

"It is not alone the rebellious lords of Aquilonia and the armies of Nemedia which are arrayed against you," answered Hadrathus. "It is sorcery – grisly black magic from the grim youth of the world. An awful shape has risen out of the shades of the Past, and none can stand before it."


"From death to death [ The Heart of Ahriman]  came, riding on a river of human blood. Blood feeds it, blood draws it. Its power is greatest when there is blood on the hands that grasp it, when it is wrested by slaughter from its holder. Wherever it gleams, blood is spilt and kingdoms totter, and...more

I could read this many times (three, so far) and pick out some new facet each time. F'instance:

* Howard touches several times on the theme that Conan's lone-wolf nature is both strength and weakness. He is dedicated to his kingdom, but is not committed to it: he neither married nor pr...more

In this final (chronologically) Conan story, Howard demonstrates why he was one of the best adventure writers of all time. In the only novel he ever produced, Howard is able to maintain the blistering pace he is known for, while still weaving a complex and interesting tale. The story is set durin...more

...the hour of the Dragon has come…

After reading one of Howard's shortstory collections I discovered he'd also written a full length Conan novel. The one and only - originally written in five parts for the magazine Weird Tales under the title The Hour of the Dragon, then eventually published as a book under a n...more

Some wicked dark sorcery in this one.

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