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The People of the Black Circle

Robert E. Howard

Book Overview: 

It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan kidnapping a regal princess of Vendhya (pre-historical India) and foiling a nefarious plot of world domination by the Black Seers of Yimsha. Due to its epic scope and atypical Hindustan flavor, the story is considered an undisputed classic of Conan lore and is often cited by Howard scholars as one of his best tales. It is also one of the few Howard stories where the reader is treated a deeper insight on magic and magicians beyond the stereotypical Hyborian depiction as demon conjurer-illusionist-priests. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .here is a mission you must perform,' he said, choosing his words with as much care as if they had been razors. 'There—'

Conan had sprung back, wheeling to face the door at the same instant, lips asnarl. His barbarian ears had caught the quick tread of soft slippers outside the door. The next instant the door was thrown open and a slim, silk-robed form entered hastily, pulling the door shut—then stopping short at sight of the hillman.

Chunder Shan sprang up, his heart jumping into his mouth.

'Devi!' he cried involuntarily, losing his head momentarily in his fright.

'Devi!' It was like an explosive echo from the hillman's lips. Chunder Shan saw recognition and intent flame up in the fierce blue eyes.

The governor shouted desperately and caught at his sword, but the hillman moved with the devastating speed of a hurricane. He sprang, knocked the governor sprawling with a savage blow of his knife-hilt, swept up the asto. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A Howard collection...one volume from 1977. I incorrectly referred to these '77 books as novels. They are one volume Narratives. But still good if you can find them.

When the young king of Vendhya pleads with his sister, the Devi Yasmina, to end his irreversible ensorcellment and take his life, she tearfully does her grim duty. Heeding his dying words and reading the Book of Skelos, she learns of those whose magic destroyed him, swearing her revenge on the en...more

These Short Stories of Conan are so interesting. The Author wrote so descriptive and made things so fluid. I have read this book numerous times and never get tired of reading it

Fantasy at its male dominated best. Conan the quintessential Barbarian Thief.

having only read the L. Sprague de Camp editions as a child, it was quite a surprise to find the books in this series, copied verbatim from the original Weird Tales issues. If you are a genre, or Conan, fan, these are a must read, but be forewarned, they are of their time- racially insensitive, v...more

First, I own every Conan book and story written and also everything written by Robert E. Howard. Prolific and amazing author. Probably 5th or 6th time reading this book.

Sword and sorcery with a large dash of horror, very dark. Pulpy, but wonderfully entertaining.

You can't go wrong with Conan, especially written by Robert E. Howard himself. Plus it has this great color foldout poster.

Extremely silly as always--Conan and his band of bandits against 4 evil wizards. But the story is entertaining, full of weirdo characters, whose crass motivations always revolve around either revenge or money. And Conan himself is hilarious. Like Beowulf, a constant braggart but a charming and in...more

This edition of People of the Black Circle came with a Frank Frazzetta poster on the inside cover. I believe it is still there on my edition I bought back when. My date on reading this is just an estimation. I had read the story before that and after that as well.

This is probably the finest and...more

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