Not so long ago I’ve reviewed a book by Sean A. Moore titled Conan and the Shaman’s Curse. Upon the perusal of the mighty Google I’ve found that this author, before his premature death in the car accident, had penned two more of Conan stories, Conan the Hunter and Conan (before the aforementioned book) and the Grim Grey God (the third in the row). And because I quite liked what I’ve read, it goes without saying I’ve tried to get other two books to enhance my reading pleasure.
So, today we’re dealing with Conan the Hunter. People, if Shaman’s Curse was good, if somewhat rushed in the end, this one buries the first one in the dust.
Really, although it’s fairly long and actually encompass two adventures of Conan (but completing the one plot), the book reads itself! I have to say I found it hard to put it down and that’s always a good thing.
It has everything you expect of Conan story. Furious fights, conspiracy, magic and dark arts of sorcery, hostile enviroments and creatures and, of course, our barbarian victorious. It reads like a great RPG game story and I am always surprised why the hell someone just can’t pick a book like this and make either a decent RPG or a kickass movie of it. Can’t be that hard, right?
The plot finds Conan in the centre of a conspiracy to kill a king, being accused of killing the king’s only daughter and stealing her jewelry. But this is only a beginning of a long story where there are some good guys dying, villains dying as well, the dark magic abounds and the pace of the story doesn’t allow for a prolonged break.
I won’t go into the details of the story, but I will voice only one little complain of mine. It seems to me the endings were not Moore’s strong points. I guess he’s got exhausted a little by the end and just seemed to get it over with, so the ending is fairly short and to be fair, little too convenient. Of course, with the heroic, sword & sorcery stories and legends we can expect stuff like that, but c’mon…
Be it as it is, I am still glad Moore is no Martin. The plot is fairly straight-forward, you basically know what will happen next and for one, I am glad for it. This is truly a reading for relax and to cheer the main hero on his quest. And although Conan’s morals might be dubious sometimes, we know he’s a good one, don’t we?
I have started – or should I say re-started – to read Conan stories not so long ago, so I can’t compare Moore’s books to other writers of the Conan canon, but I don’t even really want to. For me, it was a nice time spent with the nice book and that should suffice. It might not be the best one, but the style pays a nice homage to Howard and if you are a fan of sword & sorcery literature, this one should be in your library. Of this there is no doubt.
You can find in the second hand stores online, just have a look.