The Conan Chronicles: Volume 1 : The People of the Black Circle, Paperback Book

The Conan Chronicles: Volume 1 : The People of the Black Circle Paperback

Part of the Fantasy Masterworks series

5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


The definitive collection of Conan stories, featuring the most distinctive and well known fantasy hero of all timeConan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become king of Aquilonia.

Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian Age.Collected together for the first time anywhere in the world, in chronological order, are all Robert E.

Howard's definitive stories of Conan, exactly as he wrote them, as fresh, atmospheric and vibrant today as when they were first published in the pulp magazines more than sixty years ago.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Anthologies (non-poetry)
  • ISBN: 9781857989960



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Conan and the Hyborean Age of his world is the template that the fantasy genre developed from and fantasy writing hasn't strayed too far from the original formula. This is a testament to Howard's writing more than anything else - he knew at the time fantasy needed to be short and action packed to attract readers to a type of story which had only found a home in the pages of the pulp magazines. There are no wasted words and no trudging through backgrounds, settings or trilogies of trilogies to get to the story - something which plagues too much contemporary fantasy. Conan is one literature's greatest creations and deserves a place in every reader's library.

Review by

I rate Robert E. Howard as the most imaginative author that I've ever read. His creative powers are perhaps the most notable in the world of Conan. Howard's detailed map of the fictitious Hyborean Age and its history, including that leading up to the time of Conan's birth, are exceptional.I've read some of the stories featured in this collection twice before, while others are brand new to me. I read a lot of fantasy and sword & sorcery as a child and as a teen, yet in adulthood my tastes have mostly changed, except I still love Howard's Conan stories and most of his other works.Of the two volumes of the Conan Chronicles, this first one appeals to me most. This is largely owing to the type of tale included in the collection. While Volume 2 features an older Conan vying for power and getting involved in more political battles, this first volume shows the barbarian at the beginning of his fame - and that fame had nothing to do with being crowned king or being political.I much prefer the Conan featured in Volume 1, as he is always in search of adventure, which often includes him stealing treasures from a dangerous situation, encountering a scantily-clad - or naked - woman along the way. All good fun!Howard is, in my opinion, the best writer of battle scenes. Conan's sword fighting is superbly depicted. His plotting is always well done without being over-complicated.His characters are vivid, as are his descriptions. A supreme author and a superb read.

Review by

There are 18 stories in this book together with a brief history of the foundation of the empires in which they are told, spanning over 500 pages. I took a long time reading this book because it was simply too good to rush.<br/><br/>From the first story to the last you are treated to an unrivalled ability to grab hold of the ready and drag them on adventure after adventure. You quickly become acquainted with the huge bronze skinned, black-haired Cimmerian who’s blue eyes blaze with the fire of life. Conan’s passion and zest for adventure are as infectious as his thews are huge. He wields a sword with ease and breaks necks like twigs. He snatches up lithe women aplenty, usually clad in gossamer robes (if that) as often as loots the dead. His blade drips with the blood of the vanquished as he wiped the heavy sweat of battle from his brow.<br/><br/>There is never a dull moment or wasted moment. Never so much as a modicum of tedium. The writing is fluid, exciting and simple. Robert E. Howard has a style that writes itself, a quality that stands, like his creation, a head and shoulders above the rest. There are times when you feel the bones crunch, the sword sing through the air, the flesh rend under steel. I could go on and on, this is a book like no other. If you love the swords and sandals, style of fantasy then you simply must read this. This is the birthplace of many a hero. Many have tried to write Conan stories but none can hold their own against the might of Robert E. Howard.<br/><br/>By Crom ‘tis worth every penny. 10/10

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