Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Beyond the Black River by Robert E. Howard

Official Blurb

Conan the Barbarian in this exciting story is selling his sword to 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 desperate battle to delay the onrushing Picts that Conan openly praises his courage and pledges 7 Pict heads in his honor. 

My Review

I believe that this is the first Conan audiobook I have listened to. It was a real pleasure to hear one of the original stories that started this character on his journey to that a word?

I read a lot of Conan books in my youth and I remember him to be a fairly uncaring kick-ass good good-guy-ish. This story backs that up. Conan is doing good, but in the end it's only because he's a sword for hire not because he's a super hero.

As the official blurb says, Conan and friends are pitched against all kind of enemies that require liberal application of hard steel and the spilled blood of foes. It's high action adventure almost from the get-go and throughly thrilling. Yeah, I loved it. 

I enjoyed the reading by Phil Chenevert. He has a sing-song voice that lilts its way through the story and I found it really very easy on the ears.

Reading 3/3
Production 2/3
Story 3/3

Total Score 8/9

Download it from Librivox

Listen to the first chapter.