Over shadowy spires and gleaming towers lay the ghostly darkness and silence that runs before dawn.
–Robert E. Howard - The phoenix on the sword - c.1932
Conan short stories ; 1
All I know about Conan comes from the Arnie film, so it was surprise to read this and come across Conan already a king. But this is the first Conan story, in publication order, his history was later filled in by Howard in other stories and tales.
Although I am not sure that I will be reading them.
This is… well, read the opening for yourself and you’ll understand my doubts. Stilted and clunky are how I would describe it. Maybe the writing improves in later stories? I don’t know, I might give one more a try, we’ll see.
But as an opener I fail to see how Conan could have become such a huge cult figure.