Conan of Venarium
Conan of Venarium
cover of Conan of Venarium
Author(s) Harry Turtledove Cover artist Julie Bell Country United States Language English Series Conan the Barbarian Genre(s) Sword and sorcery Fantasy Publisher Tor Books Publication date 2003 Media type Print (Paperback) Pages 256 pp ISBN 0-765-30466-X
Conan of Venarium is a fantasy novel written by Harry Turtledove and edited by Teresa Nielsen Hayden featuring Robert E. Howard's seminal sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was first published in hardcover by Tor Books in July 2003; a regular paperback edition followed from the same publisher in July 2004.
The book includes a listing of "The Conan Novels in Chronological Order" at the end of the text.
The Aquilonian Empire, bent on expansion, invades southern Cimmeria, occupying a number of villages and building the armed encampment of Fort Venarium to keep them pacified. The Cimmerian villagers, including young Conan's family, bear the Aquilonian yoke resentfully but stoicly. Conan himself, a boy of twelve, is kept down as much by his overbearing blacksmith father as the invaders. Conflict builds as Count Stercus, the occupiers' lecherous commander, seizes the weaver's daughter Tarla, whom Conan also admires. Both she and his parents perish during the tensions. Eventually he joins the force of northern Cimmerians gathering to drive out the Aquilonians, participating in the sack of Venarium and the warriors' subsequent vengeful drive south into Aquilonia. Unusually for a Conan story, the supernatural is relatively absent, confined largely to appearances of a demonic bird and an enormous serpent, and a seer's foretelling of Conan's destiny, which in the manner common to such prophecies, the youth misinterprets.
Roland Green of Booklist, himself an author of earlier Conan novels, wrote "Among Conan's many limners, Turtledove distinguishes himself with an unmatched portrait of Cimmerian society and a fine, intelligent characterization of the young barbarian."
Jackie Cassada of the Library Journal called the book "[a] good addition to libraries' Conan novels."
Publishers Weekly wrote "Turtledove ... attempts to inject some life into the well-trod Conan sequel subgenre, but this coming-of-age story of Robert E. Howard's barbarian hero is, alas, just as commonplace as all the other imitations by the late Lin Carter and company. ... The fantasy elements are disappointingly few ... Only Conan diehards and Turtledove completists will be likely to pick up this sword-with-little-sorcery novel."
Kirkus Reviews noted merely that "Turtledove opens on familiar gritty prehistoric territory" and that the book had a "[l]ocked-in audience."
- ^ Booklist, v. 99, no. 22, August 2003, p. 1969.
- ^ Library Journal, v. 128, August 2003, p. 142.
- ^ Publishers Weekly, 2003, as reproduced on Amazon.com.
- ^ Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2003.
- Conan of Venarium publication history at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Fantastic Fiction entry for Conan of Venarium
Works by Harry Turtledove Videssos booksVidessos cycleThe Misplaced Legion · An Emperor for the Legion · The Legion of Videssos · The Swords of the LegionThe Tale of KrisposKrispos Rising · Krispos of Videssos · Krispos the EmperorTime of TroublesThe Stolen Throne · Hammer and Anvil · The Thousand Cities · Videssos BesiegedThe Bridge of the Separator The Race or
Worldwar seriesWorldwar TetralogyIn the Balance · Tilting the Balance · Upsetting the Balance · Striking the BalanceColonization TrilogySecond Contact · Down to Earth · AftershocksHomeward Bound
a.k.a. Timeline-191Second Mexican WarGreat War TrilogyAmerican Front · Walk in Hell · BreakthroughsAmerican Empire TrilogyBlood and Iron · The Center Cannot Hold · The Victorious OppositionSettling Accounts TetralogyReturn Engagement · Drive to the East · The Grapple · In at the Death
Darkness War Between the ProvincesSentry Peak · Marching Through Peachtree · Advance and Retreat Hellenic Traders Crosstime Traffic Days of Infamy seriesDays of Infamy · End of the Beginning Scepter of MercyThe Bastard King · The Chernagor Pirates · The Scepter's Return Opening of the WorldBeyond the Gap · The Breath of God · The Golden Shrine Atlantis seriesOpening Atlantis · The United States of Atlantis · Liberating Atlantis The War That Came EarlyHitler's War · West and East · The Big Switch Non-series booksAgent of Byzantium · Between the Rivers · The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump · Conan of Venarium · Counting Up, Counting Down · Departures · A Different Flesh · Down in the Bottomlands · Earthgrip · Every Inch a King · Fort Pillow · Give Me Back My Legions! · The Guns of the South · Household Gods · In the Presence of Mine Enemies · Justinian · Kaleidoscope · The Man with the Iron Heart · Noninterference · Reincarnations · Ruled Britannia · Thessalonica · The Two Georges · A World Of Difference
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