23 March 2009

Conan and the Treasure of Python

. . . and back to reviewing Conan pastiche novels for Black Gate. Last time it was Conan the Raider by Leonard Carpenter. This time it’s Conan and the Treasure of Python by John Maddox Roberts. Roberts is one of best of the authors who wrote for the Tor series of Conan novels, and with one exception (Conan and the Amazon) I have enjoyed all his adventure of the Cimmerian fantasy hero. He writes in a very “invisible” style that makes no attempt to copy Robert E. Howard’s prose, and that works well for him.

But what I find most interesting about Conan and the Treasure of Python is that it is almost a scene-for-scene re-write of King Solomon’s Mines, the classic 1885 novel by H. Rider Haggard, in the Hyborian age setting, with Conan as Alan Quatermain. And it works! If you’ve read King Solomon’s Mines—and you should, it’s a wonderful adventure novel—I think you’ll enjoy Roberts’s “Conan-ization” of it.

Read the review here.