I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person willing to pen reviews of Conan pastiche novels. The esteemed Charles Saunders, author of the Imaro stories, has posted an excellent review of Conan the Hero by Leonard Carpenter on Black Gate. Charles actually asked me in December if it was okay for him to write a Conan pastiche review, as it was something only I had done so far in my "Pastiche 'R' Us" series. Of course it was all right: not only is anybody free to hop on the Conan-reviewing bandwagon with me (I've always hoped for some company) but Charles Saunders is free to do whatever he wants, as far as I'm concerned.
Saunders looks at the Vietnam allegory of the novel, as well as the partnership between Conan and Juma, a black warrior originally invented by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter for one of their pastiche stories. I've never read Conan the Hero, although I own a copy, and after reading Mr. Saunders's review of it, I'm not enthusiastic about getting to it. The Vietnam parallels just sound too "on-the-nose" for me. Carpenter's novels are very hit-and-miss with me, anyway. If it were John Maddox Roberts, I'd be onboard in a moment. He managed to do a complete re-write of King Solomon's Mines and make it work, after all.
Thanks to Charles Saunders for taking some Conan-reviewing pressure off my shoulders.