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Conan the Destroyer by Robert Jordan - Edit 3

Before modification by Dragonsworn at 04/11/2009 06:02:53 PM

In the early eighties Robert Jordan wrote seven Conan the Barbarian novels. Amongst them was included the novelization of the movie Conan the Destroyer with Arnold Schwartzenegger. This is not a original story by Jordan, but a reworking of a movie script.

The story of the movie is that Conan is hired by princess Taramis to accompany the young maiden Jehnna and the princess's bodyguard Bombatta in search for a gem called the Heart of Ahriman. With Conan follows his thief companion Malak, the wizard Akiro and Zula, the warrior woman. Conan takes on this mission with the hope that Taramis is to resurect Valeria, Conans former lover.

About a month ago I reviewed Jordan's Conan the Invincible. Conan the Destroyer is the same, it's a classic, straight forward, swords & sorcery novel. That means adventure, beautiful, voluptuous women, wizards, and lots of action in which Conan battles enemies in a flurry of slit throats and split sculls. If this is what you want, then that is what you get. Novels about Conan aren't about subtlety and they ain't supposed to be.

The novelization improves alot on the movie script. In the movies you got the feeling several of the characters, like Akiro, never really got the chance to shine as characters and you noticed that every character had barely a few post-it notes of dialogue. In this novel Jordan really fleshes out the script.

The story overall was reworked by Jordan, even offering several passages of story never seen in the film. The dialogue is greately enhanced and together with that and the fact that charachters like Akiro now even got an active role in the proceedings, you now feel less inclined to complain about characters being there just for the sake of being. Akiro for example now hurls some fireballs and conjurs some other magic, instead of just mostly sitting there like in the movie. Though other characters do get a smaller part in the novel than in the film, like Zula.

I do feel that if you've seen the movie and enjoyed it, you wouldn't do yourself anything wrong if you picked up this novel. It offers a more deep look upon the same story, including several passages, scenes, and dialogue, not found in the film.

As for the writing, this is just like with Conan the Invincible, a Jordan novel. His writing style is evident although nothing is of that you find in the Wheel of Time.

This is early Jordan and although I think it is not as well written as Invincible, I do think it makes for an easy and enjoyable read if you're in search of some light reading.

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