Conan, Lord of the Black River
Cover of the first edition
|Cover artist||Doug Beekman|
|Series||Conan the Barbarian|
|Genre||Sword and sorcery|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
Conan, Lord of the Black River is a fantasy novel by American writer Leonard Carpenter, featuring Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was first published in paperback by Tor Books in April 1996.
After successfully fulfilling a commission to overthrow a tyrannical local baron in Koth, Conan moves on to Baalur, a city-state in Shem, whose queen Rufia, a former lover, also needs his aid. Baalur is afflicted by a dream plague cast on it by the witch Zeriti, an old opponent of Conan's previously believed dead. Zeriti seeks to settle a score dating from Conan's previous encounter with the two women, told in the story "Hawks Over Shem," and her magical malady is turning Rufia's subjects into zombies.
With a force of a thousand men, the Cimmerian undertakes to retrieve the white lotus, the only known cure for the disease, said to be found at the source of the Styx, the infamous black river. His army marches by way of the city-state of Nedrezzar to the port city of Asgalun, whence it takes ship for the Styx, which forms the boundary between the lands of Shem and the evil kingdom of Stygia. They follow the river a long way to the east and thence south as it bends into the Black kingdoms. The expedition must overcome many dangers along the way, including pirates, hostile local rulers, religious fanatics, and cannibals before reaching the Styx's headwaters.
At the source of the Styx they face the worst and final threat, Zeriti's bloodthirsty undead lover. But the white lotus is at last secured and Conan's company returns down the river. After a final face-off with Zeriti in Asgalun they return to Baalur and cure the city's inhabitants.
Conan and the Shaman's Curse
| Tor Conan series
Conan and the Grim Grey God
Conan and the Treasure of Python
| Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
Conan the Rogue