Conan the Invincible
|Series||Conan the Barbarian|
|Genre||Sword and sorcery|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
Conan the Invincible is a fantasy novel by American writer Robert Jordan, featuring Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was first published in paperback by Tor Books in June 1982 and reprinted in July 1990; a trade paperback edition followed from the same publisher in 1998. The first British edition was published in paperback by Sphere Books in September 1989; a later British edition was published in paperback by Legend Books in August 1996. It was later gathered together with Conan the Defender and Conan the Unconquered into the hardcover omnibus collection The Conan Chronicles (Tor Books, July 1995).
Amanar the Necromancer, in his lair in the Kezankian Mountains, sacrifices to his demonic patron, Morath-Aminee, for protection against the Black Ring, a league of sorcerers he has betrayed. Meanwhile, in a Shadizar tavern, Conan mulls over prospects for his next theft, in between incidental quarrels with one woman and the rescue of another who fails to thank him. He is hired by a supposed merchant to steal pendants in the possession of the King of Zamora. The merchant is actually Imhep-Aton, an agent of the Black Ring, who intends to use these against Amanar.
The Cimmerian makes an attempt on the palace, convincing the slave girl Velita to help him steal the pendants in exchange for her freedom, but the heist is interrupted and the alarm sounded. He escapes, but finds the next morning that the pendants and Velita have been stolen by someone else. He sets out in pursuit, along with, unknown to him, the king's cavalry and Imhep-Aton, who assumes Conan himself has absconded with the goods.
At a desert oasis Conan saves a woman from bandits—the same, surprisingly, he had earlier aided in the tavern—and with her continues his pursuit of the caravan. He catches up to what he believes is it, only to have the woman reveal herself as the infamous raider Karela the Red Hawk, and the band he has discovered as hers. Karela's men fall on the Cimmerian and take him prisoner, but Conan ingratiates himself with the raiders, and together they resume the pursuit of the caravan, while they themselves continue to be pursued by the Zamorans and the agent of the Black Ring.
Karela's band, trapped between tribal hillmen and the Zamoran cavalry, slip away to let their antagonists fight each other, and then come under attack again by Amanar's reptilian underlings. Fighting them off, they track the reptiloids to Amanar's keep.
The necromancer attempts guile, entertaining Conan and Karela, disclaiming knowledge of the girl and the pendants, and offering to hire them. Conan, distrustful, returns by night and discovers Velita, but an enchantment prevents her from being removed from the stronghold.
Conan ends up in Amanar's dungeon together with several others, including Karela's lieutenant and the Zamoran captain. Together they plan an escape. They make their break in time to see Amanar's keep stormed by an army of hillmen. In the chaos, Conan and Imhep-Aton both assault Amanar as he summons Morath-Aminee. The Eater of Souls destroys Imhep-Aton and Amanar as well, but is slain in turn by the necromancer's spells. With their deaths, the castle collapses, but Conan rescues Velita and escapes. Karela, who had been ensorceled by Amanar, also gets away.
Conan, having freed Velita as promised, comes upon Karela captured by slavers and bound to be sold. Reminding her of the promise she extracted from him not to aid her, he rides on, leaving her.
Ryan Harvey calls this, Jordan's first Conan novel, an "excellent first venture into the Hyborian Age," as well as "pulpily exciting and one of the few pastiches from the Tor books that I recommend to people who normally avoid non-Howard Conan." He rates it above Conan the Defender, Jordan's second venture, which he considers "a lesser novel."
- Conan the Invincible title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Harvey, Ryan. "Pastiches ‘R’ Us: Conan the Defender" (Review), December 8, 2009.
- D'Ammassa, Don. "Conan the Invincible" (review on Critical Mass). Sep. 22, 2017.
| Tor Conan series
Conan the Defender
Conan the Magnificent
| Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
"The Hall of the Dead"