Conan the Liberator

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Conan the Liberator
Conan the Liberator.jpg
Conan the Liberator by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, Bantam Books, 1979
Author L. Sprague de Camp
Lin Carter
Illustrator Tim Kirk
Cover artist Bob Larkin
Country United States
Language English
Series Conan the Barbarian
Genre Sword and sorcery Fantasy novel
Publisher Bantam Books
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 274 pp
ISBN 0-553-12706-3
OCLC 6390811

Conan the Liberator is a fantasy novel written by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter featuring Robert E. Howard's seminal sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was first published in paperback by Bantam Books in February 1979,[1][2] and reprinted in 1982;[1] later paperback editions were issued by Ace Books (July 1987 and April 1991). The first hardcover edition was published by Tor Books in June 2002; a trade paperback followed from the same publisher in 2003. The first British edition was from Sphere Books (July 1987). The novel was later gathered together with Conan the Swordsman and Conan and the Spider God into the omnibus collection Sagas of Conan (Tor Books, 2004).[2]

Howard himself never wrote the tale of this crucial turning point of Conan's life - from wandering mercenary and pirate to King. The only detail provided in the canonical Howard stories is that Conan strangled Numedides on his own throne and then crowned himself with the dead King's crown. Carter and de Camp, filling in this vital link in Conan's career, show that a prolonged, arduous military campaign was needed before he got to this point, that there were many setbacks and moments when all seemed lost. Also, while Conan's own courage and perseverance played a crucial role, his success also owed a great deal to a band of loyal and dedicated companions, some of whom did not survive to see the final victory.

Plot summary[edit]

Following the events of the story "The Treasure of Tranicos", Conan joins a conspiracy of former comrades-in-arms to overthrow Numedides, the mad and tyrannical king of Aquilonia. As commander of the rebel forces, he has the prospect of becoming king himself if they succeed, but he has not only Numedides' loyal troops, led by General Procas, to overcome, but the spells of the evil sorcerer Thulandra Thuu.

Chronologically, Conan the Liberator overlaps the events of the story "Wolves Beyond the Border", and is followed by the story "The Phoenix on the Sword".


Shortly before publication of the first hardcover edition in 2002 Kirkus Reviews pronounced that "[o]nce again, de Camp and Carter mime Howard's hyperbolic spirit and majestic inverted syntax with great style." The review expressed no other opinion as to the merit of the novel.[3]


  1. ^ a b Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. p. 42. 
  2. ^ a b Conan the Liberator title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  3. ^ ""Conan the Liberator / L. Sprague de Camp & Lin Carter" [review]. Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002.


Preceded by
Conan the Swordsman
Bantam Conan series
(publication order)
Succeeded by
The Sword of Skelos
Preceded by
"Wolves Beyond the Border"
Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
Succeeded by
"The Phoenix on the Sword"