Conan the Liberator
|Author||L. Sprague de Camp
|Cover artist||Bob Larkin|
|Series||Conan the Barbarian|
|Genre||Sword and sorcery Fantasy novel|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
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, and reprinted in 1982; 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).
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.
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.
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.
- Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. p. 42.
- Conan the Liberator title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- ""Conan the Liberator / L. Sprague de Camp & Lin Carter" [review]. Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002.
- Fantastic Fiction entry for Conan the Liberator
- "Conan the Liberator" - a book review by Cindy Lynn Speer
Conan the Swordsman
|Bantam Conan series
The Sword of Skelos
"Wolves Beyond the Border"
|Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
"The Phoenix on the Sword"