Conan the Triumphant
Cover of first edition
|Series||Conan the Barbarian|
|Genre||Sword and sorcery|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
Conan the Triumphant 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 trade paperback by Tor Books in October 1983, and was reprinted in 1991; a regular paperback edition followed from the same publisher in April 1985, and was reprinted in January 1987, May 1991 and February 2011. The first British edition was published in paperback by Sphere Books in November 1985; a later British edition was published in paperback by Legend Books in April 1997. The novel was later gathered together with Conan the Magnificent and Conan the Destroyer into the hardcover omnibus collection The Conan Chronicles II (Legend, April 1997), and was later gathered together with Conan the Magnificent and Conan the Victorious into the hardcover omnibus collection The Further Chronicles of Conan (Tor Books, October 1999).
Conan takes his Free Company of mercenaries to Ianthe, capital of Ophir, where they become entangled in the chaos ensuing on the death of King Valdric. The factions of Antimides, Valentius and Lady Synelle Countess of Asmark all contest the throne. Synelle is secretly a sorceress and the high priestess of the nearly forgotten demon god Al’Kiir. Al’Kiir was sealed away in the depths of the mountain Tor Al’Kiir ages before by the power of the mage Avanrakash, but she hopes to raise him by providing him a “bride” through human sacrifice and enlist his power to attain the throne.
Conan comes to Synelle’s attention when he buys a statuette of Al’Kiir which she believes can be used to revive the god. She plots to attain it, sending various agents to try to steal it and bewitching the Cimmerian into enlisting in her service. This attachment is complicated by Conan’s interest in Julia, a young noblewoman reduced to trulldom, and his old antagonist, the female bandit Karella the Red Hawk, one of those Synelle has hired to steal the image. Various complications ensue.
Ultimately, Synelle’s true colors are revealed. In the bowels of the Tor Al’Kirr, she and her priestesses attempt to sacrifice Karela to raise the demon. Conan and his company attack her forces and the Cimmerian wins through—just too late. Al’Kiir is raised, but takes Synelle instead of the intended victim. When it next turns its attention to Karela, Conan seizes the Staff of Avanrakash and spears the creature. At its unearthly screams, Synelle’s defenders flee. The demon and the captive sorceress harden into stone and the mountain begins to rumble. Conan and his men flee, putting as much distance as they can between themselves and the Tor before it erupts in a pillar of flame resembling the staff.
In the aftermath, the victorious army of Valentius marches on Ianthe. The remnants of the Free Company, sidelined, break up, each going his separate way. Conan urges Karela to go to Argos with him, but she refuses, preferring her free life to being mastered by the Cimmerian. He proceeds south alone.
Fan reviewer Lagomorph Rex calls the novel "a pretty good book all around," showing "hallmarks of Robert Jordan's writing style," which with "the political nature of the book, ... the magical items ... and especially Lady Synelle, ... reminded me of aspects of Jordan's "The Wheel of Time." He finds the reintroduction of Karela and Hordo, characters from other Jordan Conan novels, "a nice touch, something which other writers would have been well to do. It makes the Hyborian lands feel as if they are populated by a number of adventures, rather than Conan being the only one." Jordan he calls "a very inventive writer," "despite his propensity to wander and get caught up in minutiae."
- Conan the Triumphant title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- D'Ammassa, Don. "Conan the Triumphant" (review on Critical Mass). Sep. 28, 2017.
- Lagomorph Rex. "Hyborean Apocrypha: Conan the Triumphant" (Review), July 23, 2012.
Conan the Unconquered
|Tor Conan series
Conan the Magnificent
Conan the Defender
|Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
Conan the Guardian