The Return of Conan

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The Return of Conan
The Return of Conan.jpg
First edition
Author Björn Nyberg and L. Sprague de Camp
Cover artist Wallace Wood
Country United States
Language English
Series Conan the Barbarian
Genre Sword and sorcery Fantasy novel
Publisher Gnome Press
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 191 pp

The Return of Conan is a 1957 fantasy novel written by Björn Nyberg and L. Sprague de Camp featuring Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was first published in hardcover by Gnome Press and in paperback by Lancer Books as part of the collection Conan the Avenger in 1968; in this form it has been reprinted a number of times since by various publishers. It has also been translated into Japanese, German and Spanish.

Plot summary[edit]

In the kingdom of Aquilonia, a year of peace for King Conan and his new queen Zenobia is broken when the latter is abducted by a demon. Conan learns from the wizard Pelias of Koth that the eastern sorcerer Yah Chieng of Khitai is responsible, and begins a quest to recover her, little realizing that the fate of the world as well as Aquilonia rests on the outcome of the contest.

Chronologically, The Return of Conan falls between Howard's novel The Hour of the Dragon (also known as Conan the Conqueror), and the four short stories collected as Conan of Aquilonia.

In the both hardcover Gnome Press edition and the paperback Lancer/Ace edition of the Conan stories, The Return of Conan follows Robert E. Howard's novel Conan the Conqueror; it is the final volume chronologically in the Gnome edition (though one additional volume, Tales of Conan, contains stories issued out of sequence), while in the Lancer/Ace edition it is followed by the short stories collected as Conan of Aquilonia.


Everett F. Bleiler reported that the novel was "not very good."[1]


The Return of Conan was only the second Conan novel ever written, the first being Howard's The Hour of the Dragon. Nyberg, a Swedish fan of Howard's Conan tales, was inspired enough by them to pen the story in a language not even his own. De Camp's contribution was largely to smooth off the rough edges of the resulting text.


  1. ^ Everett F. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, Kent State University Press, 1983, p.387
  • Chalker, Jack L.; Mark Owings (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. p. 305. 
  • Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. pp. 85–86. 
Preceded by
Conan the Conqueror
Gnome Conan series
(chronological order)
Succeeded by
Tales of Conan
Preceded by
The Hour of the Dragon
Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
Succeeded by
Conan the Great