This past weekend I finished the new Conan novel, S.M. Stirling's Blood of the Serpent. And wrote a brief review which you can find on the blog of DMR Books.
The TL;DR version should you not want to spare the click: 3.5/5 stars. I liked it, found it to be a well-written page turner, but not the terrific relaunch of authorized Conan prose fiction I wished it to be. I had high expectations, only partially met.
Have you read this? If so would be curious to hear your thoughts.
I just finished it, too, and had a hard time getting through it. I have one word for it -- disappointing. While the battle scenes were pretty well done, the story meandered with only the thinnest thread of a plot. I also particularly didn't like the use of modern terminology sprinkled through the story (ex. neatsfoot oil), as well as the exclusive use of familiar African animals; a couple of supernatural creatures would have added more to the Conan that we are more familiar with in Howard's stories. Howard had a knack for creating eerie atmospheres which added immensely to the mood of the story. The ending was also disappointing as Conan spends most of his thoughts on Valeria throughout the tale and when he finally catches up to her, they immediately go running off to another fight. I'm not sure if Stirling was the right author to pen this story. Ultimately, I hope this new proposed series doesn't end up like the Universal Monsterverse did -- a failed experiment.
I haven't read it and probably won't. I don't have a problem with people writing other Conan stories in theory, but Howard was such a unique writer I don't think he can be copied.
Another irritating thing was that it had numerous typos which you don't expect from a publisher like Titan. I'd wait for it to come out in paperback, as it certainly wasn't worth 25 bucks to me.
Thanks for the comments. John, yeah, I agree that the biggest problem with BotS was the general absence of the Wierd. You get the Stygian sorcerer and the curse on Conan, but it manifests as battles against animals. I thought this was serviceable for something like the plot of an issue of Savage Sword of Conan or 1990s Tor novel, but was expecting more in a literary relaunch.
I didn't care much for this book. Thought it was well-written enough, but poorly plotted. It was just Conan killing animal after animal! I kept expecting PETA to come after him.
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