Book Review 221 // The Shadow Kingdom by Robert E. Howard

It's happening, people! Slaine is slowly converting me over to fantasy. Not completely sure of my reasoning, but I picked up the 860-ish page Kindle book of Robert E. Howard - Conan the Cimmerian Barbarian: The Complete Weird Tales Omnibus. This is a book collecting a lot of short stories, so I will be sprinkling these in amongst the book reviews as some light filler pieces. Enjoy!

Title: The Shadow Kingdom

Author: Robert E. Howard

Blurb: A story of Kull, first published in Weird Tales, August 1929. (wow, that tells you a lot!).

Format: 32 pages, ebook

Buy the whole book on Amazon and read along with me!


A pretty good intro to Howard's writing. Kull, it turns out, is a barbarian from Atlantis. Who has managed to claim the throne of Valusia and is now the crowned King. But soon Kull is discovering it is easier to take a crown than keep it and he learns of a race of shapeshifting reptilian humanoids who are manipulating everyone through guile. A nice build-up to the action and soon we are hacking and slashing like all good Sword and Sorcery stories.

I really enjoyed this opening piece, it was also nice to get an introduction explaining the piece and where it sits within the Conan adventures. It is basically an early Conan draft, building off this idea of a barbarian king and lizardman villains.

You can't help but feel the inner conspiracy theorist come out as you think of Shadow Governments controlling the general population through manipulation and guile. Is this a look into our own future? Hahaha. If it is I welcome our cold-bloodied overlords!

Let me know your thoughts on what many view as a classic.

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