Book Review 234 // The Slithering Shadow by Robert E. Howard

Continuing our dive into the world of Conan. With this next short story. I'm enjoying these quick reads and it has finally pushed me back into watching the cartoon show as well (how far have I fallen?). Anyways more on the cartoon soon, until then, let's get into this title.

Title: The Slithering Shadow: Xuthal of the Dusk

Author: Robert E. Howard

Blurb: The Slithering Shadow (also known as Xuthal of the Dusk) is one of the original short stories starring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in the Weird Tales magazine. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan finding a lost city in a remote desert and encountering therein a Lovecraftian-esque demon known as Thog.

Format: Ebook, 107 pages.


This isn't a continuation of the previous story (if it is, please let me know), and we join Conan and his new companion in a desert. Of course, the companion is a helpless woman named Natala, who doesn't seem prepared for where they are. With little background, all we know is that they have fled into the desert and stand on the verge of death from lack of water. 

Lucky or unlucky, the duo discovers what almost appears to be a ghost town. As they explore deeper into the city, the pair discover sleeping citizens. The city has a drug problem, and everyone is in a deep sleep from ingesting too much locus smoke. People who stay awake too long have a habit of disappearing, which is the last thing you want to happen in this city!

Of course, as we have to expect, there is a villain; in this case, a woman called Thalis, who, with her monster pet, is hounding the city and causing problems for all. But when Conan fails to accept her advances, the villain, Thalis, attempts to kill Natala and have revenge on Conan. Leading us into a classic hack-and-slash adventure, ending with our heroes fleeing once more into the desert.

I rather enjoyed this. Very classical pulp-style adventure, with no big surprises but plenty of joyful moments and a memorable read.

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