Book Review 235 // The Pool of the Black One by Robert E. Howard

We are hacking and slashing our way through these Conan adventures now. I am also happy to announce that I am rewatching the classic 1990s Conan the Adventurer cartoon, which is genuinely a blast back to my childhood. With a real buzz about it all, I am happy to be reviewing Book 5 in the Conan Adventures.

Title: The Pool Of The Black One: Conan the Barbarian #5
Author: Robert E. Howard
Blurb: "The Pool of the Black One," which appeared in Weird Tales magazine the month after "The Slithering Shadow," is a piratical adventure story and occurs in the Western Sea of the Hyborian Age. The story begins with Conan the Cimmerian adrift at sea, having had to escape from rivals in the Barachan Isles. He clambers aboard The Wastrel, a ship belonging a different pirate order, bitter rivals of the Barachan ones. After a terse conversation with the captain and a brawl with a Zingaran bully, Conan is begrudgingly accepted as a lowly member of the crew and is allowed to remain on board.

Format: 34 pages, E-book
First published October 1, 1933


This was a nice twist; Conan the Barbarian has become Conan, the Pirate. Looks like we are headed for some High Seas Adventure in this tale. As the newest crew member, Conan has to earn his spot, and it takes our hero only a short time before he catches the eye of the ship captain's lady - which always leads to trouble. But with Conan's strength, he can stay above everyone and is soon a welcomed part of the crew.

Seeking fame, glory and wealth, the crew spots an island and soon are headed a shore to plunder. Discovering fresh fruit on land, the crew set about eating the mysterious fruit to discover too late that it contains a sleeping property. Luckily Conan didn't partake, and neither did the captain, leading to an awkward tension that ends in a duel to see who would be the captain of the slumbering crew. Ultimately the winner is never questioned, but now Captain Conan has a more significant issue to worry about. The island is home to a race of Giants who are highly territorial! Soon the hacking and slashing take over the story, and we get a genuinely brilliant ending, a great short read, I highly recommend it.

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