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Conan: The Child review

eBook by Brian D. Anderson 

Cover once again by E. M. Gist 

From Titan Books and Heroic Signatures

Spoilers! Spoilers! 

Mekahumet, a vermin less city south of the Shemite border, ruled by Boa constrictors and cats. 

To pay off his debts, Arnold Schwarzenegger... oops, I mean Conan is now working for the Magistrate Lanitar.

Conan is in Jabari Ishman's tavern and is offered poisoned beer. Pregnant pause.
This gives birth to a bar brawl.
Conan, as per his contract, dispatches every single guild assassin and thief inside the dive... in just minutes.
He finds another mug of ale, this time untainted and downs it.

The pleased Magistrate gives our Cimmerian another assignment.

A super sexy noblewoman guides a concupiscent Conan to a small but superb armoury where he finds wealthy merchant Barathis Akken.

The sword of Asgardian warrior Sven Orthan Half-Blood with its nice Northmen runes catches Conan's eye.

Yulivaria, a dark sorceress, has kidnaped Barathis Akken's noble wife Gadrania and son Hatar. He wants Conan to bring them back alive before they decamp from Stygia.

Conan will get the Sven sword and a fat bounty if successful.

Conan is hesitantly given his promised sword early to fight the sorceress.

Old Tutmar and 3 younger guards are assigned to a Conan that promises to be discreet.

Conan and his posse discover a pile of clawed/butchered bandit corpses. 

Conan finds the wife (Gadrania)'s silver bracelet.

They finally arrive at the Stygian marshes. Old Tutmar mentions that the sorceress once healed his daughter.

Conan proposes to press on, on his own, but Tutmar protests. Conan gets suspicious. 

Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer wakes to music by Alan Silvestri... oops, I mean Conan wakes to the sounds made by a swift shadow with red eyes. The predatory thing can see in the dark and is using the trees to get around the forest. The monster easily eliminates all 3 of the younger guards, they were probably all wearing red shirts.

The moonlight exposes the shadow, as a small blue scaly reptilian with fangs, claws, tiny brow horns and taloned feet.

The lizard thing recognizes Captain Tutmar. The Captain tries to kill Conan, but fails. The creature slices deep into Conan's flesh, bites his neck. Tutmar fails a second time to take Conan's life. Conan wounds the little killer in the foot, it starts crying like a spoiled child. Tutmar attempts to murder Conan for a third time but dies at the end of Conan's sword. The boy disappears, leaving Conan alone with his thoughts. 

Conan reasons that if the demon can be wounded, it can be killed.

Conan finds his two wanted women waiting for the arrival of Captain Tutmar. Turncoat Tutmar's assignment was to kill all pursuers. The sorceress Yulivaria and the wife Gadrania need get to a chopper... or Shem. 

The blue demon arrives, curls himself next to mother Gadrania and reverts to a young human boy, her son Hatar.

Yulivaria, actually not a sorceress, tries to kill Conan, but fails.

Conan decides to hear their story.

Barathis Akken promised his son to Amin Sathar and his Set worshipping associates in exchange for a social class upgrade. His wife is not noble enough for his ambitions.

Priest/sorcerer Amin Sathar transformed Hatar into a serpent-child, but wants to make the boy's reptilian form permanent. 

Conan decides to bring them back home to Mekahumet.

Back at the armoury, Conan now has a new employer: Gadrania. Barathis Akken reluctantly gives Conan his gold coins (Conan already has his Sven sword).
Conan locks the social climber in his armoury and escapes with Yulivaria, Hatar and NEW LOVER Gadrania on horseback, direction: Shem.

We Fight For Love by The Power Station starts playing over the end credits... Just kidding.

What I did like:

Sven-Ole Thorsen homage.

Predator (1987) homage.

Temple of Set mentioned.

Earth goddess Ishtar mentioned.

What I did not like:

The Sven sword does zilch.

We are promised Conan vs sorceress action that never occurs.

No swamp things!

The bar brawl brings nothing to the story.

The silver bracelet does nothing.

The child does not get cured.

Conan doesn't go after Amin Sathar.

Conan doesn't have a man-to-man chat with Hatar.

The S word is used.

Panther, giant Snake and wild Ape attacks are all teased but nothing ever happens. Not cool!

I give it a 6/10. You saying that the guards were killed by a lizard? Nonsense! There's two or three men out there at the most! RIP, Carl Weathers (1948-2024).

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