A Riddle Of Steel: The Definitive History of Conan the Barbarian

I’m really excited about FauxPop’s documentary on Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian. The people interviewed in this preview, including writer Roy Thomas and fantasy artists Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, share fascinating insights about the continuing appeal of Howard’s legacy.

It’s unfortunate that so many still believe the Conan stories are nothing but escapist fantasy, but I believe A Riddle Of Steel will help change that.

The Conan plotline tells the story of a man determined to survive in a corrupt and dying society while holding true to his personal code of honor. (A theme even more timely in our present age.) Howard was not only a craftsman and entertainer whose dynamic style continues to inspire writers, but also a shrewd and perceptive commentator on the human condition. Here’s my take on the worldview underlying Howard’s most intriguing character.

A Riddle Of Steel is a hopeful sign the time is ripe for a more serious understanding of one of the greatest series in fantasy fiction.

2 thoughts on “A Riddle Of Steel: The Definitive History of Conan the Barbarian”

  1. That was incredibly insightful into one of my childhood heroes. My exposure to the Conan saga was through the films made in the 80s. They were pivotal for my brother and me. Our favorite past-time was to play swords and conquerors. I was always aware of Conan’s code of honor, but I hadn’t thought of about it’s significance. As a shade-tree philosopher, Southerner, and writer, I am glad to know that the impetus for Conan is the heritage with which I hold dear. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the faithless and rootless times we’re in, I find inspiration in Howard’s vision in literature. In real life, the example of General Patrick Cleburne guides me. At the battle of Franklin, when informed his next assault would likely kill him, he replied, “Then let us die like men.”

      Liked by 1 person

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