Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Conan of Venarium

Average Rating 1
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 review with 1 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2003

    Not your father's pastiche

    Robert E. Howard gave few details of the Sack of Venarium. Few were needed; the picture was clear enough. He wrote of the battle as a red slaughter, a wave of barbarians howling and slaying as they poured over the walls of the Aquilonian fort in the teeth of a fierce snowstorm. Conan had not yet seen 15 snows at that epic battle, but was already acknowledged a fierce warrior around the campfires. Those scant details by Howard were enough to paint a vivid picture of Conan's early years. Too bad John Milius didn't pay attention when he penned the goofy beginning of Conan the Barbarian. And too bad Harry Turtledove didn't gain a better understanding of Conan of Cimmeria before he cranked out this poor pastiche. Alas, Turtledove did not even deign to research the rest of the Conan Saga that has touched on the Sack of Venarium over the years. A half-dozen characters have been tied to the battle in various Conan paperbacks, but none of that is captured here. Instead, we get a poorly researched yarn of minimal heft. Although Cimmerians disdain archery, Turtledove puts a bow and arrow in Conan's hand at age 12. He has young Conan enjoying the herding of sheep. And he gives us not one battle of Venarium, but two, as the Cimmerians are rebuffed the first time and forced to endure occupation for two years. Not likely. Turtledove never places Venarium as near any particular river, shows us nary a Pict nor Aesir, and all in all does little to bring the Hyborian world alive. There is scant sorcery involved, either. Somehow a 40-foot Son of Set teleports to an Atlantean shrine in the woods of Cimmeria, just long enough for three arrows to slay it. In some scenes there is great sympathy for the Aquilonian and Bossonian invaders, even as they put a pike in the belly of a Cimmerian. Robert E. Howard would be spinning in his grave over that alone. To his credit, Turtledove's pacing is good, and some of the battle scenes are fairly sketched. But with young Conan doting on his mother, befriending an invader, wielding a bow, and driving a cart of onions, it is clearly not a character anyone who read the Ace and Lancer paperbacks of yesteryear would have recognized. Turtledove should either do some more research or return to his nearest parallel dimension.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2003

    Just Not Worth It

    Conan of Venarium started with a good idea. What was Conan's world like before he set off as the worlds greatest barbarian warrior.Unfortunately, this book was the most tedious of all the Conan works to date. Admittedly, Turtledove is a great author, but the works that are his best he researched. I found numerous problems with his portrayal of young Conan. Not to belabor this, but Conan of Venarium really should have been left as one of the 'lost Conan tales' never to be recovered.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 review with 1 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1