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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
"Gore and guts and grief and glory! War and woe and fire and flame! Death and doom and dire deeds!" Harry Turtledove, king of the alternate history, tries his hand at heroic fantasy with Conan of Venarium, a tribute of sorts to Robert E. Howard's legendary barbarian king.
While other famous authors like Poul Anderson, L. Sprague de Camp, and Robert Jordan have penned memorable Conan tales, Turtledove's adventure chronicles Conan at his youngest -- still a prepubescent boy living with his hulking blacksmith father and sickly mother in a small village in Cimmeria. When an army from neighboring Aquilonia invades and occupies Conan's village, the 12-year-old boy yearns to slaughter the enemy, but his father deems him too young. But when a foreign leader seduces -- then kidnaps -- a young girl from Conan's village, no one (not even his giant of a father) can hold Conan back from bloody vengeance.
Besides Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars and Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné, Howard's Conan is arguably the best-known hero in the history of the fantasy genre. (And to the best of my knowledge, there are still no John Carter or Elric motion pictures…) Turtledove does the legendary blue-eyed, muscle-laden warrior justice, while adding his own unique touch to the saga. Like so many of his shelf-bending fantasy epics, this story is seen from the eyes of several different characters, making for more fully realized, intimate plot lines -- a must-read for Conan fans of all ages. Paul Goat Allen