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‘The White Stranger’
Robert E. Howard - Conan - The Vale Of Lost Women Review by James LaFond

I have read no other story more often than The Vale of Lost Women. Something about its grim progress outward into insanity presses inward upon me. When reviewing this in 2013 with feminist novelist V. J. Waks [imagine doing such a thing today] she was of the opinion that this unsold story was essentially the outline of a novel. Looking at the story with the woman’s yearning for a long, involved relationship with the untamable masculine force of the Conan protagonist [and no character ever deserved to be referred to as a protagonist more than Conan] as the heroine made her way slowly, romantically, adventurously—but unerringly—home from her horrible ordeal, Ms. Waks saw more promise in the Vale of Lost Women as a prologue to Livia’s Great Adventure, than the story had on its own merits. The sheer horror of the tale from the modern feminist perspective begs for it to be eclipsed by Livia earning Conan’s respect, enslaving him with her soft body, leading him with the superior compassion, learning how to ride and fight like a man, choosing a fling with Conan over a life as a queen and then choosing quiet retirement in her home town over a life with Conan...

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A Well of Heroes

A Well of Heroes: Two:

Literary Impressions of the Prose and Verse of Robert E. Howard

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