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‘The Box of Zarothus’
The Fang of the Dragon: Chapter 12 of Robert E. Howard’s Hour of the Dragon
Reading from pages 171-181 of the DelRey edition
Impressions by James LaFond
Howard, the author, finds himself in a strange place at this point of the only Conan novel. The standout tales of adventure he had built the character on were generally the immediate result of ill-chance, blunder and desperation. Not only is Conan generally broke or on the run or both, but his entire situation is a surprise, which brings out the best in his barbaric personality. However, with King Conan releasing himself from a hopeless civil war he starts out on a quest that is nearly Tolkienesque, except of course that Howard’s Conan pre-dates Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
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