Bill Ward and I are continuing our read through of the Del Rey Robert E. Howard collection The Bloody Crown of Conan. This week we’re discussing the second half of “The Hour of the Dragon.” We hope you’ll join in!
Bill: It is only at the midpoint of The Hour of the Dragon that Conan learns the full significance of the Heart of Ahriman, the terrible jewel with the intrinsic power to recall the dead to life or enhance sorcery beyond the bounds of mortal power. He learns this from the priests of Asura, a cult that he has shielded from persecution during his reign, and the same priests not only shelter him and the recently rescued princess Albiona, but they also facilitate his journey southward. From this point until its conclusion, the novel is a race for the jewel as Conan travels not only through the Hyborian Age landscape, but through his own past lives as mercenary, pirate, and thief.