Bill Ward and I are starting our read through of the Del Rey Robert E. Howard collection The Conquering Sword of Conan. This week we’re discussing “The Servants of Bit-Yakin,” occasionally known as “Jewels of Gwahlur.” We hope you’ll join in!
Howard: I expected to like this one less. I try to walk into reading these stories with a pretty open mind, but in the case of Bit-Yakin I recently caught a few articulate REH fans writing about how it was their least favorite, and of course Patrice Louinet mentions, in the concluding essay to the book, that it was probably written quickly to help build up the stock of Conan stories in the Weird Tales inventory. With that in mind I thought I’d be reading more filler. Yet I ended up enjoying it a lot more than “A Witch Shall be Born” — apart from that one great scene we discussed last week — and there’s nothing in this story that touches that.