I know I’ve been a little lax in continuing my recollections of these Lancer Conan novels that I read in high school and I apologize. So after much delay, here is my recollection of Conan the Buccaneer.
I read this one probably after having read the first several novels that I’ve already reviewed, but not in their order. As I had stated, the first one I ran across was Conan the Adventurer, and then having fell in love with Robert E. Howard’s barbaric hero, I then read the first four books. That put me on track to read this one.
At the time, I probably had no clue this was a pastiche. I just assumed everything was written by Howard and didn’t realize how much of their own work L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter added to the Conan histories.
Therefore, at the time, I thought this was just a really good story without any of the baggage many Howard purists attach to it. I’ve defended de Camp and Carter previously and don’t feel I need to continue doing so, except that I still firmly believe if they and Lancer hadn’t created these paperback editions with Frank Frazetta’s paintings, then Howard’s Conan, and probably all his writing, would be forgotten like many of his contemporaries.
Conan the Buccaneer (1971) by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter
“Introduction” (Lin Carter)
“Conan the Buccaneer” L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter)
Introduction. Lengthy introduction to Robert E. Howard, the Conan stories, sword and sorcery in general, as well as an explanation of where this book fits into the timeline of Conan’s life. Conan, incidentally is 37 or 38 and “the story serves to cover an otherwise inadequately chronicled period of Conan’s biography, those two years in which he was a buccaneer at Zingara.”
Conan the Buccaneer. First publication, 1971 by Lancer Books. According to the inside title page, this novel is “number eleven in the Lancer Uniform Edition of CONAN. Chronologically this volume is Number Six in the Saga of CONAN, following CONAN THE ADVENTURER and preceding CONAN THE WARRIOR.
To be honest, the best part of this book is the Frank Frazetta cover with Conan in the middle of another battle, strangling a foe.
I mean, the story isn’t bad. In fact, it kept me wanting to read more and I finished it in record time, but there is nothing by Howard here. It’s not a fragment or unfinished story that they expanded and completed. It’s their own work so it’s as much fanfic as any of the more current non-Howard novels written about Conan.
Next up, the sixth book in the series, Conan the Warrior, which contains three exciting Robert E. Howard Conan stories that had originally been published in Weird Tales.
And here are the previous Lancer/Ace Conan novels: