By David Gemmell
The peaceable Eldarin have been the final of 3 historic races. the magical Oltor, healers and poets, had fallen ahead of the dread energy of the tough and sadistic Daroth. but in a single extraordinary evening the invincible Daroth had vanished from the face of the earth. long past have been their towns, their armies, their terror. the good Northern wilderness used to be their basically legacy. now not a hint remained for one thousand years...
The conflict of the Pearl had raged for seven years and the armies of the 4 Duchies have been exhausted and weary of bloodshed. however the most desirable of the Dukes, Sirano of Romark, possessed the Eldarin Pearl and was resolute to solve its secrets.
Then on one unforgettable day a depressing mon rose above the good Northern barren region, and a black tidal wave swept around the land. In moments the desolate tract had vanished underneath lush fields and forests and a very good urban can be visible glittering within the morning sunlight.
From this urban re-emerged the blood-hungry Daroth, strong and immortal, resistant to spear and sword. they'd just one hope: to rid the area of humankind for ever.
Now the destiny of the human race rests at the skills of 3 heroes: Karis, warrior-woman and strategist; Tarantio, the deadliest swordsman of the age; and Duvodas the Healer, who will research a negative truth.
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Her supple limbs were stiff from her long ride, and her firm flesh still seemed to feel the contact of the muscular arms that had borne her so far. She was lying on a sheepskin covering a pallet of leaves on a hard-beaten dirt floor. A folded sheepskin coat was under her head, and she was wrapped in a ragged cloak. She was in a large room, the walls of which were crudely but strongly built of uncut rocks, plastered with sun-baked mud. Heavy beams supported a roof of the same kind, in which showed a trap-door up to which led a ladder.
The reins lay loose on the stallion’s flowing mane, and every thew and fiber of the great beast strained as he hurtled along the boulder-strewn trail. But Conan sat easily, almost carelessly, in the saddle, riding like a centaur. ” she panted, quivering with the impact of shame, anger and the realization of helplessness. “You dare – you dare! Your life shall pay for this! ” “To the villages of Afghulistan,” he answered, casting a glance over his shoulder. Behind them, beyond the slopes they had traversed, torches were tossing on the walls of the fortress and he glimpsed a flare of light that meant the great gate had been opened.
I thought of that afternoon and the thrill came rushing over me. The power of images. The book, of course, was Conan the Adventurer by Robert E. Howard and the cover was painted by Frank Frazetta. It was my introduction to Howard’s fictional barbarian. That was a long time ago and many talented artists have portrayed Conan’s adventures. I was content to stand aside and enjoy their work but the opportunity presented itself after I had illustrated two of the other great Robert E. Howard heroes – Solomon Kane and Bran Mak Morn.