Unlike his other Conan novels, Conan The Destroyer is a novelization from the script of the second Conan film starring Arnold Swarzenegger.
Those that have seen the film or read the novel should know the characters. The Royal Guard of Shadizar catches Conan and his fellow thief friend Malak, but not for what they think.
Apparently it is written in the Scrolls of Skelos that someone who fits Conan's exact description must quest with the One (an innocent princess, Jehnna), and her bodyguard Bombatta. The Princess of Shadizar, Tamaris eventually convinces Conan to join this quest by promising him the return of Valeria, his lost love.
As the quest begins already Bombatta and Conan are at odds. Throughout the novel readers know that eventually there will be a showdown between them. The Princess Jehnna however, is a beautiful innocent who quickly becomes attached to Conan. This just adds to Bombatta's and Conan's feud.
Throughout the quest Conan recruits his friends, old and new; his fellow thief Malak, the wizard Akiro, and the powerful female warrior Zula. They all follow Princess Jehnna's direction toward the Heart of Ahriman. Jehnna has been raised since birth using sorcery and living a sheltered life just for this quest. It is her destiny. A most powerful necromancer guards the Heart of Ahriman. Many a Conan fan know just how much Conan likes sorcery, but in order to finish his quest he must have Jehnna collect the Horn of Dagoth and the Heart is the key to retrieving it. Will Conan complete the quest? Does he believe Princess Tamaris can bring Valeria back from death? What happens to Princess Jehnna after her task is completed?
The novelization was really well done and easy to read. I enjoyed the written story more than the film because Jordan wrote in (either it was in the initial script or added by the author) some more adult situations. For instance, a night where Conan involuntarily cupped a warm hard-tipped mound. I'll have to watch the film again soon because I can't recall a love scene between Arnold and Olivia D'Abo (sigh, I pray it's a cut scene to be included in a future DVD, but I doubt it).
Other than some more added romance perhaps the best thing I liked about the novelization was the fact that the story is a heck of a lot more rounded out. You are taken by the hand and lead through this adventure. Jordan describes every situation well and the reason behind it. Throughout the film I remember just following along the story but not knowing who this gorilla wizard is and why the heck mirror breaking hurt it.
Now I know the answer to many things not explained well enough in the film. As a novelization of a film, Conan The Destroyer is a typical transformation of a script to novel form with added bits. I'm happy I read it, maybe now I'll enjoy the film more....Continua