Red Nails

Red Nails

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4.5
(4 Reviews)
Red Nails by Robert E. Howard

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94

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4,521

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Red Nails

By

4.5
(4 Reviews)
The story presented herewith is one of the most powerful and eery weird tales yet written about Conan—the tale of a barbarian adventurer, a woman pirate, and a weird roofed city inhabited by the most peculiar race of men ever spawned.

Book Excerpt

where the unseen slayer was hidden.

"Here it comes!" muttered Conan, half lifting his sword.

The thicket was violently agitated, and Valeria clutched Conan's arm hard. Ignorant of jungle-lore, she yet knew that no animal she had ever seen could have shaken the tall brush like that.

"It must be as big as an elephant," muttered Conan, echoing her thought. "What the devil----" His voice trailed away in stunned silence.

Through the thicket was thrust a head of nightmare and lunacy. Grinning jaws bared rows of dripping yellow tusks; above the yawning mouth wrinkled a saurian-like snout. Huge eyes, like those of a python a thousand times magnified, stared unwinkingly at the petrified humans clinging to the rock above it. Blood smeared the scaly, flabby lips and dripped from the huge mouth.

The head, bigger than that of a crocodile, was further extended on a long scaled neck on which stood up rows of serrated spikes, and after it, crushing down the briars and saplings, waddled the

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An exceptional bit of pulp. Conan and Valeria are thrown into a claustrophobic, underground of Mezo-American factions fighting a bloody war of attrition. Howard was always the best at atmosphere. Some elements might feel familiar as this style of setting (faction wars with an outsider arriving) has been copied almost as often as "The Most Dangerous game"
Conan and a warrior woman escape a dragon only to stumble on an ancient city populated with two bands of feuding squatters. Choosing a side by chance, they find themselves allied with a trecherous prince and an evil sorceress. Conan is a wandering mercenary at this point in his career.

Howard's plotting and descriptions carry the story, which doesn't let up on the carnage for a moment.
This one was my first Conan tale. Very entertaining and kept me engaged. Ready to read more from Robert Howard.