Average Rating Across All Stories: 3.5 stars
The two best stories are “The Phoenix on the Sword” and “The Queen of the Black Coast”; otherwise, the first half of this anthology holds the best of the bunch, gradually dwindling down to my least favorite two stories: “The Vale of Lost Women” and “Rogues in the House.” The final story almost redeemed the second half, but didn’t quite pack the punch necessary to overcome the duds immediately prior to it.
The anthology includes referential material (over 100 pages worth in the back and a 25 page introduction), including original drafts by Howard, unpublished drafts, and Hyborian Age information, maps, and chronologies.
I enjoy reading Howard’s fast paced fiction, especially to spice up my lunch hour during the work week. I highly recommend this collection to all fans of the original one-of-a-kind blue-eyed-blazing barbarian from Cimmeria.