One of E. Howard's most exciting stories, Shadows in Zamboula is a curious tale where survival and action reign above all else, and the dangers associated with the lowest form of human behavior - cannibalism - is explored quite thoroughly.
In this fictional and quite fantastic tale, Howard places Conan the Cimmerian, one of his most well-known characters, in a small inn in the fictional desert city of Zamboula. Despite warnings of cannibals roaming the streets of the city at night, Conan went ahead with his plan of getting some well-earned rest, but soon found himself attacked by a cannibal who entered his room through a lock picking trick.
After escaping the encounter and killing his foe, Conan encounters a naked woman running after her deranged lover, who had been affected by a love potion she had used on him. Saving them both from the cannibals, Conan strikes a deal with the woman, and soon puts an end to the evil priest who had instructed her in taking the potion, while also getting his revenge on the inn keeper, who was responsible for his attempted murder and the death of countless other travelers, as part of a bargain made with the cannibals themselves.
The story is an intriguing portrayal of action and fast-paced plot twists that will keep you reading it without pause. You will find the characters to be quite diverse and colorful, and Conan's strength and decisiveness to be among the most inspiring aspects of the story.
Many people would consider Shadows in Zamboula to be less intellectually challenging, however, aside from being very well-written, the story will always keep you at the edge of your seat, being quite unpredictable, while offering a steady dose of action-packed entertainment. Even today, most people reading it are not able to put the book down before they have finished reading its last few paragraphs.
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