The Leopard of Poitain - Book I and II

A

Anonymous

Guest
Saw that Raul Capella(Ray) had written a series of stories set in Conan's world - he used the characacter Arquel of Argos. Was curious if anyone had reas them and if they were of good quality...Cheapest I can find this book is $60.00 - a bit steep I think, cannot believe more copies are not available for a book published in 1985. Here is a list of the stories in each:

The Leopard of Poitain, By Ray Capella
Book I:
Prologue: Witch's Pebbles I
The Crimson Bell
Witch's Pebbles II
Turutal
Witch's Pebbles III
Caravan to Kuthchemes
The Leopard of Poitain
Witch's Pebbles IV
The Lion's Bridge
Book II:
Witch Fires
A Shield from Acheron
Dark Seraglio
The King's Mercenaries
Spawn of Acheron
The Borderland
Witch's Way
A Goddess Out of Hell
In the Citadel
The Dark Land
Time Exile
The Wrath of Kallayur
At the Rim
The Python Gate
The Winds of Acheron
Epilogue: The King's Messenger
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Capella's stuff is like superior fan-fic.
The Arquel stories might have inspired the forthcoming Hyborian Adventures series, as they also feature a different Hyborian hero who has adventures "around" the original stories. The events of various Conan yarns are often happening just off stage.
I believe most of the stories in this collection originally appeared in the fanzine 'Amra', back in the 70's.

The book was a very small press offering. I don't think the publisher ever produced anything else, so in my opinion the price is actually pretty reasonable. This isn't something you're going to find too easily.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
So you are saying the stories are well done?

I am not a big fan of the Pastiches done by quite a few writers on Conan, as they do not have the same "feel" to them. I am curious about another Character in that time however. I do not want to however chuck out 60 bucks on something that is mediocre.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Another question would be, were any of the Arquel stories published elsewhere - other than these volumes? The Lion Of Poitain appears to be the title of the Books as well as the title of an individual story. It seem that story was published in the fanzine: Amra back in 1970, I wonder if any other of the above stories were published in other formats and if so, where?
 
Capella's "The Crimson Bell", the earliest (chronologically speaking) Arquel of Argos story, was published in Savage Tales featuring Conan the Barbarian #3 (Feb. 1973, by Marvel Comics Group) in short story format (it was not a comic).

It is basically pretty good fan fiction.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
As far as I know the only story ever reprinted (and that was without permission) was the 'The Crimson Bell' in 'Savage Tales'. The appearance of a hardback collection of Arquel stories was a real surprise.

As for the quality, hey you asked for it...
Capella knows the Hyborian Age inside and out and could tell a story. Battle scenes are not as frequent as those found in most pastiche, but they have impact. Capella tries a number of unexpected "literary" devices, like keeping a character off-stage but continually hinting at his dangerous presence without ever coming out and describing it. The only real problem for me was his physical sense-of-place, in that he'll describe the setting where his characters are, but I'd end up scratching my head, uncertain of what the landscape actually looked like.

Look man, I enjoyed the book and thought it worth owing, but I can't guarantee you won't think it's "mediocre". It's not Howard by a long shot, but it is a Howard tribute written for no greater reason than love of the original stories. It's pretty good pastiche, but if you don't like pastiche, why consider seeking out one of the most obscure examples of it ever published?
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
Hadrathus said:
Another question would be, were any of the Arquel stories published elsewhere - other than these volumes? The Lion Of Poitain appears to be the title of the Books as well as the title of an individual story. It seem that story was published in the fanzine: Amra back in 1970, I wonder if any other of the above stories were published in other formats and if so, where?

"The Lion's Bridge" appeared in a volume called The Sword of Conan* - a collection of articles from Amra, published in the mid-80s. I have a copy, but not here.

* or it could be The Spell of Conan - the two were companion pieces and had very similar content and authors.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks, guys...I think maybe I will try and get one of the stories individually, see if I like it, and then decide. You have all been a great help!
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
kathulos said:
Look man, I enjoyed the book and thought it worth owing, but I can't guarantee you won't think it's "mediocre". It's not Howard by a long shot, but it is a Howard tribute written for no greater reason than love of the original stories. It's pretty good pastiche, but if you don't like pastiche, why consider seeking out one of the most obscure examples of it ever published?
There are pastiches definitly worth reading because they seem to integrate in the Hyborian World imagined by Howard in comparison to others written by more reknown autors who wrote for teenagers.
Of course, Howard knew each grain of sand, each caress of the breeze and each drop of blood shed stemming from his world and the readers feel this in his stories.
All the other, however good and professional they may be, are just strangers to this world.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Does anyone know if all these stories were published in AMRA and what issues?
 
Top