Author: Leonard Carpenter
First massmarket printing by TOR 2007. Used book. Wear marks on front and back (se pictures). No markings, text. Stamp from Barkley’s book store on first page.
In the deserts of Shem, Conan tracks a thief who stole from him a jewel known as the Star of Khorala. He finds the man, but his gem is missing. Eventually, Conan is saved from death by dehydration during an encounter with the caravan of Otsgar the Vanir, into which he is welcomed due to his previous acquaintance with Isaiab, a Shemite he had known in Arenjun. Otsgar’s party turns out to be a band of tomb raiders, though their expedition proves disappointing, even with Conan’s aid. Ostgar gains little, while death traps and tomb guardians with the heads of crocodiles combine to dispatch everyone except Conan, Otsgar, Isaiab, and two survivors; the Stygian woman, Zafriti, and a Shemitish rebel, Asrafel.
The thieves eventually regroup in Abaddrah, Isaib’s hometown, a city-state on the River Styx, bordering Stygia. The king, Ebnezub, is having a great tomb constructed for himself on the advice an exiled prophet named Horaspes. Ebnezub is likely to need it soon, as his wife, Nitokar, has been poisoning him. The thieves hope to plunder Eznezub’s tomb and the ancient catacombs beneath Abaddrah. Conan investigates the catacombs between encounters with Zafriti and Princess Afrit. Soon, Conan wanders into a gladiatorial arena where he must fight against a shaman armed with snakes.
The situation escalates when the villainous Horaspes reveals his true scheme, and an army of undead warriors lay siege to Abaddrah. After a great battle, Conan defeats Horaspes with the very jewel he sought in the first place.