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Swords and Deviltry: Volume 1 (Lankhmar )

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Swords and Deviltry: Volume 1 (Lankhmar ).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Fritz Leiber(Author)

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Swords and Deviltry, the first book of Leiber's landmark series, introduces us to a strange world where our two strangers find the familiar in themselves and discover the icy power of female magic. Three master-magician femme-fatales and a sprightly lad illuminate the bonds between father and son, the relationship between the bravado of the imagination, and the courage of fools. A hedge wizard explains the cold war between the sexes. Mouse and Fafhrd meet again and learn the truth of how Mouse became the Gray Mouser. Together they traverse the smoke and mirrors of Lankhmar learning more and more of the foggy world in which they live, mapping the sinister silent symptoms of the never-ending night-smog. They follow the night-smog's relation to the region's longing for larceny and the hazy opiate of vanity. Last but certainly not least, they experience the pleasures and pains of the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokers that will lead them to countless more adventures and misadventures. Fritz Leiber is considered one of science fiction's legends. Author of a prodigious number of stories and novels, many of which were made into films, he is best known as creator of the classic Lankhmar fantasy series. Fritz Leiber has won awards too numerous to count including the coveted Hugo and Nebula, and was honored as a lifetime Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. He died in 1992.

Fritz Leiber is considered one of science fiction's legends. Author of a prodigious number of stories and novels, many of which were made into films, he is best known as creator of the classic Lankhmar fantasy series. Fritz Leiber has won awards too numerous to count, including the coveted Hugo and Nebula, and was honored as a lifetime Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. He died in 1992.

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Book details

  • PDF | 158 pages
  • Fritz Leiber(Author)
  • Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (7 Oct. 2014)
  • English
  • 6
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Review Text

  • By M. J. Haynes on 13 August 2017

    Fritz Leiber made a notable contribution to the sword and sorcery fantasy sub-genre in the mid-twentieth century with his stories of the roguish adventures of the duo Fafhrd, a tall, powerful barbarian, and the Gray Mouser, small but cunning and with deadly agility. The adventures take place in the world of Nehwon (‘no when’ backwards), especially centred around the city of Lankhmar. Nehwon is a typical setting for this kind of fiction, familiar since the writings of Robert E Howard, with ancient medieval-like cities, barbarian tribes and powerful magic. Leiber produced these stories for several decades, starting in 1939, but they were collected from 1970 on in series of chronologically-ordered volumes. Swords and Deviltry is the first of these.The book consists of three novellas and a short introduction. The first two novellas are essentially ‘origin’ stories, recounting the early, separate adventures of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. “The Snow Women” takes place in Fafhrd’s snowy, forested homeland, where the local people have a Viking-like culture but with a more matriarchal flavour than this historical prototype. Fafhrd is a wistful youth dreaming of seeing the wider world and in particular its civilised regions. Adventure begins for him when a troupe of travelling entertainers pays their annual visit to his village. In “The Unholy Grail” Mouse is apprenticed to learn white magic with an elderly hedge wizard. The latter is murdered and the subsequent revenge tale sees Mouse transformed into the Grey Mouser. Both of these tales end with the protagonist fleeing to the ultimate destination of Lankhmar, with their first loves in tow. In “Ill Met in Lankhmar” the duo finally meets up and joins forces, and tragedy ensues when they cross the powerful Thieves’ Guild.This is a fine collection, all the stories individually strong. “The Snow Women” has some very evocative details, such as the insidious frost witchcraft employed by the tribal women, led by Fafhrd’s mother. “Ill Met in Lankhmar” is the best and best known story, and won multiple awards. It has an emotional impact, especially one particular shock moment. Leiber remains of interest as a writer of speculative and fantastic fiction, and I recommend trying his work, such as this book, to those who don’t know it.

  • By R F Adams on 26 August 2017

    I read this as a teenager and liked, it but now I find it is so badly written that I gave up 10 pages in.

  • By Hopeful Evangelist on 11 April 2017

    Due to a quirk of fate I first encountered Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser in the final book - and searched in vain for more. Thus, I was more than happy to buy this. I think the later writing in the series is better and can see why some might not love this, but … I think is great. It gives the back story of two iconic characters.And to those who might be put off by the negative reviews: this is pure fantasy. It is "sword and sorcery" - more akin to Conan than to The Lord of the Rings. It is more Jack Sparrow than Mutiny on the Bounty. People accept short stories and novellas in SF, but expect multi-volume fantasy epics. This is not huge, and not too costly, why not take a chance? If you read it for what it is and if you allow it to open the door to the rest of the adventures, you may be pleasantly surprised.

  • By Zodeak on 8 August 2011

    When I heard about the lank, dank, dark, smoggy city of Lankhmar and the two greatest swordsmen in the universe, or any universe conceivable - Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser (Grey for us Brits) I just knew it was right up my street.Fritz' writting style is peculiar, it seems chaotic and stuttery, whilst at other times it is as deft as The Mouser's rapier wielding, describing with visceral detail the spouting blood of defeated foes or the pleasant sounds of boots on stone. It is hard to grasp at first but after the first short story, any reader should feel in tune with Leiber's eccentric style.The book itself is actually a prequel, explaining how Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser first met, and the relationship from there. The low(ish) fantasy "Swords" series is a must for anyone who wants to write, read or enjoy swords-and-sorcery in any medium, after all, Fritz Leiber's critically acclaimed works basically founded the genre.This is the first of a seven book series that has influenced writers as famous as Terry Pratchett and gaming studios adding "easter eggs" in their honour (BioWare, Baldur's Gate).If you get a chance to buy this book for less than £100 Buy it. And the rest of the series. Now!

  • By Gordon Windridge on 17 December 2012

    I'm a Science Fantasy fan, having been introduced to the wider realm of it by a friend after I had read the first Harry Potter book . I found this a little tedious reading. Not the best I've read.

  • By Mr. S. R. Jones on 11 March 2013

    This is one of those stories that shows it's age, but doesn't suffer from it. The characters are entertaining, and the situations are more engaging than I would have expected them to be. I picked up this book because my housemate recommended it, and I am normally not swayed by his recommendations... but this time he got it right. This is classic fantasy at it's best.

  • By Mrs Joyce L S on 8 October 2014

    A great original fantasy adventure. Leader's writing is both grammatical and flowing. It is stylistically superior to many modern fantasy writers in that it doesn't dumb down the descriptive language used.


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