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Swords and Devilry (Fafhrd and the Gray…
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Swords and Devilry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, 1) (original 1970; edition 1973)

by Fritz Leiber

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1,579386,839 (3.76)23
Member:selfnoise
Title:Swords and Devilry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, 1)
Authors:Fritz Leiber
Info:Ace (1973), 2th, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fantasy, sword and sorcery

Work details

Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber (1970)

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» See also 23 mentions

English (34)  French (3)  German (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
I've been meaning to re-read this sword-and-sorcery series for a while. Swords and Deviltry is where I had to start, for that is where we meet Fafhrd, " a barbarian from the Cold Waste north even of the Eight Cities and the Trollstep Mountains," and the Grey Mouser, a magician's journeyman turned rogue. Leiber says it best: "As the twain eyed each other challengingly through the murky fog lit indirectly by distant torches, they were already dimly aware that they were two long-sundered, matching fragments of a greater hero and that each had found a comrade who would outlast a thousand quests and a lifetime—or a hundred lifetimes—of adventuring."

The book is really three long short stories. "The Snow Women" introduces us to Fafhrd and Vlana, "The Unholy Grail" introduces Mouser and Ivrian, and "Ill-Met in Lankhmar" which brings the two couples together. The last novella won both a Nebula and a Hugo, deservedly so.

Reading this book meant reminding myself that the tropes in this book were new when it was written. Both Ivrian and Vlana had decent roles in their introductory stories, albeit stereotypical ones in part. But both transcended the stereotypes and I felt hope for them both in the third story, even knowing that Fafhrd and Grey Mouser were destined to be comrades in adventure.

I fell in love with this book once again. The series is in the mix of what I am reading this year.

If you enjoy classic sword and sorcery, then you'll probably love this book, too. I strongly recommend it to people who like the genre. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Apr 30, 2018 |
There was probably a time in my youth this book would have done it for me. Alas, I am not in my youth. I have been meaning to read these books forever and I tried to like it. The rating is probably close to 2 1/2 stars but only because there was some stuff when the two main characters finally get together that were fun. I will probably give one more book a try because I bought the whole series many years ago when it went on sale. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Stunning edition of the first volume of the immortal fantasy series. ( )
1 vote Zambaco | Oct 6, 2017 |
I am very fond of these guys and they are superior to Conan or Elric, if one is looking for a good swashbuckling read. The magic is suitably unreliable, and the motives are simply immature enough to attract fans of the Jason Bourne movies. the pacing seems oddly similar. These are the first stories chronologically, with "Ill Met in Lankhmar" setting the tone for the entire canon. ( )
1 vote DinadansFriend | Feb 18, 2017 |
Slow to get moving and dated. Surely this felt fresher in 1970...but in 2017 the book has of course aged to the point where anything which might have been compelling for me has been rendered an overused trope in the genre. The gender politics on display here were a major stumbling block for me. This was a classic not worth my time to dig up and read. ( )
  mind-gloaming | Feb 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fritz Leiberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fainza, HeidiCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fibla, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sundered from us by gulfs of time and stranger dimensions dreams the ancient world of Nehwon with its towers and skulls and jewels, its swords and sorceries.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0583130844, Paperback)

The First Volume in ibooks' Reissues of the Fantasies by Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Fritz Leiber!

Swords and Deviltry introduces us to a strange world where fantastic but thoroughly flawed anti-heroes Fafhrd and Gray Mouser 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 traverse the smoke and mirrors of Lankhmar learning more and more of the foggy world in which they live, experiencing the pleasures and pains of the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokers that will lead them to countless more adventures and misadventures.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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