HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Sword of Rhiannon (1953)

by Leigh Brackett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Le Livre de Mars (01), Mars-Zyklus (1953)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4271159,600 (3.75)15
Greed pulls the archaeologist Matt Carse into the forgotten tomb of theMartian god Rhiannon and plunges the unlikely hero into the Red Planet'sfantastic past, when vast oceans covered the land and the legendary Sea-Kingsruled from terraced palaces of decadence and delight. Talented enough to co-write The Big Sleep film with William Faulknerand imaginative enough to pen the original screenplay for The Empire StrikesBack, Leigh Brackett is a giant in the science-fiction field, and TheSword of Rhiannon is one of her most popular adventure tales.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 15 mentions

English (10)  Italian (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
The writing was tight, the prose often lovely. However, there were factors I didn't buy into: an archaeologist being able to fluently speak a million-year-old language, civilization being even remotely similar across a million years, the ridiculous romance, and genocide as conflict resolution. I really disliked the main character. I'm glad I read the introduction from Nicola Griffith, since she put the book into context of the time it was written. It definitely has that feel of a western, complete with arrogant hero who gets the woman as a prize, just set on Mars with time travel. I'm not fond of that dynamic, and as much as I liked the writing and some of the worldbuilding, overall it wasn't great for me. ( )
  hissingpotatoes | Dec 28, 2021 |
This made me think back to youth when I first discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs "The Chessmen of Mars" my first John Carter book. I loved it and thanks to the SF Signal Podcast on Swords and Sorcery I learned about Leigh Brackett and her legacy of S&S short stories and novels.

This is set on an ancient Mars with multiple races, a time slip, slaves and galleys and an anti hero Indiana Jones. If you like S&S give this a try, I liked it as much as Howard's work and much better then Burroughs. ( )
  kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |
Niet de beste Science Fiction die ik ooit gelezen heb. Flink gedateerd.

Voor mij voelde dit meer als een piratenboek dan sci-fi/fantasy. Er zaten een paar sci-fi elementen, zoals een lasergun en tijdreizen, maar je kan net zo goed voorstellen dat dit in Midden-Aarde of Narnia afspeelt, ipv van op Mars.

Verhaallijn was erg magertjes, net zoals de uitwerking van de karakters. Het enkele feit dat het verhaal zich afspeelt op Mars rechtvaardigt naar mijn mening niet de opname van dit verhaal in de SF genre. ( )
  EdwinKort | Oct 18, 2019 |
A tribute to John Carter stories, But set on a still hydrated Mars, reached by a more modern thief by failing to steal an ancient weapon, and being flung into the distant past. It is a tidy and well written story. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Aug 30, 2019 |
Leigh Brackett's sword & planet adventure The Sword of Rhiannon is a short novel but a favorite among aficionado's. It was first published Sea-Kings of Mars and Otherworldly Stories in "Thrilling Wonder" Magazine in 1949 (cover artist Earle Bergey).

This really is a gem. Written before Sci-Fi and Fantasy really became substantial genres of their own, the summary of this sounds Sci-Fi but really is Fantasy. The Mars milieu features little technology; in fact, it is almost exclusively populated with fantasy creatures ("halflings" that are like reminiscent of harpies, mermaids, and man-serpents) and fantasy/historic technology (swords, pirate ships); there is a lack of laser guns and air-ships. Actually, the technology that enables some interesting time/space travel is rooted in a Lovecraftian Mythos magic associated with an elder race (Quiro).

Our protagonist is Carse, an archaeologist/criminal who is very "Indiana Jones" like (of course this was created long before Indy Jones hit theaters). The titular Sword of Rhiannon is revealed from the start to Carse; it had been hidden for centuries in a tomb, so it was rumored, and he quickly finds the tomb from which it came as sought treasure to loot. His adventure begins as he comes into contact with eldritch forces...

The adventure is high throttle action from start to finish. The reader learns more of the curse of Rhiannon. However, there is a rich history and dynamics between cultures that are not fully realized. I would have enjoyed experiencing more of: the initial/future perspective on Rhiannon's past, the Dhuvian's oppression of others, the demonstration of Rhiannon's power(s), the demonstration of the Sword's power or purpose...

Brackett's prose is deeper and more poetic than one expects from pulpy Sword & Planet. Here is an excerpt:
"It was a long way to the city. Carse moved at a steady plodding pace. He did not try to find the easiest path but rammed his way through and over all obstacles, never deviating from the straight line that led to Jekkara. His cloak hampered him and he tore it off. His face was empty of all expression but sweat ran down his cheeks and mingled with the salt of tears.

He walked between two worlds. He went through valleys drowsing in the heat of the summer day, where leafy branches of strange trees raked his face and the juice of crushed grasses stained his sandals. Life, winged and furred and soft of foot, fled from him with a stir and a rustle. And yet he knew that he walked in a desert, where even the wind had forgotten the names of the dead for whom it mourned.

He crossed high ridges, where the sea lay before him and he could hear the boom of the surf on the beaches. And yet he saw only a vast dead plain, where the dust ran in little wavelets among the dry reefs. The truths of thirty years living are not easily forgotten."

This book is very well done but feels like four servings of a five-course-meal. It is a quick read and well worth it, but apparently this is a stand alone adventure. This novel could easily have been inflated to 2x its length without departing from its pulp-adventure roots (i.e., it would not become filler-saturated epic fantasy). Brackett did write more Sword and Planet, but not with Carse. ( )
1 vote SELindberg | Nov 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brackett, Leighprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boog, AngeloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Musquera, XavierCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strassl, LoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walker, HughForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important places
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Schon ziemlich bald, nachdem er Madame Kans Haus verlassen hatte, wurde Matt Carse klar, daß ihm jemand heimlich folgte.
Quotations
Last words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Note that Sea-Kings of Mars and the Sword of Rhiannon are the same novel and should be combined.

Sea-Kings of Mars and Otherworldly Stories is a Fantasy Masterworks collection and should NOT be combined with either of the above.
Publisher's editors
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Blurbers
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Greed pulls the archaeologist Matt Carse into the forgotten tomb of theMartian god Rhiannon and plunges the unlikely hero into the Red Planet'sfantastic past, when vast oceans covered the land and the legendary Sea-Kingsruled from terraced palaces of decadence and delight. Talented enough to co-write The Big Sleep film with William Faulknerand imaginative enough to pen the original screenplay for The Empire StrikesBack, Leigh Brackett is a giant in the science-fiction field, and TheSword of Rhiannon is one of her most popular adventure tales.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Greed pulls the archaeologist Matt Carse into the forgotten tomb of the Martian god Rhiannon and plunges the unlikely hero into the Red Planet's fantastic past, when vast oceans covered the land and the legendary Sea-Kings ruled from terraced palaces of decadence and delight.
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.75)
0.5
1
1.5
2 3
2.5 4
3 14
3.5 5
4 23
4.5 3
5 11

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 207,542,752 books! | Top bar: Always visible