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Swords Against Death by Fritz Leiber
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Swords Against Death (1970)

by Fritz Leiber, Fritz Leiber

Other authors: Jordi Fibla (Translator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (2)

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English (17)  French (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Another collection of short stories, somewhat riskier to our "heroes" than the first book. There's more domination of the senses, being caught in the web of others, curses, and imposible treasures than in the first book. The stories are good enough, and in some of them we start to see the way to novellization, as they have seberal mentions to previous stories, and some of that mentions weight really heavily on the narrative. ( )
  gedece | Jul 27, 2015 |
This was just a blast from beginning to end. Short stories, packed with action as well as character, and each quite different from the last. Fafhrd and Mouser both have solo-ish adventures whilst the other is lost, captured, drunk, or otherwise out of commission, as well as several with both together and all the fantastic banter and humor and horror you want out of a Swords Against (Thingy) book. I read this with the intention of gathering some good (or great!) examples of how to write action and sword fights for my own work, but I'm sure I'm going to collect the 6 volumes I haven't yet read. Awesome! ( )
1 vote D.ThoursonPalmer | Mar 26, 2015 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Ho, Fafhrd tall! Hist, Mouser small!
Why leave you the city Of marvelous parts?
It were a great pity To wear out your hearts
And wear out the soles of your feet,
Treading all earth, Foregoing all mirth,
Before you once more Lankhmar greet.
Now return, now return, now!

Swords Against Death is the second collection of stories about Fafhrd, the big northern barbarian, and The Gray Mouser, the small thief from the slums. For the past three years, the two have grown so close that they are now (as Neil Gaiman suggests in his introduction to the audio version) like two halves of the same person. They’ve been traveling the world together in an effort to forget their lost loves.

During their travels “they acquired new scars and skills, comprehensions and compassions, cynicisms and secrecies — a laughter that lightly mocked, and a cool poise that tightly crusted all inner miseries,” but they haven’t been able to assuage their guilt or lessen their feelings of loss outside of Lankhmar, the city which they swore never to return to.

But as Sheelba of the Eyeless Face prophesied (“Never and forever are neither for men. You’ll be returning again and again.”), Fafhrd and the Mouser are persuaded to return to Lankhmar where, it turns out, they have not been forgotten, and soon the duo is back to their old tricks and dealing with their former enemies in these stories: “The Circle Curse,” “The Jewels in the Forest,” “Thieves’ House,” “The Bleak Shore,” “The Howling Tower,” “The Sunken Land,” “The Seven Black Priests,” “Claws from the Night,” “The Price of Pain-Ease,” and “Bazaar of the Bizarre.”

Some of the stories are better than others (my favorite was “Bazaar of the Bizarre”) but all are “classical rogue” (Neil Gaiman’s term) and all are worth reading simply because they’re written in Fritz Leiber’s gorgeous prose, which is thick with alliteration, insight, and irony.

I listened to Swords Against Death on audio. It was produced by Audible Frontiers, introduced by Neil Gaiman, and read by Jonathan Davis who does a terrific job with this series. His voices for Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are perfect — Fafhrd sounds pensive, intellectual, and introverted while Gray Mouser sounds a bit greasy and common. I highly recommend this format; it adds an extra dimension to these fun stories.
More Leiber reviews at FanLit. ( )
1 vote Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
I've given Fritz Leiber a good chance now, and I just can't get into this world and these characters. Given how much I've got to read, I won't keep slogging on througah. ( )
  shanaqui | Mar 15, 2014 |
"The second book of Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser wherein two formidable young heroes embark on a quest to forget their sorrows, and make the acquaintance of two equally formidable old wizards." ( )
  Lyndatrue | Dec 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fritz Leiberprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leiber, Fritzmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Fibla, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fainza, HeidiCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones,JeffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siudmak, WojtekCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
"Sept prêtres noirs" et "Le bazar du bizarre" doivent être dédiés à deux merveilleux rédacteurs. ea Mahaffy et Cele Laly qui les ont inspirés. Mais d'autres rédacteurs m'ont également apportés une aide précieuse : feu le grand John W. Campbell Jr., et les très attentionnés Donald A. Wollheim et Edward L. Fermann. Ainsi que quantité d'autres personnes envers qui je me sens redevable.
F.L.
First words
Un grand guerrier armé d'une épée et un autre, petit, sortaient par la porte du Marais de Lankhmar et suivaient la Chaussée de Pierre en direction de l'est.
A tall swordsman and a small one strode out the Marsh Gate of Lankhmar and east along Causey Road.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0583130879, Paperback)

Mayflower 1st paperback vg+

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:10 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In order to forget their grief over the death of their lovers, Fafhrd the Barbarian and the Gray Mouser set off in search of adventure.

» see all 2 descriptions

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