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The Complete Book of Swords (1984)
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Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312869169, Paperback)The First Swords were forged by the gods as pieces in a great game, to be scattered across the world for mortals to fight over. Each of the 12 Swords was infused with a unique, powerful ability: the Sword of Siege could reduce a castle to rubble; Coinspinner would bring its wielder phenomenal luck; Shieldbreaker could best any weapon, even another Sword; Sightblinder would make its wielder appear to others as someone either greatly loved or greatly feared. These three books--the First, Second, and Third Book of Swords, first published in 1983 and 1984 and combined here in one volume--follow the slippery Swords as they pass from hand to hand, from queen to commoner and back again.
This trilogy probably qualifies as a fantasy classic just because it's such a great story. And it's probably so well loved because Saberhagen is such a genius. But what really cements the Swords books in the fantasy canon is simply that they tell a smart, involving story without ever getting bogged down in details. Many current authors, with their endless sequels and flabby plot lines, could learn from Saberhagen's tight pacing. Just as his equally engaging Berserker stories are a must for SF fans, no fantasy reader should miss out on these well-executed (and addictive!) books. --Paul Hughes
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:37 -0400)
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