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The Complete Book of Swords (Omnibus,…
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The Complete Book of Swords (Omnibus, Volumes 1, 2, 3) (original 1984; edition 1985)

by Fred Saberhagen (Author)

Series: Book of Swords (Omnibus 1-3), Ardneh's World (Omnibus 5-7)

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841818,855 (3.71)8
Fred Saberhagen'sBook of Swords novels have captivated fantasy readers for more than a decade. Here, now available in one volume, are the three books that started it all. For a game the gods have given the world twelve Swords of Power so that they might be amused as the nations battle for their possession. But Vulcan the Smith has had his own little joke: the Swords can kill the gods themselves. What started out as Divine Jest has become all too serious as the gods fight to recover the Swords, and mortals discover that the mantle of power is more delicious and more terrible than anything they could have imagined.… (more)
Member:Salamandyr
Title:The Complete Book of Swords (Omnibus, Volumes 1, 2, 3)
Authors:Fred Saberhagen (Author)
Info:Nelson Doubleday / SFBC (1985), 626 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Omnibus, Fantasy, Fiction, Trilogy, Hardcover, Swords Trilogy

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The Complete Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen (Author) (1984)

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
post apocalyptic world with gods and magic swords
  ritaer | Mar 19, 2020 |
At least 50,000 years in the future. There are gods. They create 12 swords with great powers for a “game”. The swords end up being as powerful as the gods, and humans begin taking part of the game. Follows Mark, who is the son of the legendary Emperor. The gods came to be out of men’s imagination, and in this trilogy, they go “out of style” and so cease to exist. Very cool. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
I did not like this book and I am a huge fan of fantasy literature. It is going to be hard to describe any redeeming value to this book. Actually, this volume is a combination of 3 books. The Complete Book of Swords has three volumes within. It is comprised of the First Book of Swords, The Second Book of Swords, and the Third Book of Swords. I apologize, to you the reader, if it sounds like I am talking down to you but this is nothing by comparison to what the book delivers. So if you feel you are belittled by my "Book of Swords" compilation comment previously, hold on tight...theres more...much more.

The premise of the book is good. A god creating swords to distribute amoung humankind for the gods' amusement. Yes there is more than one god. And unfortunately in that one sentence is where all the originality ends. There were only two original gods in the story. Draffut the Beast Lord who has miraculous healing powers and Ardneh, who is only mentioned and has no physical presence in the story.(Yeah I know, so why mention him? It's a mystery to me too!) All the other gods come from our own mythology. Hades, Apollo, Vulcan, Aphrodite, Zeus and even Vishnu makes an appearance. I was dissappointed to find out that none of the Egyptian gods made the list. Hah!

The swords were created by Vulcan out of human Blood. Men were sacrificed to make the swords. There were twelve swords altogether and they had names and characteristics.
TownSaver,SightBlinder,Coinspinner,Woundhealer,ShieldBreaker,DragonSlicer,Wayfinder,Stonecutter,Farslayer, Doomgiver,and the Mind Sword. I know what your saying, what was the name of sword number twelve? I don't know! He never brought it up! There was so much potential he could have written about in regards to the twelve swords and their personalities. Saberhagen delivers a dribble. Only at the end did you learn that Shieldbreaker only works against an opponent with a weapon. If you were weaponless, Sheildbreaker goes through you like a phantomsword having no effect. This was revealed in the last 10 pages of the book. What was bad about it was that all the characters new this. Too bad the reader didn't until then!

The characters. Well, you just don't care about them. They just don't care about each other. They speak as a cross from today's vocabulary and a sort of sophmoric Shakespearian boroque. It doesn't matter, they have nothing really meaningful to say to each other anyway.

The plot. WEAK,WEAK,WEAK,WEAK....oh by the way, did I mention it was WEAK! The Gods set up a game with the swords to watch humankind kill each other for their own amusement (the gods amusement, not humankind's). And they find out that their own creation (The Swords) can kill them too! Three books in one. Each book with its own story. The first book was on the creation of the swords and on the main character called Mark. The second book was on one of the subcharacters called Ben and the third tries to bring everthing together with a dark overlord wielding the Mind Sword and bending everyone to his will. There is an elongated subplot that spans all three books, and if you want to know what it is, I will save you the trouble of reading this book. Go rent "The Empire Strikes Back". When you get to the part where Vader turns to Luke and says "No, I am your father!" You will have gotten to the elongated subplot here. That's right, Mark goes on for two and three quarters of a book saying, "who's my daddy?" Really sad!

Get ready to read about characters getting introduced and dropped like bad habits. You meet Nestor early on. You have a few mis adventures with him and by the end of the second book of swords you are asking yourself, "Hey whatever happened to Nestor?" Never resolved. He goes into detail over the most mundane things and some of the intriguing sub-plotting he throws in in a couple of paragraphs in the last 5 pages.

Flyinfox ( )
  DVerdecia | Jan 29, 2016 |
Like a very good B movie. Very fun but not overly original or deep. Looking forward to the next book. ( )
  Segapup | Sep 30, 2010 |
Definitely a better fantasy story than I remembered, the true bonus will be if the Books of Lost Swords are as good. Those are the ones that I bogged down on twenty years ago or so. There are eight books, as I recall, all fairly short like the three books that make up the Complete Book of Swords.
Mr. Saberhagen is definitely an old time scifi writer. There are snippets of technology from the 'Old World', biblical styled tales of the world before and after a holocaust of some sort that nearly destroyed the earth, saved by the god Ardneh who protected the remains of civilization. Ardneh is a part of some other works by the author which are of a scifi bent and they manage to tie together in a pretty interesting way. I have to admit reading the wikipedia page about the book of swords which explains this.
The story is pretty basic. The gods forge the twelve swords then throw them in to the realm of men just for fun. This turns out to be a bad idea and leads to the exposition of the gods being a creation of man and not the other way around. There is a major battle at the end where two of the Swords square off and things come to a sudden conclusion. Four of the swords are destroyed or removed from the realm along the way, leading to the eight Books of Lost Swords which follow. They involve Mark and Ben (the main heroes of CBoS) wandering around the realm searching for or using the remaining swords, allowing the author to give each of the incredibly powerful Swords their own tales. Should be fun. ( )
  DirtPriest | Sep 10, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saberhagen, FredAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eagleson, DuncanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In what felt to him like the first cold morning of the world, he groped for fire.
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Fred Saberhagen'sBook of Swords novels have captivated fantasy readers for more than a decade. Here, now available in one volume, are the three books that started it all. For a game the gods have given the world twelve Swords of Power so that they might be amused as the nations battle for their possession. But Vulcan the Smith has had his own little joke: the Swords can kill the gods themselves. What started out as Divine Jest has become all too serious as the gods fight to recover the Swords, and mortals discover that the mantle of power is more delicious and more terrible than anything they could have imagined.

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Its central theme revolves around twelve magical Swords forged by the gods, each endowed with a particular power or gift, and how various people acquire and use them. The series spans several decades and features dozens of characters.
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