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Swords And Deviltry by Fritz Leiber
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Swords And Deviltry (original 1970; edition 1970)

by Fritz Leiber (Author)

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1,965487,345 (3.71)39
The award-winning sword and sorcery classic that introduced Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, from a Grand Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy. First in the influential fan-favorite series, Swords and Deviltry collects four fantastical adventure stories from Fritz Leiber, the author who coined the phrase "sword and sorcery" and helped birth an entire genre.   In "Induction," in the realm of Nehwon, fate brings young prince Fafhrd and apprentice magician the Gray Mouser together to mark the beginning of a loyal and lifelong friendship. Consumed by his wicked mother's enchantments, Fafhrd finds freedom by pursuing the love of a beautiful actress in the Nebula and Hugo Award-nominated "The Snow Women." Studying sorcery under a great wizard in a land where it is forbidden, Mouse crosses the thin line between white and black magic to avenge a great wrong in "The Unholy Grail." And in the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning novella "Ill Met in Lankhmar," Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser disguise themselves as beggars to infiltrate the Thieves' Guild--only to pay a horrible price for their greed when they come face-to-face with a monstrous evil.    … (more)
Member:NiTessine
Title:Swords And Deviltry
Authors:Fritz Leiber (Author)
Info:Ace Publ. (1970), Edition: First Thus
Collections:Your library
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Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber (1970)

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» See also 39 mentions

English (43)  French (3)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Not as entertaining as I remember. The overall language is a bit much especially in the first two stories; it bogs the narrative down. ( )
  Castinet | Dec 10, 2022 |
Three stories which supply much-craved "prequel" background to the Fafhrd & Gray Mouser saga. The first & the last of these are true gems, far the two best Leiber stories I've read. ( )
  nielspeterqm | Nov 12, 2022 |
This book has four stories in it:
"Induction"
"The Snow Women"
"The Unholy Grail"
"Ill Met in Lankhmar"

I had read "Ill Met in Lankhmar" before, and felt lukewarm about it. There's another novella I wanted to read in this called "The Snow Women". I read that, and was captured by it, I just loved it. So I kept reading all the way through. Turns out that the stories before "Ill Met" provide a context that I didn't know I was missing. I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading "Ill Met in Lankhmar" too.

This book introduces the characters of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. "Induction" is just a page long. "The Snow Women" is about the Conan-esque 18 year old Fafhrd, who lives in the wild north and longs for civilization. "The Unholy Grail" is about the Gray Mouser, who has been trained by a wizard who gave him his name. In "Ill Met in Lankhmar" the two meet for the first time.

There are seven books in this Sword and Sorcery series. Haven't read any of the others yet.

This series figures prominently in the history of Sword and Sorcery, as covered in Flame and Crimson: A History of Sword-and-Sorcery by Brian Murphy.
  SDanielson | Sep 5, 2022 |
Swords and Deviltry is the first book in the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser fantasy series.

Although I didn’t really know anything about this series before I started reading it, I somehow went into it with misconceptions. I’m not sure if it was due to comments I’d unconsciously absorbed from other people talking about it over the years, or if it was purely based on the title of the series, but I was expecting some sort of entertaining relationship between whoever “Fahfrd” and “the Gray Mouser” were. Buddies, reluctant comrades, something along those lines. I was hoping for witty dialogue and humor, and the type of characters that you love just because they’re so much fun to read about. That’s not what I found in this book, at least not in my opinion. Maybe the series has more of that in the later books.

Fafhrd and Gray Mouser are both youths (I don’t think we were given their ages) who grew up separately in different types of environments, each facing some sort of adversity before traveling to the big city which is where they meet. This book is made up of three stories. The first story tells Fafhrd’s story, the second tells the Gray Mouser’s story, and the third tells of their meeting and an adventure they have together. So I definitely don’t recommend that anybody read this book in hopes of a story with lots of witty banter, because the characters don’t even meet until you’re about two-thirds in. Even after they met, I didn’t find it particularly witty or humorous.

It's a really short book and there isn’t much world-building. I was especially left with questions about the place where Fafhrd grew up. Since it’s a series, I’m sure things get fleshed out more in later books. There is some character development, yet I never felt like I had a strong understanding of the characters and I definitely didn’t develop an attachment to them. Some of their decisions irritated me.

I hated that Fafhrd waited until Vellix was dead before jumping into the fight near the end of his story. There was some indication that he was being held back magically, but it wasn’t clear. I was pretty sure the author intended it to really be magic since he didn’t seem like that subtle of a writer, but I was never quite sure if all the stuff Fafhrd attributed to the snow women, especially the things that affected his own actions, was actually magic or just the influence of his own strong beliefs and fears in their capabilities. In some cases, it seemed like it could just as easily be an excuse for Fafhrd to do what he wanted to do deep down. I also hated that the Gray Mouser jumped off the deep end so easily instead of honoring what his mentor would have wanted for him. He didn’t seem to even wrestle with his conscience. Also, while I’m safely within spoiler tags, I’ll add that I disliked that both girls were killed brutally at the end, apparently just to serve as a catalyst for the future adventures of the main characters. On the other hand, I didn’t care for the girls, so I didn’t even feel any emotional impact when they were killed.

I didn't think it was a terrible book, but it was easy to put down and it never grew on me as I’d hoped it might. In fact, I was probably the most interested in the first story and the least interested by the third. It’s possible the series might improve as the main characters get to know each other better and go on more adventures, but I didn’t care enough to want to stick around for that, so I don’t plan to read further. ( )
  YouKneeK | Sep 2, 2022 |
So boring. SO. BORING. Nothing at all like the splendid horror by Leiber I've read in the past. ( )
  slimikin | Mar 27, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fritz Leiberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fainza, HeidiCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fibla, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ström, FredrikTranslatorsecondary 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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The award-winning sword and sorcery classic that introduced Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, from a Grand Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy. First in the influential fan-favorite series, Swords and Deviltry collects four fantastical adventure stories from Fritz Leiber, the author who coined the phrase "sword and sorcery" and helped birth an entire genre.   In "Induction," in the realm of Nehwon, fate brings young prince Fafhrd and apprentice magician the Gray Mouser together to mark the beginning of a loyal and lifelong friendship. Consumed by his wicked mother's enchantments, Fafhrd finds freedom by pursuing the love of a beautiful actress in the Nebula and Hugo Award-nominated "The Snow Women." Studying sorcery under a great wizard in a land where it is forbidden, Mouse crosses the thin line between white and black magic to avenge a great wrong in "The Unholy Grail." And in the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning novella "Ill Met in Lankhmar," Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser disguise themselves as beggars to infiltrate the Thieves' Guild--only to pay a horrible price for their greed when they come face-to-face with a monstrous evil.    

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