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Swords in the Mist (Fafhrd & Gray Mouser #3)
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Swords in the Mist (Fafhrd & Gray Mouser #3) (original 1968; edition 1968)

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1,1671914,790 (3.88)9
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser take to the sea in the third installment of this seminal sword and sorcery series that "has lost none of its luminous magic" (San Francisco Chronicle). Swords in the Mist, book three in the Lankhmar series, thrusts our indentured, sword-swinging servants into the question of hate, its power, and its purpose. Times are lean in Lankhmar, illuminating the link between money and love. Luckily, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser don't always believe in love. When Lankhmar gets too gritty, our travelers take to their other, less harsh mistress, the sea. But the sea can play tricks on men, and so can the sea king. He can break a man, or worse yet, curse him. But when he is away, it's all play for the formidable swordsmen and the Triple Goddess . . . and two luscious sea queens. But luck may not always be there, as they discover on the way to see Ningauble, their wizard employer. After a long journey in defense of their control over their own fates, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser find themselves pawns in a life-and-death chess game, all of Lankhmar being the pieces. How many pawns will be left on the board before someone wins?   Before The Lord of the Rings took the world by storm, Leiber's fantastic but thoroughly flawed antiheroes, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, adventured deep within the caves of Inner Earth, albeit a different one. They wondered and wandered to the edges of the Outer Sea, across the Land of Nehwon and throughout every nook and cranny of gothic Lankhmar, Nehwon's grandest and most mystically corrupt city. Lankhmar is Leiber's fully realized, vivid incarnation of urban decay and civilization's corroding effect on the human psyche.   Drawing on themes from Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft, master manipulator Fritz Leiber is a worldwide legend within the fantasy genre and actually coined the term Sword and Sorcery that describes the subgenre he helped create.  … (more)
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Title:Swords in the Mist (Fafhrd & Gray Mouser #3)
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Info:Ace Books (1968), Edition: No Edition Stated
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Swords in the Mist by Fritz Leiber (1968)

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English (15)  Polish (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This book rates an extra star by virtue of the last story in it: The Adept's Gambit. I felt more excited about continuing to read the series at the end of that tale, incidentally the last in the book, than at any other time. Part of the reason for that -- a big part -- was the character of Ahura, who was clearly and strongly hinted as being a continuing/returning character when the adventures of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser would continue in the next book, something never seen before in this series (though there were characters other than the central pair who continued across the stories within the first book, at least). Ahura not only appeared to be the promise of a continuing character, but a continuation of a character that interested me at least as much as Fafhrd and the Mouser themselves (particularly the Mouser, who I find more interesting than his partner).

I had some doubt that Ahura would turn out to be a continuing character, though. It just felt like I was ready to be let down in the next book and, sadly, I was right. Even so, Ahura made Swords in the Mist worth reading all by herself, an intriguing presence in the tale from her first appearance. ( )
  apotheon | Dec 14, 2020 |
This is another compilation of short stories/novellas. There is sword and sorcery, but some stories are touched by a darker fantasy, bordering on horror.

The Cloud of Hate was the one that sent chills down my back. The idea that enough people can create a palpable hate rings too true. Lean Times in Lankhmar had me shaking my head, wondering how Fafhrd and Grey Mouser would get out of this one! The Adept's Gambit was one that I found interesting. Ningauble's messages had me snickering throughout.

If you like the Lankhmar books, you will probably enjoy this book. It isn't necessary to read them in order, so feel free to pick this one up and read away. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Apr 22, 2019 |
This book signals the start of longer stories. It contains a novelette and a novella, and the longer stories make really interesting readings, as they normally allow more detail of the world to fit in, and also allow better developmente of supporting characters. It has also some shorter stories and some curious really short ones that serve as nexus between the others, that are sort of inconclusive because they can't solve anything, they just set the stage for the next adventure. Upon inspection of the book notes, I confirmed my suspicions: those liason stories were written for this book, all the others were writeten before and appeared published elsewhere.

There are also more stories about the protagonists at odds whith the other, and that changes the mechanics of the storie quite a lot. A really interesting read. ( )
  gedece | Jul 27, 2015 |
This is great fun! The six classic tales were deftly edited into an almost novel, and more-or-less define the concept of Sword-and-Sorcery fiction. "Hard Times in Lankhmar" will always remain etched in my memory. So read the book, you won't forget it...especially the "Gods of Lankhmar" ( )
  DinadansFriend | Feb 13, 2015 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Swords in the Mist (1968) is Fritz Leiber’s third collection of stories about Fafhrd, the big northern barbarian, and the Gray Mouser, his small wily companion who has a predilection for thievery and black magic. The tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser originally appeared in pulp magazines, short novels, and story collections between 1939-1988. Swords in the Mist contains:

* "The Cloud of Hate" (1963) — This is a short eerie metaphor in which hate becomes a mist that reaches out in tendrils throughout Lankhmar to find corruptible souls to use for evil deeds.
* "Lean Times in Lankhmar" (1959) — In this novelette, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser part ways and find themselves at odds when Fafhrd becomes an acolyte and the Mouser is hired to extract money from Fafhrd’s cult. Humorous and cynical, this story makes fun of Lankhmar’s polytheism and makes the seediness, decadence, and corruption of the city come alive. The ending is hilarious.
* "Their Mistress, the Sea" (original publication) — This story makes a nice bridge between “Lean Times in Lankhmar” and “When the Sea-King’s Away” but it’s entertaining in its own right.
* "When the Sea-King's Away" (1960) — This is a fun fantastical story with a great setting (under the sea!) in which Fafhrd has a sword fight with an octopus.
* "The Wrong Branch" (original publication) — This is a bridge between the previous story and the following novella:
* “Adept's Gambit” (1947) — Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser arrive in our world (Macedonia) in this novella. There are some funny parts here — Fafhrd kissing pigs and analyzing Socrates, but mostly I found this story dull. The sorcerer Ningauble of the Seven Eyes has sent the boys on a near-impossible quest, but the exciting parts are quickly skipped over and too much of the story is spent with an unpleasant character’s excruciatingly long autobiography.

I love Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser because they’re intelligent rogues. They look like a big dumb barbarian and a sneaky little street urchin, and they love nothing more than drinking, fighting, and wenching, yet they’ve got big vocabularies, make glorious similes and metaphors, and enjoy philosophizing. When they’re doing these things, they’re irresistible, especially in the audiobook versions narrated by Jonathan Davis (Audible Frontiers).

However, half of Swords in the Mist consists of a novella that was not as fun as I’ve come to expect from Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar stories (perhaps this is partly because it doesn’t take place in Lankhmar). I would suggest that, unless you consider yourself a completist, you find “Lean Times in Lankhmar” and “When the Sea-King’s Away” and skip the rest of Swords in the Mist. ( )
1 vote Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fritz Leiberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barlowe, WayneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fibla, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, JeffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Les tambours résonnaient sur un rythme lancinant, des lumières rouges vacillaient, de façon hypnotique, dans le sous-sol du Temple des Haines, où s'étaient agenouillés cinq mille fidèles en haillons, qui s'humiliaient et se frappaient extatiquement le front contre le carrelage froid et rugueux, tombant peu à peu en transe et saisis par un venin humain.
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Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser take to the sea in the third installment of this seminal sword and sorcery series that "has lost none of its luminous magic" (San Francisco Chronicle). Swords in the Mist, book three in the Lankhmar series, thrusts our indentured, sword-swinging servants into the question of hate, its power, and its purpose. Times are lean in Lankhmar, illuminating the link between money and love. Luckily, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser don't always believe in love. When Lankhmar gets too gritty, our travelers take to their other, less harsh mistress, the sea. But the sea can play tricks on men, and so can the sea king. He can break a man, or worse yet, curse him. But when he is away, it's all play for the formidable swordsmen and the Triple Goddess . . . and two luscious sea queens. But luck may not always be there, as they discover on the way to see Ningauble, their wizard employer. After a long journey in defense of their control over their own fates, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser find themselves pawns in a life-and-death chess game, all of Lankhmar being the pieces. How many pawns will be left on the board before someone wins?   Before The Lord of the Rings took the world by storm, Leiber's fantastic but thoroughly flawed antiheroes, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, adventured deep within the caves of Inner Earth, albeit a different one. They wondered and wandered to the edges of the Outer Sea, across the Land of Nehwon and throughout every nook and cranny of gothic Lankhmar, Nehwon's grandest and most mystically corrupt city. Lankhmar is Leiber's fully realized, vivid incarnation of urban decay and civilization's corroding effect on the human psyche.   Drawing on themes from Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft, master manipulator Fritz Leiber is a worldwide legend within the fantasy genre and actually coined the term Sword and Sorcery that describes the subgenre he helped create.  

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