The First Book of Lankhmar eBook Õ Book of ePUB

The First Book of Lankhmar Swords and Sorcery at its bestAs part of a generation raised on Elves, Dragons, and Vampire knock offs, Leiber's tales brought a refreshing change from the countless Tolkien imitators that dominate the market Almost immediately, you're struck at how rational these characters are concerned as they are with selfpreservation and motivation for their own ends They don't run off at the drop of a hat to save the world from a dark lord or rescue a damsel in distress If anything, if the pay's good, they may end up working for said dark lord! Imagine that, a fantasy story that contains well rounded, adult characters, rather than the usual do gooder children of the Harry Potter series The stories can be hit or miss, and as other reviews have noted, they're best enjoyed in small sips rather than a full dose, but by god, when they're done well, only Robert E Howard's Conan series comes close to matching them. Fritz Leiber is a wonderfully interesting writer, though I found that his stories are best enjoyed in small sips Though his heroes are verily interesting and his world is grand and interesting, he can get a bit tiring in longer runs Had I pushed myself to finish the entire anthology in one attempt, I may have had some large qualms with it.But with breaks between reading sessions, this proved quite pleasant All in all I've found that Swords in the mist has been the best of the bunch, with Swords against sorcery trailing close behind (aka the second half of the anthology) Great stuffI may look someinto his bibliography in time Right nowI think I've had quite enough of Newhon. 7.5/10Grand Master of Fantasy and Father of Sword Sorcery, Fritz Leiber (191092) was one of the most distinguished writers of his time, claiming a wide recognition throughout his long career But what made him famous, were the stories of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: an unlikely pair of heroes based on Leiber himself and on his friend Harry Otto Fischer that go through a number of their own (mis)adventures in the City of Lanhkmar and across the world Nehwon.So here in this volume, are the first four books that compile the first stories of the heroic duo, starting from their young age, their illmeeting, and their growing friendship and comradeship as we follow them to dangerous adventures full of bizarre mysteries, arcane sorceries and sword fighting, all drawn through an element of dark humour that makes them eveninteresting and entertaining. This Fantasy Masterworks volume compiles the first four books of the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series, each book being itself comprised of various short stories and novellas written at different times (the Wikipedia article has a rundown of all the stories, when they were written and in which book they can be found) The titular characters are Fafhrd, a giant barbarian from the frozen north and the Grey Mouser, a small roguish man with some sorcerous training The first two stories of the first book contain origin stories for each character, with the third showing their first meeting and how they became firm friends.The stories all have a fairly similar structure to them, often being tales in which the dynamic duo are questing for treasure or independently end up on the same quest While certainly enjoyable, one problem that I had with the books was their treatment of women When female characters do appear they are often quite strong, but mostly their appearance is purely cosmetic, something for the two protagonists to ogle or fight over which can be somewhat uncomfortable at times.Enjoyable, but best read with a suitably barbarian mindset. From the moment when they first met, in the commission of the same, audacious theft, Fafhrd, the giant barbarian warrior from the Cold Waste, and the Gray Mouser, master thief, novice wizard and expert swordsman, felt no ordinary affinity Forged over the gleam of sharpened steel as, back to back, they faced their foes, theirs was a friendship that would take them from adventure to misadventure across all of Nehwon, from the caves of the inner earth to the waves of the outer sea But it was in the dark alleys and noisome back streets of the great fogshrouded city of Lankhmar that they became legendsThe First Book of Lankhmar includes the first four volumes of the hugely enjoyable Swords series Immensely fun romp through the bedrock of modern fantasy with two engaging and enjoyable characters, until the constant overwriting and simmering misogyny begins to chafe just a little too often and a little too constantly for comfort Cut the reading experience into quarters along the dotted lines described by the volumes that make up the book, and refresh your palate in between them, and this remains a thoroughly fun experience It just requires the reader to be understanding of its real world cultural roots, otherwise you'll finish the book relieved that it's all over, which is less than these seminal stories deserve. Read this to keep yourself young The stories can be a bit formulaic, but what a great formula: the classic oddcouple, bonded through manly adventure The fantasy is extravagent with a feeling of newness even for seasoned fantasy readers I found the writing very wellcrafted, especially for stories which make absolutely no literary pretense: just solidly crafted plot and prose Read it to please yourself, or to pass along to a young reader in your life I wish I'd read this when I was 12. Somewhat dated, this still mostly holds up as one leg of the triad of inspiration for most fantasy authors of the past few decades Leiber uses words like Monet uses paint, subtly and slightly to produce vivid images. Unforgettable stories, very convincing and superbly well written. Robert E Howard meets William Shakespeare Pretty pleasant read, except I wish I had read it twenty years ago.


About the Author: Fritz Leiber

Fritz Reuter Leiber Jr was one of the interesting of the young writers who came into HP Lovecraft's orbit, and some of his best early short fiction is horror rather than sf or fantasy He found his mature voice early in the first of the sword and sorcery adventures featuring the large sensitive barbarian Fafhrd and the small street smart ish Gray Mouser; he returned to this series at various points in his career, using it sometimes for farce and sometimes for gloomy mood pieces The Swords of Lankhmar is perhaps the best single volume of their adventures Leiber's science fiction includes the planet smashing The Wanderer in which a large cast mostly survive flood, fire, and the sexual attentions of feline aliens, and the satirical A Spectre is Haunting Texas in which a gangling, exo skeleton clad actor from the Moon leads a revolution and finds his true love Leiber's late short fiction, and the fine horror novel Our Lady of Darkness, combine autobiographical issues like his struggle with depression and alcoholism with meditations on the emotional content of the fantastic genres Leiber's capacity for endless self reinvention and productive self examination kept him, until his death, one of the most modern of his sf generation.


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