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Lahnkmar Book 5: The Swords of Lankhmar [Paperback]

Fritz Leiber
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 25 2008 Lankhmar (Book 5)
A plague of rats overrun Lankhmar, the capitol city and glittering gem of the land of Nehwon. Commissioned to guard a ship of grain from the cursed rodents, brother-in-arms Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser soon discover the plague has progressed to a fatal point. Mustering the strength of sorcery, they descend into the depths of Lankhmar and rise to battle in order to save the soul of the ill-fated city.

Frequently Bought Together

Lahnkmar Book 5: The Swords of Lankhmar + Lankhmar Volume 7: The Knight and Knave of Swords + Lankhmar Volume 6: Swords and Ice Magic
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4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting novel of two adventurers who persevere May 11 2004
By nick
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In Swords of Lankhmar, Fritz Lieber combines action with drama and suspense with excitement. He tells the story from a third person point of view. In the book he does not just tell you the description he shows it to you in your mind. He lets you imagine the characters and leaves room for you to make the features of them. He does all this without leaving out any details that are necessary to the story. It is a fantasy book that will appeal to all ages. The two main characters, Fafhrd and the Mouser, are rebels and do what they want when they want. They are an unbeatable force that adventures through different provinces, continents and worlds. They meet new and different people or creatures wherever the journey. They learn form past experiences some easier than others. The two are funny many times but at the action scenes it is like you can see them fighting right in front of you. They persevere through the hardest times while making friends and enemies along the way. In this book they fight human rats, dead warriors and Mongolians. To fully understand some of the conversations you need to read the earlier books in the series. With almost all of their adventures you can recognize what they are talking about without reading the other books. The worlds and provinces are easy to relate to and can be compared to many places on earth. But for some of the places it is an entirely new concept that takes an imagination to realize. The books are a must-read that teach people many things about human personalities.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Wherein the Mouser chases a worthy rat, and sundry monsters tame each other." July 18 2006
By J. B. Murphy - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Swords of Lankhmar is the fifth book in Fritz Leiber's collection of tales revolving around the barbarian Fafhrd and the diminutive rogue the Gray Mouser. Clearly two of Mr. Leiber's most famous creations, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser belong to the genre of swords and sorcery; the setting is a fantasy where men of swift blades and loose morals do battle against impossible foes for their own personal aggrandizement. This is not the realm of Tolkien. Not only is Leiber's world of Nehwon lacking in the usual elves and hobbits of Middle Earth and its many imitators, but also missing is the clear delineation between good and evil. The primary conflict is between the sadistic and decadent rulers of Lankhmar, the most famous city of Nehwon, and an army of miniature invaders. Neither side enjoys anything like moral superiority over the other. The reader certainly isn't encouraged to root much for one side over the other. While our sympathies might naturally lean towards the status quo which clearly benefits humanity, the picture painted of a city ruled by the invaders is too intriguing to simply dismiss.

So our sympathies naturally incline to our heroes, and what a pair they are. The first chapter of the book is about the best introduction to these characters you can probably find, as they return to their sometime home base of Lankhmar after a lengthy, and not entirely voluntary, absence. Their welcome back to the city is both comic and brutal; this is the stuff of Dumas' musketeer stories without the brooding angst. Death and comedy walk hand-in-hand through Leiber's stories, and the delicate balance he maintains between the two, especially in this longer tale, is a great example of his proficiency as a storyteller.

Unlike most of the previous books chronicling the adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Swords of Lankhmar is a single story, a novel-length adventure over 300 pages long in my 1982 edition. All of the others books, except Swords and Ice Magic (also published as Rhime Isle), are collections of short stories and novelettes. Mr. Leiber is, of course, no stranger to the longer format, and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser make the leap to novel-length adventures without missing a step. In this writer's estimation, Swords of Lankhmar is the best of their stories. If you read nothing else by Fritz Leiber, you should read this one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erotic, Witty, Sophisticated Fantasy Adventure Jan. 21 2012
By Robert Szeles - Published on
Fritz Leiber was one of the greatest fantasists that ever lived and a writer of incredible imagination and style. His sword and sorcery tales of the lovable pair of rogues Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are among the finest in the genre (the finest, in my opinion). And they are definitely the wittiest and most sophisticated. He drew inspiration from his theatrical background to create compelling scenes and dialogue and his heroes are both fanciful and believably human at the same time.

The Swords of Lankhmar is the only full-length novel of the two adventurers. This is also probably the most erotic tale, full of kinky scenes, constant suggestiveness and delightful teasing, especially between the Mouser and Hisvet (and her servant Frix). As all the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser tales, it is a joy to read, full of adventure, intrigue, witty banter, satire and mystery.

I've read all of these tales more than once and will do so again. I deeply envy someone who is coming to them for the first time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable fantasy for Leiber fans Jan. 22 2010
By Paul Brooks - Published on
The seven eyes of Ningauble the Wizard floated back to his hood as he reported to Fafhrd: " Lankhmar. She's been invaded, her walls breached everywhere and desperate fighting is going on in the streets, by a fierce host which out-numbers Lankhmar's inhabitants by fifty to one and equipped with all modern weapons. Yet you can save the city." "How?" demanded Fafhrd. Ningauble shrugged. "You're a hero. You should know".

"Swords of Lankhmar" is the fifth volume in the adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Fans of Leiber need to know that fact but new readers can start right in with this book and catch up with the others if so motivated.

In city of Lankhmar our friends are hired to ride shotgun on a convoy of grain ships across the Inner Sea to the city of Movarl. The reason for the extra security is that previous convoys have not only failed to reach it's destination but have all disappeared without a trace.

During the voyage one of the ships is attacked by what appear to be highly intelligent rats. Only the intervention of a dragon with an appetite for those tasty rodents saves the ship and for than matter the entire convoy. Upon returning to Lankhmar the Grey Mouser and Fafhrd find that their report of events is ridiculed by the Prince as being preposterous and are sent from the council chamber disgraced.

As events unfold the Prince's foremost confidants are in league with the rodents who maintain a hidden civilization under Lankhmar. A reprehensible plot is stirring to replace human rule and substitute rats rule. Our hero's smell a rat, or rats and with swords and sorcery restore equilibrium to Lankhmar in the land of Nehwon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love those two rogues! Nov. 20 2011
By Kat Hooper - Published on
I never get tired of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser -- I adore those two rogues! In The Swords of Lankhmar (a full novel rather than the usual story collection), the boys have been hired as guards for a fleet of grain shipments because several ships have recently disappeared. Aboard the ship they meet a couple of enchanting women who are escorting a troupe of performing rats across the sea. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser soon discover that these are not ordinary women, and those are not ordinary rats.

Back in Lankhmar they find that the city is dealing with rats, too. The rodents have become belligerent and troublesome. The Mouser begins to suspect that there might be a connection between those two ladies and Lankhmar's troubles. With the help of his magical patron, the Mouser goes underground to spy on the rat army.

The Swords of Lankhmar is an expansion of Leiber's novella Scylla's Daughter (1961, Fantastic Stories of Imagination) which was nominated for a Hugo Award. The Swords of Lankhmar has everything fans have learned to expect from one of Fritz Leiber's LANKHMAR series. It's strange, creative, fast-paced, and fun. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are a couple of the best characters in all of fantasy fiction -- if you haven't read any of their adventures, you're really missing out.

Let me again recommend the audio version of this series which has been produced by Audible Frontiers -- Jonathan Davis's performance is so entertaining!
5.0 out of 5 stars and a smashing good read. July 5 2014
By Ellen C. Gale - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Colorful, exotic, and a smashing good read.
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