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Lahnkmar Book 5: The Swords of Lankhmar Paperback – Mar 25 2008

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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse; Reissue edition (March 25 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595820825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595820822
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.8 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #432,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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) 11 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"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
Erotic, Witty, Sophisticated Fantasy Adventure Jan. 21 2012
By Robert Szeles - Published on
Format: Paperback
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
Enjoyable fantasy for Leiber fans Jan. 22 2010
By Paul Brooks - Published on
Format: Paperback
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
I love those two rogues! Nov. 20 2011
By Kat Hooper - Published on
Format: Paperback
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!
The only novel in the series... Feb. 6 2011
By Michael Valdivielso - Published on
Verified Purchase
The City of Lankhmar, in the world of Nehwon, is threatened from within by a force so cunning, so smart, and so massive that it is amazing how invisible it is to all who live in the city. Yet nobody will realize just how much danger they are in till Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stick their noses into the plot - and make it even a bigger mess.
As many reviewers have pointed out, it is kind of hard to cheer for either side. The invaders, in some ways, seem smarter and more loyal to their cause then the city's own Royal Family and nobles are. In fact King Glipkerio is unbalanced, sick in mind, and not very interesting to look at either. The people he surrounded himself with just enable his twisted delights with their own actions. I am surprised nobody had assassinated him before these.
We also get to meet the Gods OF Lankhmar, who frankly, don't put up as much of a show as one would have wished.
Ghouls, a two-headed dragon, a man from another words, we get a lot of action, adventure, humor, and thrills, for our buck. I think most of that has to do with it being a full length novel and not just a short story.
If you enjoyed this book, or the Swords series as a whole, may I also suggest a few other books. First off, there is the character of Conan whose adventures are collected in three books ; The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: The Original Adventures of the Greatest Sword and Sorcery Hero of All Time!, The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan of Cimmeria, Book 2) and The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan of Cimmeria, Book 3). Then, if you prefer a longer, more modern series, in the form of short stories, may I suggest at least getting the first of the hardcover Thieves' World books - Sanctuary: Thieves' World; Tales from the Vulgar Unicorn; Shadows of Sanctuary which holds the first three paperback books in one edition. In fact, there are hundreds of titles, and I can't list them all. Enjoy!