What is it about Leiber? Is it the fast paced action, the gripping sense of mystery, the well developed characters, the dank surroundings of Lankhmar which envelope both heroes and reader? Certainly the greatest feature of this book is its mooring in the world of Nehwon, a fantastic realm dominated by sword and spell, where law is only as strong as ones own ability to uphold it. It is this place that Leiber's rogues Fafhrd, a massive barbarian, and Gray Mouser, a lithe burglar, must negociate their way through the darkness and cruelty of their world. Nehwon seems to us a place of suffocating oppression where suffering and death rule the day, a place of misery that steals the joy of living. It is also home to Fahfrd and Mouser who have long ago survived their baptism by fire. Pain is a reality, but as both men show in Leiber's introductory book "Swords and Deviltry," they manage to overcome their suffering in the only way they can--through the brutal strength to persevere, take action, and stand fast in the face of danger. They don't become slaves to Nehwon, but seek to tame it and use it to their advantage. From here, the two swordsmen silently take on the world in a number of adventures which are modivated from lust of wealth to cheating death at his own game. Each short story carries with it a new adventure, fresh and original, which keeps the reader securely in place, and the mind in a whirl of activity. Not to mention, they also steal an entire house in one story, and you can't go wrong with that.