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Ill Met in Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser #1-2)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,104 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar series established the sword-swinging, maiden-rescuing, chivalrous, high adventure that has been the mainstay of the fantasy genre ever since. White Wolf presents the entire seven-novelette Lankhmar series in four volumes.The two greatest heroes ever are back, proving why Fritz Leiber is a literary legend. Join Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser as they tak ...more
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by White Wolf Games Studio (first published April 1970)
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Aug 20, 2012 Forrest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whatever sword and sorcery book you happen to be reading at the moment - throw it across the room, sneer at the author's petty attempts at greatness, and go pick up one of Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar books. It doesn't necessarily have to be the edition I'm reviewing here. But if you have one ounce of love for sword and sorcery in your veins, you must read Leiber's work. And before you shout out "I don't need your stupid wizards and bare-chested barbarians!" read on!

I have just finished the White Wo
Jul 20, 2013 Alytha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This definetely was quite a slog...especially as this is considered one of the founding classics of the genre, so I somehow expected a bit more, but it's just...dull. It's not really a novel but rather a collection of short stories about the adventures of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser which usually work out the way that one of them, usually Fafhrd, gets himself into bad trouble, and the other one has to go bail him out.

What occasionally saves the stories is the ironic undertone of the narration, b
Gary Hoggatt
I love the fantasy genre. Have since first reading The Hobbit in junior high. I've read countless novels in the genre, including Robert E. Howard's original Conan sword and sorcery classics, and have played Dungeons & Dragons, whose creators where heavily inspired by the adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. And yet somehow I'd never read any of Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar books. I've finally corrected that, and am very, very glad I did. I can completely understand why the Lankhmar stories a ...more
Aug 16, 2009 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Re-reading this after many years I was struck by how generally excellent it was. It's pulpy, but character driven. The settings are vividly imagined, the action is gloriously paced. You can tell that Leiber was a capable swordsman himself, as well as an actor by the many small and knowledgeable touches he includes in his craft.

This edition is actually an omnibus of the First two Fafhrd and Gray Mouser books 'Swords against Deviltry' and 'Swords against Death'. It also features wonderful a
Preston Ray
A classic. Unlike some it has aged well. Lieber has a way of "sneaking" some beautiful writing into his "pulp" fantasy. Also one of the best at setting a scene in just a few sentences. If you are going to read one story of the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series "Ill Met in Lankhmar" is the one I think you should read.
Kat  Hooper
Apr 11, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must confess that I had some preconceived notions about Fritz Leiber’s work. Because he’s credited with coining the phrase “Sword & Sorcery,” and because I never hear women talking about his stories, I imagined that they appealed mainly to men who like to read stuff that has covers like these:

But, four factors made me decide to give Fritz Leiber a try:

I feel the need to be “educated” in the field of fantasy, which means that I should read novels that are out of my normal repertoire.
Rob and
Evan Kingston
Sort of dopey, sort of fun. Not much going on, but not long enough to get boring.
David Brawley
Nov 25, 2015 David Brawley rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, favorites, 2015
I really enjoyed both the stories and the format of the book, as well as the writing style. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are so very clearly the inspiration for D&D archetypes.
Jeff Jellets
Mar 16, 2015 Jeff Jellets rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, short-story, pulp

Lankhmar, where swords clink almost as often as coins.

It was an old Dungeons & Dragons module Lankhmar: City of Adventure which first whetted my appetite for the further adventures of the Fritz Leiber’s roguish heroes: Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. Unlike the spate of titular characters who populated the bulk of my sagging, fantasy adventure bookshelf – from noble King Arthur to the reluctantly heroic Bilbo Baggins – here were characters who behaved a lot more like the characters my friends an
Dustin Blottenberger
Leiber's prose might not titillate by today's standards, but there's a subtlety and humor to it that is so rarely seen these days either. The granddaddy of the sword and sorcery genre, Leiber, when he set down to pen the tales of Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, was doing something very different than what was expected from fantasy writers at the time. And since these tales are episodic, a progression of short stories culled from the pages of numerous weird rags, it offers easy reading with available pau ...more
No one can craft a fun, naughty, and chilling adventure yarn like Leiber. His two characters were unique in their time for being total scoundrels, men who went on great quests so they could wantonly spend their loot on booze and skirt. They usually find the treasure, but they almost always loose most of it by the end. His portrayal of magic is sublime.
Apr 16, 2011 Chas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, fiction, favorites
Really wonderful and influential fantasy stories -- addictive too, as one wishes very much to continue reading about Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. I wish they were as well known as Tolkien's novels or Robert E. Howard's stories.
Joe  Noir
Apr 23, 2013 Joe Noir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is from what may be the best fantasy/sword and sorcery series ever written. These stories have it all: action, adventure, horror, mystery and mayhem along with wry, intelligent humor and occasional slapstick humor. Alluring women and treasure, terrific fight scenes, and what is probably the most atmospheric setting ever created for a fantasy series. These books have been available at different times, in different editions over the years, sometimes with different titles. I recommend the ...more
Brian Martin
Jul 01, 2013 Brian Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't recommend this book highly enough for anyone who likes fantasy, adventure, just plain fun, Dungeons and Dragons type literature.

"But Dungeons & Dragons isn't literature" one might say. And to that I would whole-heartedly have to disagree (in this instance, and likely also in some of Robert E. Howards books).

This is heroic fantasy, there are no two ways about it. A semi-medieval, peasants and kings type setting, a sometimes harsh, sprawling world brought to life over the course of wha
Sep 21, 2013 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantasy feels dominated these days by old school LOTR copies or hypercynical grim dark fantasy in which everyone is a jerk and I have no one to root for.

Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser was a welcome change. They are classic loveable rogues. Thieves, but you can sense a conscience within them. There's a great sense of humor behind the stories, but not a laugh out loud kind, more subtle. I love the two leads and their very opposite mentors - Sheelbha and NIngauble. There's a great humanity painted i
Brian Darvell
This was my first story by one of the most respected early fantasists. It was an easy and fun little read and I would really be interested to continue reading about the pursuits of the Gray Mouser and Fafhrd. I guess it makes sense to start with this story since it tells of the companions meeting for the first time. There's some clever writing in this short story but otherwise it was just a fun sword-and-sorcery tale.
Feb 17, 2015 Tiferet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so much fun, pulpy to the point of being a parody and shamelessly bromantic to the point of being a love at first sight story (view spoiler). A must for all the fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld, for obvious reasons.
The other John
How was the book? Very good. Fafhrd and the Mouser's adventures are exciting and amusing. Like many sword and sorcery heroes, they are paragons of strength and skill, performing mighty deeds. But they also have very human foibles, getting dragged down by things like pride or drunken stupidity. All in all, the tales are a pleasure to read.
Kevin Hull
NOTE: This review is only for the 1970 novella.

The famed fantasy duo of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser make a grand and ingenious entrance, but the rest of the story is standard (and a bit tedious) genre fare.
Isaac Timm
Mar 24, 2013 Isaac Timm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2013
In a era of slick well-tuned fantasy put into nice categories for the most prudent consummation, it is a nice to read something raw. Who are the heroes here, the Mouser and Fafhrd, I'm not sure. They are rogues, bend on there own entertainment. Its a good break from mopey, sexless, chosen hacking around beautiful fantasy worlds with monstrous power but poor self esteem.
These stories are like climbing into a 1970's Hemi Barracuda, it may drink lead fuel and ride like a rail but its damn cool. He
interesting to visit the beginnings of the sword and sorcery genre. Will be on the lookout for more of the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series.
Leonard Mokos
where did this kind of playfulness evaporate to? Is there no more? Thank goodness for fabulous reads like "Azaroth & Sefalin".
Ryland Lee
Reading through this series again. Not sure exactly which ones I have and haven't read before, but in my quest for sources of inspiration for a fantasy story focused on rogues is there any better place to start than Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser?

And upon a second read, I was happily surprised at how good the story still proved to be. Solid adventure with flawed but amazing rogues that kept me hooked and wanting more. Evocative and descriptive enough to embue readers with a deep sense of the world a
Multiple copies on shelf. As if I had a physical shelf.
Apr 03, 2015 Mii rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great read!
Mike Etzkorn
Aug 22, 2012 Mike Etzkorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to steal a treasure
Recommended to Mike by: io9
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are not great men; it is even possible that they are not good men. They are not out to save the world; they do not even set out to save their city, the once-adopted and once-abandoned city of Lankhmar. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are a pair of adventurous rogues, bent on fame, fortune and one hell of a good time. It's hard to describe this series except to compare it to a Robert E. Howard work of pulp, blended with a smidgen of buddy-cop comedy.
William Murakami-brundage
Good stuff. Goes down smooth and easy, like a glass of water - nothing pretentious about Leiber's work. He is a storyteller first and foremost, because his work doesn't involve too many complexities. As a matter of fact, there is scant intrigue throughout most of his works. Primarily known as a founder of the fantasy genre, Leiber's work is far closer to Howard's Conan escapades than the nebulous politics found within the Game of Thrones novels.
Aug 20, 2010 April marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This one has been on my shelf for years... but I don't think I have actually read it... so here we go...

Cannot get into this one at all. Don't know if it is the writing, setting, characters or me.... but I have tried all this past week and have been unable to get past the same set of pages. I'm going to put this back on the shelf and try it on another pass of the L's.
Mar 12, 2007 Nigel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 'sword and sorcery' fans
This is classic fantasy of the 'sword and sorcery' kind (the term 'sword and sorcery' was coined by Leiber), from before the genre became throughly hackneyed - If you like the genre as it is now, I'd recommend reading trailblazers like Leiber, he was hugely influential (the first of these stories was written at the tail end of the 1930s).
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Fritz Reuter Leiber, Jr. was one of the more 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 variou ...more
More about Fritz Leiber...

Other Books in the Series

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (10 books)
  • Swords and Deviltry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1)
  • Swords Against the Shadowlands
  • Swords Against Death (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #2)
  • Swords in the Mist (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #3)
  • Swords Against Wizardry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #4)
  • The Swords of Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #5)
  • Swords and Ice Magic (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #6)
  • The Knight and Knave of Swords (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #7)
  • Lean Times in Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #3-4)
  • Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

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