Ray Otus's Reviews > The Swords of Lankhmar

The Swords of Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber
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This is the eleventh tale of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, written by Fritz Lieber. It first appeared as Scylla's Daughter in 1961 in Fantastic. It was later revised/expanded in 1970 as The Swords of Lankhmar, volume 5 (all of it) of the collected stories.

This is a craaaaazy story! Not always in a good way, but definitely always in a colorful way. It's not really a spoiler to tell you it's about a bunch of rats trying to take over Lankhmar, because that is so heavily foreshadowed you'd have to be an idiot not to pick up on it.

I can't really give you all the nutso-awesome stuff in this without spoiling it. So here's what I'm going to tell you. 1. It's not the best plot. It seems a little belabored and our heroes are a bit dense. Maybe willingly so, yes, and maybe under the charms of a seductress, but still pretty dense. I always kind of dislike that in a story, when characters seem just dumb enough to let the plot go where the author wants it too. 2. It is full of interesting and colorful ideas, as well as some moments of really fine writing.

If I were to spill something that would whet your appetite, I think it would be the passages that comprise the side-story of Fafhrd and Bonny Bones. While riding around the Inner Sea to get to Lankhmar (where Mouser is imperiled), Fafhrd rides though a kind of war zone and encounters a band of ghouls. Unlike traditional fantasy ghouls, the ghouls of Newhon are a strangely beautiful and intelligent race of people with transparent skin. Fafhrd bests some of them in combat and carries away a female. How can he tell? Because they apply a touch of make-up to their naughty bits to make them stand out. Fafhrd calls her Bonny Bones. Her real name is Kreeshkra, and she is a fierce warrior and probably smarter than Fafhrd (ahem, CERTAINLY smarter than...). Anyway, they become lovers and then ... well, that's for you to read about.

I loved this part of the story! It had some troubling sexist bits, but they seemed to stick to Fafhrd, not the story, if you know what a I mean. I felt like they illustrated a hangup of the character's, not necessarily the author's.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 24, 2017 – Shelved
July 24, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 7, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy

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