In the ancient city of Lankhmar, two men forge a friendship in battle. The red-haired barbarian Fafhrd left the snowy reaches of Nehwon looking for a new life, while the Gray Mouser, apprentice magician, fled after finding his master dead. These bawdy brothers-in-arms cement a friendship that leads them through the wilds of Nehwon, facing thieves, wizards, princesses, and the depths of their desires and fears.
The late Fritz Leiber's tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser launched the sword-and-sorcery genre, and were the inspiration for the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction by Neil Gaiman.
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©1995 The Estate of Fritz Leiber; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"It's, like all of Fritz Leiber's fiction, delightful and, like all of the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories, a wonderful place to go." (Neil Gaiman)
"Fritz Leiber's tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are virtually a genre unto themselves. Urbane, idiosyncratic, comic, erotic and human, spiked with believable action and the eerie creations of a master fantasist!" (William Gibson)
Thank you Audible for making Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd/Gray Mouser series available. The narrator Jonathan Davis does an outstanding job of bringing life to this saga. Mr. Leiber was such a wonderful wordsmith. Listening to this series is such a treat after reading them all 25+ years ago. Highly recommend this book (and others in the set) to those who enjoy 'high adventure, sorcery and witchery' and lots of dialogue.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
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 warrior babes on the covers.
But when I saw this on audio (finally), I decided to give it a try because it's classic fantasy literature.
So, I put Swords and Deviltry on my MP3 player and pressed play. Within two minutes, I was completely enthralled. The first part of the novel (which is really a compilation of short stories) tells the tale of Fafhrd???s liberation from the taboos, close-mindedness, and ???icy morality??? of his mother and clan (and the girl he got pregnant) in the northern wastes. He yearns for civilization, and finally gets a chance to ???escape this stupid snow world and its man-chaining women??? with a beautiful showgirl.
The second section introduces us to Mouse, who is apprenticed to the white magician Glavas Rho, but who feels the pull of the black arts ??? ???the magic which stemmed from death and hate and pain and decay, which dealt in poisons and night-shrieks, which trickled down from the black spaces between the stars...??? A murder and a betrayal force Mouse over the brink and he restyles himself as The Gray Mouser.
I was engrossed in the tales of both of these young men, so when the audiobook reader (the excellent Jonathan Davis) finally said ???Chapter 4: Ill Met in Lankhmar,??? I felt a thrill of delight! Of course I???m familiar with the name of this Nebula (1970) and Hugo (1971) award-winning novella, and I knew I???d be reading it in Swords and Deviltry, but for the first time the name had real significance for me and I couldn???t wait to witness the meeting of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. And it was, as promised, a lot of fun.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but it was quite enjoyable. There are no pretenses of being anything more than a good adventure story that happens to be set in an world where magic and sorcery is real. While describing a vivid and diverse imaginary setting, it avoids the tedium of an overly complex mythology (which many writers since Tolkien have attempted, but few have succeeded). The characters are interesting (although perhaps with a level of development meant to appeal primarily to a male, young adult, readership). The female characters are mostly consorts, conquests and occasional foils for the male protagonists. The plot is somewhat predictable, but the skillful storytelling makes it enjoyable nonetheless.
Fafhrd's rocket-assisted ski jump was laugh-out-loud funny.
This was the first reading by Davis that I've listened to. The characterizations were quite good and I was able to distinguish the characters without much trouble.
Written long before Fantasy had become a genre, these aew classic fantasy stories. While these stories have been placed in internal chronological order, it is important to realize that these were stories written, not as an epic fantasy like LOTR or Game of Thrones, but as short stories, more akin to the Conan stories. Soem are long on style and short on plot, but they bring you into the minds and the world of these two intriguing characters. Marvelously read, I look forward to reading the second installment.
The story itself was really great. I wanted it to keep going.
The characters were compelling, The storyline was a good mix of futurism and Arthurian-like fantasy. I liked the combination of action and weird almost-romanticism. The two main characters are people you really want to follow into the next book.
Neil Gaiman gave a perspective and history to the story you might not have otherwise known and Jonathan Davis has the perfect voice for this type of story, much like John Hurt in the "merlin" TV series.
Yes! Like all good books, it was hard to put down.
I really enjoyed this story and will probably go through the entire series :) The story starts of honed to a sharp edge without a wasted word and I enjoyed the way the way the asthetic of the storytelling was interwoven with the setting in the cold dark North. Then the storyline and action picked up as the setting moved onto the hot and humid southern regions, this is classic storytelling at it's best :)
While this will likely never be on the top of my favorites list, it is a solid novel with well developed characters. The story line blends a classic Conan-type genre with a bit of the dry sense of humor you can find in the more serious parts of a Terry Pratchett novel.
I will likely get the second book in the near future...
I really don't know how i missed this author for so long. Mr.Leiber truely was a master of his craft. This is fantasy in its purest form. After listening to the first 3 of the novels in the series, I now realize that most of the previous "sword and sorcery" style fantasy authors i have read to date are simply pale imitators, all striving to capture or reproduce what Mr. Leiber has created.
These novels raise the bar to a new level that most fantasy authors will rarely achieve.
That being said, the narration is decent, but not spectacular. The narrator often seems confused as to which minimally varied tone he has assigned to which character. Since there are often only 2 main characters in many of the stories, his confusion is less then laudable.
this was a Horrible performance. He usually does such an outstanding job, this time he was just putting me to sleep. I listened to the whole book, but I can't really tell you what the story was really about, except the briefest of outlines, and that there's not much sword and. not much sorcery, which is what i was looking for. Maybe I'll try to listen to it again, but like I said Jonathan was really putting me to sleep. I heard it's a great series, but I won't be purchasing any more, unless I can get through this book again and actually like it, as unlikely as that is. I do, on occasion, listen to a book with poor narration again just to give it a second chance. I did that with the Mageborn series and I ended up liking it so much that I listened to all of the Mageborn books, so you never know...
I first read about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser in high school. The years have past, yet I was pleased to see the story was as enjoyable as I remembered. A definite addition to your collection ... if you enjoy reading about lovable rouges forging strong friendships while experiencing fascinating adventures. The Snow Women, and the Unholy Grail are fun, but the Hugo and Nebula winning "Ill Met in Lankhmar" is a personal favorite.
As a good narrator should, the performance only added to the story.
"A timeless classic"
I've read and re read this series many many times and I'm still finding them riveting. They have all the element of top class fantasy and you an instantly see how younger writers have been influenced by Leibers work. While the magic is not gratuitous it features heavily throughout the books but is somehow believable and always logical. I have just introduced my sons to Leiber in written form whist I am enjoying him in the audio format for the first of many times. All in all a must listen series of books.
"Nothing beats great old fantasy!"
Great characters, inventive plots, unforgettable villains, old realms, merciless gods, beautiful women... what can we ask more to a fantasy novel?
Maybe good style and quick pace? Fritz Leiber has all of these and more. Sadly we cannot say the same of most of his followers.
The adventures are narrated in an Howardian style, maybe with a better language, but the protagonist are more cunning and cynical.
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