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The Broken Sword | [Poul Anderson]

The Broken Sword

Thor has broken the sword Tyrfing so that it cannot strike at the roots of Yggdrasil, the tree that binds together earth, heaven, and hell. But now the mighty sword is needed again to save the elves in their war against the trolls, and only Skafloc, a human child kidnapped and raised by the elves, can hope to persuade Bölverk the ice-giant to make Tyrfing whole again. But Skafloc must also confront his shadow self, Valgard the changeling, who has taken his place in the world of men.
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Publisher's Summary

Thor has broken the sword Tyrfing so that it cannot strike at the roots of Yggdrasil, the tree that binds together earth, heaven, and hell. But now the mighty sword is needed again to save the elves in their war against the trolls, and only Skafloc, a human child kidnapped and raised by the elves, can hope to persuade Bölverk the ice-giant to make Tyrfing whole again. But Skafloc must also confront his shadow self, Valgard the changeling, who has taken his place in the world of men.

©1954 Poul Anderson (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (73 )
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3.7 (63 )
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4.1 (63 )
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  •  
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 11-02-12
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 11-02-12 Member Since 2009

    Hi, I'm an alumi of NYU and I'm also huge into MMA. I love books I read a lot and review the stand outs. I'll give you guys the goods.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow"

    I got this book because it was narrated by Bronson Pinchot and the plot sounded interesting. However, I had no Idea how great this book was going to be. It was originally released in the 1950's. However, there is no way you could tell, because the story and the setting are timeless. The narration was first rate Mr.Pinchot never disappoints and the story had me enthralled. If you like lord of the rings or fantasy in general you should pick this one up.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-20-12 Member Since 2004
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    "Anderson's Best Work"

    Poul Anderson has woven a rich tale from Norse myth. The style and pacing are excellent. Anderson has created a tragedy of Shakespearean proportion and knowing from the first page that it will all end badly, you are still swept away with the story and can't stop. Pinchot is truly one of the best readers and his style well matches the story. I had read the novel 20 years ago, but Pinchot's reading brought to the story new depths I had not realized.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 10-01-11
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 10-01-11 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

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    "Unforgettable Dark Epic Fantasy Magic"

    Listening to Poul Anderson???s The Broken Sword was a powerful experience. Anderson wove elements from Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and British mythology and legends, Viking history in England (when Christianity was inexorably spreading and converting heathen), Faerie (elves, trolls, and the like sharing the world of mortals but usually remaining just out of sight), and his own imagination to write a bleakly beautiful, horribly heroic, and bloodily tragic epic fantasy novel.

    Because it was first published in 1954 and draws on similar sources, The Broken Sword is often compared with The Lord of the Rings, but it feels closer to The Silmarillion, for Anderson???s novel has a similarly deep sense of beauty, irony, fate, time, and tragedy (as well as similar manipulation of mortals by gods, incest, flawed ???heroes,??? mortals mixing with immortals, and the passing of a wondrous age). But although Anderson???s novel features epic language with Anglo-Saxon-esque alliteration and poetry, as well as archaic words (fey, ere, twain) and syntax (savage was the battle), it is a straight-forward, action-packed, and rawly human read. Anderson???s doppleganger heroes, the elf-raised Skafloc and the human-raised changeling Valgard, are prey to all-consuming valor, hatred, and love. The broken sword is a compelling artifact, evil, charismatic, powerful, and treacherous.

    Bronson Pinchot gives a grand performance; from the disturbingly quiet elf-lord Imric to the ominously deep voiced troll king Illrede, all the characters come alive, full of their crafty manipulations and overwhelming passions. The vengeful witch negotiating with Satan for aid, Freda???s dead brother revealing that she and Skafloc are siblings, Valgard telling his elf-lord father Imric why he hates him prior to torturing him, Odin explaining to Freda what he wants from behind her girdle, in such scenes Anderson???s writing and Pinchot???s reading combine to make unforgettable dark epic fantasy magic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Line oslo, Norway 09-10-12
    Line oslo, Norway 09-10-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A epic saga!"

    This is a real treat for audible listeners!

    If you like greece mythology with all it's drama your are going to love this story.

    It is a lovely fast-paced story with Gods, trolls, fairies, love, war and magic!

    Bronson Pinchot does and FANTASTIC job narrating this story, I've never heard a narrator scream before <3 Bronson really makes a the characters and story come to life!

    If you are having a hard time finding a good audible book, look no further. You just stumbled over a great story! And a great narrator!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FutekiNa Virginia, USA 02-25-13
    FutekiNa Virginia, USA 02-25-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A very good story with a stellar performance"

    The headline says it all, really. This comes from a different period in the genre than a lot of fans are probably used to, so it's less interested in setting up an epic twisty pot than it is in presenting sympathetic characters on all sides of its conflict. Depending on what you want from the genre, it might not be for you, but this is a very good book that falls just short of great. Pinchot's performance is beyond reproach here. He really gets the prose's rhythms and the emotion behind the story. It's probably one of the best readings I've ever heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mick Norton, United Kingdom 04-09-12
    Mick Norton, United Kingdom 04-09-12
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    "A novel with the power of a myth."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a great blending of gritty historical dark ages with elves and trolls, gods and giants. These aren't the elves from Tolkein, they are amoral, child-stealing immortals. And these are the


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Broken Sword?

    Imric, the Elf-earl, learning of the unbaptised child, racing home to make the Changeling.


    What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

    Strong narration. Excellent tone to match the mythical tragic themes of the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    In the last days of Faerie and the Old Gods, what is the price of True Love.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Emerson, MB, Canada 03-26-12
    William Emerson, MB, Canada 03-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "A good Story"

    Elves, humans, changelings and others all wrapped in malice and violence. One must hope for a hero if anything is to change.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Hamilton, New Zealand 12-06-11
    Michael Hamilton, New Zealand 12-06-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Could not put it down"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, loved the story content, topic and telling of.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Broken Sword?

    When the hero found out about his sister


    Which character ??? as performed by Bronson Pinchot ??? was your favorite?

    The witch was my favorite performance


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaime Rochester, MN, United States 03-26-14
    Jaime Rochester, MN, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2010

    Bibliophile

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    "If you liked Beowulf..."

    I started listening to this book and had to double check that it was, in fact, of modern composure (modern in this case being some sixty years or so, but still, more modern than 800 AD). It has the same sweep and feel of an ancient Epic, written and sung by bards, and in fact makes good use of alliteration and various techniques so that the prose feels more like poetry at times, an effect that is subtly highlighted by the talented performer. I rewound several times to relisten to descriptive swathes because the language and performance was so beautiful that I got lost in them. (And on the way to my car. I was so engrossed that I climbed two extra flights in the parking ramp and then couldn't figure out where my vehicle was. Oops...)

    But fear not, you who have not read the ancient epics! Though I have my own opinion of classics (favorable, read as many as you can, they really aren't that daunting), I know others find the prospect of an Epic a bit overwhelming. Don't. Really, don't. Things are easy to keep track of as long as you realize that troll = bad, elf = protagonist, humans = scapegoats, and gods = avoid at all costs if you hope to live a peaceful life. Not that peace is much to be had, because the bad mix it up with the protagonists, get the scapegoats involved, and the only hope of success comes with calling on the ones you hope to avoid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abby Normal Earth 02-03-14
    Abby Normal Earth 02-03-14 Member Since 2008

    Abby

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    "Dark Fantasy and Brilliant Saga"
    Would you listen to The Broken Sword again? Why?

    Yes, I would definitely listen to this again just to hear a lot of the different verse and names.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Broken Sword?

    Skafloc trying to win his sister's love.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    Skafloc was my favorite and definitely had a range of emotions and development as a character.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book put me through a range of emotions through the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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