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Publisher's Summary

New epic fantasy in the grand tradition - including a never-before-published Song of Ice and Fire story by George R. R. Martin!

Fantasy fiction has produced some of the most unforgettable heroes ever conjured onto the page: Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné, Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Classic characters like these made sword and sorcery a storytelling sensation, a cornerstone of fantasy fiction - and an inspiration for a new generation of writers spinning their own outsize tales of magic and swashbuckling adventure.

Now, in The Book of Swords, acclaimed editor and best-selling author Gardner Dozois presents an all-new anthology of original epic tales by a stellar cast of award-winning modern masters - many of them set in their authors' best-loved worlds. Join today's finest tellers of fantastic tales, including George R. R. Martin, K. J. Parker, Robin Hobb, Scott Lynch, Ken Liu, C. J. Cherryh, Daniel Abraham, Lavie Tidhar, Ellen Kushner, and more on action-packed journeys into the outer realms of dark enchantment and intrepid derring-do, featuring a stunning assortment of fearless swordsmen and warrior women who face down danger and death at every turn with courage, cunning, and cold steel.

Featuring 16 all-new stories:

  • "The Best Man Wins" by K. J. Parker
  • "Her Father's Sword" by Robin Hobb
  • "The Hidden Girl" by Ken Liu
  • "The Sword of Destiny" by Matthew Hughes
  • "'I Am a Handsome Man,' Said Apollo Crow" by Kate Elliott
  • "The Triumph of Virtue" by Walter Jon Williams
  • "The Mocking Tower" by Daniel Abraham
  • "Hrunting" by C. J. Cherryh
  • "A Long, Cold Trail" by Garth Nix
  • "When I Was a Highwayman" by Ellen Kushner
  • "The Smoke of Gold Is Glory" by Scott Lynch
  • "The Colgrid Conundrum" by Rich Larson
  • "The King's Evil" by Elizabeth Bear
  • "Waterfalling" by Lavie Tidhar
  • "The Sword Tyraste" by Cecelia Holland
  • "The Sons of the Dragon" by George R. R. Martin

And an introduction by Gardner Dozois

Readers: Arthur Morey, Julia Whelan, Mark Deakins, Ralph Lister, Kirby Heyborne, Nicholas Guy Smith, Richard Brewer, Steve West, Elliott Hill, Kim Mai Guest, Katherine Mc Ewan, and John Lee

©2017 George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Scott Lynch, and Garth Nix (P)2017 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Solid, but not amazing anthology

One of the things I like about Gardner and GRRM anthologies is that they both tell you about the author and give you a list of their previous Works before presenting their novelas. That is especially useful in the audiobook version of Book of Swords as it's divided into 260 - 5 minute chapters. So if you want to skip ahead to Scott Lynch in the chapter hundred 50-ish range you just keep clicking forward until you hear an author description chapter. it's jarring because of the change of narrator. I have to mention that almost all of the narrator's here are very good. that is rare.

There are a number of very solid stories in this book. Robin Hobb, the aforementioned Scott Lynch. George RR Martin throws a chapter from the Blood of the Dragon series he's been working on forever. it's a fine elaboration on the chapters from the History of Westeros. the Riverside story in this book is an odd one, but apt.

I would say if anything this book suffers from a number of notable absences. There's no Brandon Sanderson or Joe Abercrombie. There's no Patrick Rothfuss or Jim Butcher. I would have liked to have heard the words "Would you like to destroy some evil today?" or have taken a journey with a certain dozen and a certain father of swords with a certain crack nut narrating the tail.

One of the best reasons to pick up an anthology like this is to discover or get into somebody who has a great series that you might not have heard of or have been hesitant to try. So I'm writing this in direct response to anyone who would buy big giant book filled with stories by dozens of authors to only read one and review it based on that one story.. don't publish reviews.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

a mixed bag

This collection has a lot to offer I'm a big fan of Garth Nix Robin Hobb and GRRM. I'd never heard of some of the authors included but now I'm interested in searching down other novels. some of the stories were so tough to get through and blended together.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

S&S At it's best.

Excellent variety, inventive writing, along with polished voicing, time and imagination flew for the length of the book.

Dozen or so short stories made good breaks and range, my favorite was the ancient story teller about hunting a dragons gold.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Very difficult to rate

because every story came up different. I hated that there is no way to go through and pick out a story. Some were so badly written or badly narrated that I couldn't stand them and tried to skip forward, but each track is only a few minutes long and there are over two hundred of them called "chapters" but they're only five or six minutes each, so they're really just anonymous tracks. There is no "table of contents". It would take forever to find the beginning of the next story. Easier to just let my mind wander until another story started. I did bookmark a couple to go back to re-listen (and only a couple). Each story has a different narrator. Some stories were boring but the narration was good. Some were good but the narration sucked. One story was by a favorite author (CJ Cherryh) and a large reason why I bought this. After plowing through many others, I finally got to it, and then had to grit my teeth to listen -- the narrator sounds a drill sergeant reading military lists. He drops the ball at the end of every sentence in a droning manner, and speaks so fast and choppily, I had to slow the speed to below normal (first time I've ever done that) just to understand what he was saying. Don't ask me to tell you his name, because there is no listing whatsoever of which narrator reads which story! I love S & S more than fantasy per se, but many of these stories have nothing to do with a sword or very little to do with sorcery. The one thing I liked was the bio of each writer before the story, because I like finding new writers. But it's nearly impossible to go back and listen to a particular bio and note their name if I decide I want to read more of their work, unless I bookmark it, but I don't know if I want to do that until I've finished the story! So then I have to try and find the beginning again. This might have been a good book to have in print, but I consider this audiobook a huge waste of my credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Just 3 good stories

Very disappointed with this book. I expected better quality than this and only 3 of the stories were decent

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

I regret purchasing this book. This book is terrible in every way possible, it was a wast of a credit.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 07-18-18

Great compilation! Great stories.

Some performances better than others. Almost all the stories were top notch. Great stories by some of the best authors in their genre.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

read mostly for GrrM, was a worth while adventure

if you enjoyed the tales of dunk n egg or the song of ice and fire novels, this is a fun and interesting listen

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great collection!

Many great stories, very few duds. Broad selection of styles, covering a large variety of genres.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

its mostly credits not much story.

not enough story.To short .lists every book of each author. boring.
I don't think I'll get another of his books.

2 of 13 people found this review helpful