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Swords and Deviltry cover art

Swords and Deviltry

By: Fritz Leiber
Narrated by: Jonathan Davis,Neil Gaiman (introduction)
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Summary

Neil Gaiman Presents: the first book in Fritz Leiber's classic sword-and-sorcery series, which includes the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novella, Ill Met in Lankhmar.

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.

Epic edge: download more tales of Swords and Deviltry.
©1995 The Estate of Fritz Leiber (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Swords and Deviltry

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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6 people found this helpful

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

true classic!

you'll never know how many of your favourite fantasy novels owe homage to this timeless classic until you read it, but I'll bet there are dozens. it's a stark reminder of how stale the genre has become that in its infancy, an author can produce characterises and plot that feel like they were created yesterday.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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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3 people found this helpful

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

Good classic fantasy

This book is perfect for fans of classic fantasy. It has all the tropes you could want in sword and sorcery, from giant seven foot barbarians to apprentice mages playing with forbidden magics.

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2 people found this helpful

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

Wish I'd read these earlier

I mean, they're odd stories - wonderfully so, beautifully told. Playful, naughty and did I mention odd?

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2 people found this helpful

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

Underwhelmed

Very hard to get into. The writing style is wordy and erratic, venturing into Shakesperian prose in one moment then to basic reporting of events in the next. The main characters are not particularly appealing and the female characters sound like they were devised by a reclusive teenage boy. No explanation as to why the main characters are so skilled despite being very youthful. The dialogue is stilted and clunky. At the 3 hour mark when nothing much had yet happened, I nearly chucked it in. Stuck with it as others have praised later books in the series and I figured I'd need this background if I end up trying one of them. Narrator does a solid job, with good differentiation of characters, though even he tripped over some of the unwieldy long sentences. Can't recommend it when there's so many other good books in this genre.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Had it’s moments

Some good scenes but the story lacked a lot of depth. The characters may develop in sequels?

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

Good story, mixed performance

I'd heard about this for a few decades but just got round to "reading". Like a lot of classics, it's hard to appreciate its originality as a lot of its ideas have been copied so many times. A reasonably compelling story and characters. The performance isn't bad but the louder voice sounds like an American attempting to imitate a cockney and occasionally getting cockney.

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

Brilliant

Absolutely brilliant. Great narration. Amazing story. Can't wait to start the next one.. and the next...

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

Of its age, but good.

Enjoyed it, well read, though definitely of its era. Some of the ideas in it were excellent and it's nice to see one of the bases of the genre.. The language at times is a little difficult to follow however, but over all I'd recommend it.

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