Fiction Reviews

Ill Met in Lankhmar

(1999) Fritz Leiber, Millenium, 6.99, pbk, 450pp, ISBN 1-85798-810-8

For me Fritz Leiber is truly one of the greats and, of his creations, I have a special fondness for the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser books. There were seven novels in the original 'Swords' series, and Millenium are now re-presenting them in four volumes. This, the first, reprints Swords and Deviltry, and Swords Against Death. The next three volumes are Lean Times in Lankhmar, Return to Lankhmar, and Farewell to Lankhmar -- the final one reprinting The Knight and Knave of Swords, and due for release in Feb 2000. It is disappointing, but unsurprising, that there is no new material (unless you count the introductions; Michael Moorcock in the first volume), but gratifying that those who have not previously encountered these greatly amusing and beautifully constructed 'sword and sorcery' tales can now obtain these gems. I've got a shelf of Leiber's work, and Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser have pride of place among them. For those tired of the absurdities of Pratchett, and the self-conscious sturm und drang of current fantasists, I warmly recommend these reprints.

Tony Chester

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