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Fritz Leiber's Lean Times in Lankhmar (Lankhmar Series, No 2)
by Fritz Leiber
ISBN 1565049276 / 9781565049277 / 1-56504-927-6
Publisher White Wolf Publishing
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This omnibus of classic sword and sorcery is a companion volume to Ill Met in Lankhmar, reprinting further exploits of the genre's best-loved heroic duo, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Brought together here are two 1968 volumes, Swords in the Mist and Swords Against Wizardry, assembled from material going back as far as 1947. The first included book takes our heroes rampaging across their fantastic world of Nehwon ("No- when") in short stories that mingle swordplay, horror and wit. Then, in the early mini-novel "Adept's Gambit", they stray into the ancient Earth of Sidon and Tyre to encounter a gruesome foe. Book two comprises two more novellas. "Stardock" sees Fafhrd and the Mouser madly scaling Nehwon's highest mountain (from which the stars were launched at the dawn of time) on a truly vertiginous quest for a gigantic gemstone that proves to be guarded by invisible enemies and monsters. But there are some delightful invisible ladies too, and naughtiness ensues. "The Lords of Quarmall" features complex dynastic intrigue in an underground kingdom where dark magic rules. This tale was co-written with Leiber's small and nimble friend Harry Fischer, the original model for the Mouser--just as intellectual barbarian Fafhrd was based on the very tall Leiber himself. All heady stuff-- Leiber's glittering wit was unique in heroic fantasy. --David Langford [via]