Sword and Sorcery Books

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Some of the more popular sword and sorcery books in the genre, as ranked by the crowd.
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Swords Against Death

by Fritz Leiber

Join the renowned barbarian and thief in this sword-and-sorcery adventure from a Grand Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
 
While The Lord of the Rings took the world by storm, Fritz Leiber’s fantastic but thoroughly flawed antiheroes, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, adventured and stumbled deep within the caves of Inner Earth as well. They wondered and wandered to the edges of the Outer Sea, across the Land of Nehwon, and throughout every nook and cranny of gothic Lankhmar, Nehwon’s grandest and most mystically corrupt city. Lankhmar, is Leiber’s fully realized, vivid incarnation of urban decay and civilization’s corroding effect on the human psyche. Fafhrd and Mouse are not innocents; their world is no land of honor and righteousness. It is a world of human complexities and violent action, of discovery and mystery, of swords and sorcery.
 
Swords Against Death, the second volume in the Lankhmar series, finds Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser beginning their real journey. Their hearts altered by the loss of first true love, they embark on a long and winding path of drunken debauchery and womanizing until crossing paths with two cross wizards, Sheelba of the Eyeless Face and Ningauble of the Seven Eyes. A most violent of clashes ensues. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser descend into Thieves House to discover the exacting skill of the united backstabbing Thieves of Lankhmar and their rival guild, the Slayer’s Brotherhood, the city’s unionized killers. They would wander along the Bleak Shore to a howling tower to show how fear is not the product of murder but the cause. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser must resume their plundering and drunken debauchery until once again darkness had taken the balance for its favor and then a change would come.
 
These are just a few of the encounters our swindling swordsmen will willingly endure in ridding their hearts of their first true loves. But did they know it would make them indentured swordsman servants to their former foes, the formidable Sheelba and Ningauble? 
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Swords Against Wizardry

by Fritz Leiber

Ace Books, 1983. Mass market paperback, later printing.
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Swords And Ice Magic

by Fritz Leiber

Stories of sword and sorcery by a Grand Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy!

 In Swords and Ice Magic, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser discover how the sadness of the Executioner creates a macabre dance from the point of view of the choreographer. Beauties and beasts explain the dual nature of all life’s creatures. Trapped in the Shadowland, our dogmatic duo finds the dualities of swords and needles, maps and territories, girls and demons, mortals and gods, learning of the mischievous vanity of the gods. Lost at sea, Gray Mouser becomes a natural philosopher, drifting, captive of the Great Equatorial Current. He wonders about fire and ice, about women and men, until they arrive at Rime Isle, a tragic comedy of a place, wandering gods and restless mortals, a comedy with puppets and puppet masters. 
 
Before The Lord of the Rings took the world by storm, Leiber’s fantastic but thoroughly flawed antiheroes, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, adventured deep within the caves of Inner Earth, albeit a different one. They wondered and wandered to the edges of the Outer Sea, across the Land of Nehwon and throughout every nook and cranny of gothic Lankhmar, Nehwon’s grandest and most mystically corrupt city. Lankhmar is Leiber’s fully realized, vivid incarnation of urban decay and civilization’s corroding effect on the human psyche.
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The Hammer And The Blade

by Paul S. Kemp

For readers of Brent Weeks, Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett, and Scott Lynch comes the first book in a fantastic, hilarious new sword-and-sorcery series that puts a clever new twist on the golden age of epic fantasy.

Robbing tombs for fun and profit might not be a stable career, but Egil and Nix aren’t in it for the long-term prospects. Egil is the hammer-wielding warrior-priest of a discredited god. Nix is a roguish thief with just enough knowledge of magic to conjure up trouble. Together, they seek riches and renown, yet often find themselves enlisted in lost causes—generally against their will.

So why should their big score be any different? The trouble starts when Nix and Egil kill the demonic guardian of a long-lost crypt, nullifying an ancient pact made by the ancestors of an obscenely powerful wizard. Now the wizard will stop at nothing to keep that power from slipping away, even if it means freeing a rapacious beast from its centuries-old prison. And who better than Egil and Nix—the ones responsible for his current predicament—to perform this thankless task?

Praise for The Hammer and the Blade and Paul S. Kemp

“A gripping tale [with] the feeling of a classic Dungeons & Dragons campaign.”Publishers Weekly

“Most heroes work up to killing demons. Egil and Nix start there and pick up the pace.”—Elaine Cunningham, author of the Thorn Trilogy

“Kemp delivers sword and sorcery at its rollicking best, after the fashion of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.”Library Journal

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Echoes Of Valor Wagner

by Robert E. Howard

A trio of fantasy masters presents three tales of heroic adventure and magic--"The Black Stranger," "Adept's Gambit," and "Wet Magic"
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The Blue Sword

by Robin McKinley

Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?

"McKinley's spare and eloquent prose is sheer delight... a compelling portrait of the vibrant, wryly humorous Harry." -School Library Journal, starred review

"This is a zesty, romantic heroic...." -Booklist, starred review

Awards:

( A 1983 Newbery Honor Book
( An ALA Notable Book
( An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

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Sword-dancer

by Jennifer Roberson

Exiled from both the North and the South, Southron sword-dancer Tiger and Northern sword-singer Del have set sail to search for Tiger's homeland. But no journey is ever without complications for Tiger and Del. Shipwrecked, nearly drowned, abducted by pirates, bedeviled by magic and those who would use the pair to their own ends, the two finally do arrive at their destination. But before their quest is over, Tiger must face a truth about himself which may prove more dangerous than any sword-dance.
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The Last Swordmage

by Martin F Hengst

When an agent from the Imperium Intelligence Service shows up on Tiadaria's doorstep, he leaves her with unwelcome news. Recovering from their brutal defeat at Dragonfell, the Xarundi are seeking out an ancient and incredibly powerful relic buried in the snow and ice of the Frozen Frontier.
 
Tiadaria travels to the city of Ethergate to seek out an apprentice skilled in magical research. Even with his reluctant help, unearthing information on the relic proves to be almost impossible until a savage turn of events puts them on the right path.

Now it's a race against time through some of the most unforgiving territory on Solendrea to beat the Xarundi to the relic and stop them from unleashing its devastating power on the unsuspecting masses.
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The Book Of Kane

by Karl Edward Wagner

Collects five occult tales about Kane, red-haired and left-handed mighty being:

? Reflections for the Winter of My Soul (1973)
? Misericorde (1983)
? The Other One (1977)
? Sing a Last Song of Valdese (1976)
? Raven's Eyrie (1977)

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Night Winds

by Karl Edward Wagner

Where once the mighty Kane has passed, no one who lives forgets. Now, down the trails of past battles, Kane travels again. To the ruins of a devastated city peopled only by half men and the waif they call their queen. The past, future, and present are all one for Kane as he travels through the centuries.

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Dark Crusade

by Karl Edward Wagner

Out of the blackness of an almost-forgotten past, the cruel cult of Sataki has come to life again. Orted Ak-Ceddi, a daring outlaw, is its prophet. He draws thousands of converts to his Dark Crusade—a design to destroy mankind. His bloody cohorts conquer Shapeli, but they are defeated when they drive to vanquish the southern kingdoms. Kane is the man who can command the conquest. But Kane intends no final victory for the forces of Darkness. . . .

Long out of print, this Kane novel is a classic. Illustrated in color and black and white by renowned artist Tom Kidd.

World Fantasy
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Death Angel's Shadow

by Karl Edward Wagner

Kane's killer skills are tested against brutal forces in a forbidden wasteland
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Three Hearts And Three Lions

by Poul Anderson

Transported to a medieval realm of magic and myth, a World War II resistance fighter undertakes a perilous quest in this classic fantasy adventure.

Holger Carlsen is a rational man of science. A Danish engineer working with the Resistance to defeat the Nazis, he is wounded during an engagement with the enemy and awakens in an unfamiliar parallel universe where the forces of Law are locked in eternal combat with the forces of Chaos. Against a medieval backdrop, brave knights must take up arms against magical creatures of myth and faerie, battling dragons, trolls, werewolves, and giants.
 
Though Holger has no recollection of this world, he discovers he is already well-known throughout the lands, a hero revered as a Champion of Law. He finds weaponry and armor awaiting him—precisely fitted to his form—and a shield with three hearts and three lions emblazoned upon it. As he journeys through a realm filled with wonders in search of the key to his past, Holger will call upon the scientific knowledge of his home dimension, the destinies of both worlds hanging in the balance.

Before Thomas Covenant, Roger Zelazny’s Amber, and J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the great Poul Anderson introduced readers to the Middle World and the legendary hero Ogier the Dane. Inventive and exciting, Three Hearts and Three Lions is a foray into fantasy that employs touches of science fiction from an award-winning master of the speculative.
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A Discourse In Steel

by Paul S. Kemp

For fans of Brent Weeks, Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett, and Scott Lynch comes a fast-paced, hilarious new sword-and-sorcery series featuring two wise-cracking protagonists straight out of the golden age of epic fantasy.

Once the most daring—some would say reckless—grave robbers around, Egil and Nix are now retired, having opened their own tavern with a side business as a brothel. The warrior-priest and the dashing rogue are done with adventuring. But is adventuring done with them? When two beautiful sisters run afoul of the notorious Thieves’ Guild, the semi-respectable entrepreneurs are called upon to defend their honor. And if they find an opportunity to enrich themselves along the way, no one could blame them.

Soon they’re going toe-to-toe and hammer-to-skull with some of the deadliest cutthroats in town. There’s just one catch: The quest to settle this vendetta once and for all leads straight into the Blackalley, a ghostly byway that appears at random to suck unsuspecting passersby into its voracious maw. Only a fool or a madman would enter willingly. Luckily for Egil and Nix, they might just be both.

Praise for the Egil and Nix novels

“[Paul S.] Kemp delivers sword and sorcery at its rollicking best, after the fashion of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.”Library Journal

“Egil and Nix might not be the safest guys to go adventuring with, but they’re sure good company.”—Ed Greenwood, bestselling creator of Forgotten Realms

“Did I mention how much fun Egil and Nix are? So. Much. Damn. Fun.”Tordotcom

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Legend

by Marie Lu

4 avg rating
A New York Times bestseller!

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

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Jirel Of Joiry

by C. L. Moore

The fierce, proud, and relentless commander of warriors, standing tall above her enemies and simmering with rage, Jirel bids farewell to the world of treacherous men and walks through a forbidden door into Hell itself in pursuit of freedom, justice, and revenge. Reissue.
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The Sword, The Ring, And The Chalice

by Deborah Chester

A long-lost talismen helps a rebel princess and a half-elvin courtier realize the destiny that they share.

2nd in The Sword, the Ring, and the Chalice trilogy, following book one, The Sword
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1 comments
Anonymous | 2015-12-05 01:59:12
The Steven Erikson books don't belong here. They're all the fate-of-the-world themed or at least fate-of-the-nation. They're much too ambitious for the Sword and Sorcery label. As are the Terry Goodkind books, none of his series are S

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