The First Book of Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1-4)

By Fritz Leiber

Rating: 3 stars

This Fantasy Masterworks volume compiles the first four books of the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series, each book being itself comprised of various short stories and novellas written at different times (the Wikipedia article has a rundown of all the stories, when they were written and in which book they can be found). The titular characters are Fafhrd, a giant barbarian from the frozen north and the Grey Mouser, a small roguish man with some sorcerous training. The first two stories of the first book contain origin stories for each character, with the third showing their first meeting and how they became firm friends.

The stories all have a fairly similar structure to them, often being tales in which the dynamic duo are questing for treasure or independently end up on the same quest. While certainly enjoyable, one problem that I had with the books was their treatment of women. When female characters do appear they are often quite strong, but mostly their appearance is purely cosmetic, something for the two protagonists to ogle or fight over which can be somewhat uncomfortable at times.

Enjoyable, but best read with a suitably barbarian mindset.

Book details

ISBN: 9781857983272
Publisher: Gollancz
Year of publication: 2000

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