mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Swords Against The Nutcracker! (23)

Lankhmar Book Five: The Swords of Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber.

See, now we are getting somewhere in the Lankhmar books. I really liked the previous volume, Swords Against Wizardry, & Swords of Lankhmar keeps the ball rolling. Two words for you: were-rats & ghouls. The first is largely the concern of this book-- the rats of Lankhmar are in revolt, & their human-like agents are at the crux of the tail. Excuse me, I mean tale. Gray Mouser has a romance with Hisvet, the enigmatic albino Demoiselle, carried out largely by proxy with her handmaid Frix. Hisvet & the rats are grand-- really well told & with plenty of hooks to draw you in. Not least among those hooks is Gray Mouser shrinking down to rat-sized to infiltrate their under-city. I associate "you've been shrunk to a size where rats are your foes!" with fordmadoxfraud, probably due to similar scenes in his beloved Phantasy Star. I think. Fafhrd doesn't occupy as much of the tale, but! Fafhrd gets a girlfriend! Kreeshkra is a Ghoul, & Leiber has a stroke of brilliance where his ghouls are concerned; quite simply, they have transparent skin & flesh, leaving only their bones visible, & the rainbows of their eyes-- & in the case of Kreeshkra, rouge about her breasts & lips. Deliciously creepy...& totally Fafhrd's girlfriend. The thrust of the book isn't to say it doesn't meander in oddity-- a crazy German guy riding a dragon shows up for no reason? Karl Treuherz of Hagenbecks, what the heck is your deal?

Tags: books, haiku, lankhmar, leiber

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