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The Second Book of Lankhmar

PDF The first Book of Lankhmar was pretty decent. Nothing stellar, bland - yes, uninteresting at parts - yes, uninspired - mostly, but certainly readable. This one was very hard for me to get through, however.

There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, there is a major problem with logic and the seams that hold the whole thing together. During the course of a single story, different things happen, but some of them don't really have any connection to the plot, and are just there as filler. Some events have no weight or bearing on anything that happens or on the characters, and yet the author pays a lot of attention to them. The plot points are only vaugely connected, and some plot lines start deus ex machina, and end the same way - suddenly and with little explanation. It's all a jumbled mess.

Secondly, by this time, the duality of the whole series became untolerable for me. Whatever happens to Fafhrd, you can be sure something will happen to the Mouser as well. They will, of course, both have a woman to sex up. In one story, they both learn that they have children. In another, they are both hit with a somewhat similar curse. It makes the whole plot very predictable, and just adds to the general mediocre-ness of the thing.

Thirdly, Lankhmar is an awful attempt at creating a fantasy world. It's largely painfully generic, uninspired, and has only a handful of ideas which are worth mentioning - with some others being just laughable and non-fitting at all.

Leiber is called the father of sword&sorcery and is often compared to Robert E. Howard, and the Swords stories compared to the Conan stories. Well, I just want to say, that comparing one to the other is like comparing a chaotically painted piece of cardboard sprinkled with some random spices, and having yourself the best burger and fries in your life. Yes, the latter is still burger and fries, but at least it has a taste, and it's pretty damn good!

I can't recommend this book to anyone apart from die-hard fantasy fans who want to see how you shouldn't write fantasy. If you absolutely HAVE TO read a Fafhrd/Gray Mouser story, pick something from the First Book of Lankhmar.

This gets Two stars and not One only because it had some merit, and the first story (the one with the rats) was somewhat decent, if tiresome at times. The other two though, especially the last one, were on the scale from weak to terrible, never going any higher than "Barely alright".

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eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
File size4.6 Mb
Pages count695
Book rating4.01 (197 votes)
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