Espadas Contra La Muerte

ISBN: 8427010125
ISBN 13: 9788427010123
By: Fritz Leiber

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About this book

In the second installment of this rousing series, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser journey from the ancient city of Lankhmar, searching for a little adventure and debauchery to ease their broken hearts. When a stranger challenges them to find and fight Death on the Bleak Shore, they battle demonic birds, living mountains, and evil monks on the way to their heroic fate. Fritz Leiber’s witty prose, lively plots, and superb characterizations stand the test of time.

Reader's Thoughts

Newton Tio Nitro

Nesse segundo livro conhecemos mais a cidade de Lankhmar, cujas histórias parecem um noir de fantasia, com bandidos por todos os lados, drogas, prostitutas e muita ação e diversão. Além dessas aventuras, a dupla embarca em jornadas pelo mundo de Nehwon, aventuras que misturam horror lovecraftiano com muito humor e pancadaria.A Morte é um dos temas frequentes nas histórias de Lieber, e nesse livro a dupla confronta várias vezes com sua própria mortalidade e sofre mudanças psicológicas por causa desses confrontos. A caracterização e a prosa bem humorada de Lieber são os seus fortes, e as histórias são sempre usadas para revelar novas facetas das personalidades de Fafhrd e do Gray Mouser.


More great fantasy adventure featuring the greatest duo of rogues every to grace a fantasy novel.The guys fight, hunt treasure, drink, wench and generally cross paths with various monsters and magical beings.Clever writing and some great takes/twists on fantasy cliches.Why hasn't someone scooped up the movie rights to these guys?


This collection flirts at times with a supernatural horror out of Poe or Lovecraft, but this influence is perhaps a little naked and, less forgivably, pales in comparison to the real deal. "The Howling Tower" and "The Seven Black Priests" come closest to hitting that sweet spot. "The Sunken Land" is a bit like "The Shadow over Innsmouth" but with an ending that seriously underwhelms. "Bazaar of the Bizarre" has an anti-capitalist message that is goofy even to this avowed socialist and undermines the threat and mystery of its antagonists, the Devourers.You know, "Thieves House" was good, too, a short sequel to "Ill Met In Lankhmar" that captured the original's swashbuckling zest and had some spooky moments besides. Overall, I'd say this was a mixed bag, and a few of the stories I thought were kind of a chore, mostly the framing narratives of "The Circle Curse" and "The Price of Pain-Ease", which attempt to force a character arc upon the other stories that just isn't there.

K. Axel

Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are well-known characters of Fritz Leiber and Sword & Sorcery. I've read plenty of these shortstories to really like the witty bantering of the two antiheroes.This anthology surprised me by giving emotional depth to the characters. They are not just traveling warriors who steal and kill.This is a review-in-progress and I will add reviews of each of the stories as I read them.The Circle Curse is the story about how Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser left Lankhmar after their loves had been killed. They had sworn never to return, but could they really keep that promise? A different kind of story that showed me some new sides to Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. I really liked it. (4 stars)The Jewels in the Forest tells the tale of how Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser fought a band of brigands and... a house! This story is more classic S&S, but introduces some nice ideas. (2.5 stars)


Another series of stories about the barbarian Fafhrd and his nimble friend, The Grey Mouser. Linked, mostly, by the theme of their trying to live life to the full and forget their murdered girlfriends, the pair find themselves sailing to the ends of the earth, encountering a city long-thought sunk under the waves which has risen again, fighting off the remaining priests who prevent a god from rising and stealing a Duke's summer-house, before (employed by a pair of strange wizards), they encounter a strange shop where nothing is as it appears. The individual tales are short and punchy, with little character development other than for the two leads. The stories do not always revolve around brawn and sword-play, as both Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser need to think their way out of the problems at times. The majority of these first saw print in "pulp" magazines, and their origins can be seen in their style. But, in a good way, the brevity and directness is a great antidote to the multi-volume epics which Fantasy seems to depend upon these days. This book is not merely a trip back into the early years of the genre, the quality of the stories (if not the writing, at times) makes them still shine as relevant and entertaining.


This second book of the series seem richer than the previous collection, now that it's not burdened by the apparently necessary origin stories. In general this format works better: shorter, punchier stories and a willingness to let some incidental character become the viewpoint briefly.I'm fascinated by the role that Nehwon and Lankhmar play in the development of popular fantasy: how much of Lankhmar is in New Crobuzon or Viriconium or Adrilankha? There is a miasma of The Weird in all of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories, whether in the outré settings or unconventional magic or the hints of otherworldly visitation.

Brad T.

Leiber's books are classic works of fantasy. Reading them brings to mind many hours spent as a teenager playing Dungeons and Dragons in my friend Joe's spooky house. Whenever I start a fafhred and grey mouser book I start with excitement but end in disappointment. The stories are trite and without depth. The situations are contrived and the sequence of events too unbelievable for me to believe that they occurred even in a fantasy novel.I read them for the memories of my youth than I do for the stories themselves. That said, I do recognize that when I read them as a youth, I enjoyed them, so much more because I had not been jaded through the reading of thousands of really good books after it.Leiber paved the way for many really good fantasy writers after him so for that his works remain classics.

David B

Fritz Leiber's second collection of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser adventures is more entertaining than the first. Although Leiber is quite imaginative and conceives several unique perils for his adventurers, there is also a certain sameness to the straightforward, uncomplicated structure of each story that can grow a little too familiar after a while. It is best that none of these stories are too long, as their fast-paced nature definitely provides momentum to get the reader past the occasional dull patch. Things pick up when the duo's sometime employers, Ningauble of the Seven Eyes and Sheelba of the Eyeless Face, make their appearance. I look forward to seeing more of them later in the series.


This is the second volume in Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Gray Mouser books, and I would say that the series really hits its stride here… except that the stories this volume collects are some of the earliest he ever wrote for this setting (in fact, it contains the very first of them, “The Jewels in the Forest”, first published in 1939) and thus precede everything collected in the first volume.There is a brief introductory piece Leiber wrote for Swords Against Death that connects this volume to the ending of Swords and Devilitry, describing our heroes’ wanderings around the world of Nehwon after the events related in ”Ill Met in Lankhmar”. In a somewhat odd turn, Leiber lets Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser return to that city for one story only to have them again leave it to travel to the ends of the earth in the one immediately after, and then has several stories that tell of incidents during their second trip back. This is all a bit weird, and undoubtedly owing to the authors attempt to impose some kind of internal chronology on stories he had writter over the course of three decades. Such things generally tend not to go very well, and Leiber’s series is no exception (and there will be even more abstruse things to explain away in the next volume), one can still see the glue where he has tried to stick the ill-fitting pieces together, and it is not even necessary to look hard for the cracks.One really wonders why Leiber even bothered with this – the stories do not need a narrative continuum to exist in, they work just fine as unrelated episodes. In fact, one might even wonder if the decrease in quality noticeable in later stories is not due to precisely the author’s ambition to force his tales of rogues & ribaldry into the tight corset of a timeline, if he did not douse the ebullient spirit of adventure the early stories radiate with his attempt at making everything fit into consisent worldbuilding. In the tales collected in Swords Against Death, however, it is quite obvious that he merrily makes stuff up as he goes along and the stories are not any less fun for it.Very much in evidence here are both Leiber’s fondness for the bizarre (what his worldbuilding lacks in consistency and plausibility it more than makes up for in invention, imagination and general weirdness) and his sense of humour (I’m convinced that Leiber has been a major influence on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, and anyone who loves those books and has not read any Fafhrd and Gray Mouser yet should do so right away). He even gets outright satirical at times, most pronounced in “Bazaar of the Bizarre” where he takes some – not exactly subtle, but quite funny – stabs at consumerism culture. That story is also a great example of how the friendship between the protagonists fuels and kindles those stories – like all close friends they do not always agree with each other, often are even explicitly at cross-purposes, but in the end they always work together in some way, voluntarily or not. The first volume in the series was an enjoyable read, but this here is great stuff, with the fun factor quite often going through the roof.

Bro (Dave Kurimsky)

Fritz Lieber was an early Fantasy/Sci-Fi Author. His career spanned from the 30's till the 90's. This is one of his books. This can best be described as a collection of well-crafted pulpy short stories, set in a quasi-medieval world, starring the same two morally flexible characters in sort of "buddy movie" roles. He was a very creative author and knew how to cram an exciting story into 25 pages or so. Many people credit him as an overlooked but major influence on modern fantasy authors. He gets a lot of credit for introducing flawed, very human characters into fantasy. I don't know about all that, but he writes fun stories, some better than others.One quip, typical of Pulp fantasy of the time, female characters are either non-existent or are 1-dimenional objects of lust.


"Swords Against Death" is collection number 2 of Fritz Leiber's linked stories of two thieving companions named Fafhrd and Grey Mouser.Stories include:The Circle CurseThe Jewels in the ForestThieves' HouseThe Bleak ShoreThe Howling TowerThe Sunken LandThe Seven Black PriestsClaws from the NightThe Price of Pain-EaseBazaar of the Bizarre

Antonio Pizzo

Divertente, senza tempi morti o inutili giri di parole e pieno di idee adorabilmente sopra le righe. Tesori maledetti, corvi giganti che rubano gioielli, stregoni pretenziosi, spettri indisponenti e case che masticano o percuotono a colpi di torre i visitatori sgraditi sono solo alcune delle situazioni più o meno assurde in cui finiscono per cacciarsi stavolta quei due adorabili furfanti di Fafhrd e Gray Mouser. Consigliatissimo a chi sia stufo di saghe da millemila pagine e voglia ritrovare quella freschezza anche un po' ingenua della Sword & Sorcery dei bei tempi.


I always wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn't get into sword-and sorcery books. Then I picked up my 1st Leiber book, and figured it out. They take themselves too seriously. There's not enough humor.Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser remedies that nicely. I'm pretty sure I read this specific book--but I know I've read quite a few of them.

Bill Kerwin

In this collection, our two rogues journey from Lankhmar, seeking to avoid this city which holds painful memories of the deaths of their two beloved "girls," and are led instead to encounter death in two other forms ("The Bleak Shore," "The Price of Pain-Ease") before finally banishing the ghosts of their loves. There are many entertaining individual tales here, my favorite being the two stories about towers ("The Jewels of the Forest" and "The Howling Tower" and Leiber's affectionate--although not slavish-tribute to the Cthulhu mythos of his mentor Lovecraft in "The Sunken Land."


The second book in the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser Series was equally enthralling as the first book. I enjoyed the treks across the world of Newhon and beyond. The mixture of fantasy and the elements of horror were perfect. I think the story that stood out for me the most was the Sunken Land. I love maritime stories and this reminded very much of Dagon (H.P. Lovecraft). Yet to single out a specific story is very difficult in this treasure trove of awesome!I believe it was The Jewels in the Forest we get a very interesting glimpse of Fafhrd that is not repeated in any other story I have read yet. He mourns over the opponent he has killed. I thought rather strange this was presented because at no other time does he seem to morn like this. For a bit it seemed he had some kind of prohibition against killing but that does not present itself in any other story I have read with them. Maybe it was an avenue Leiber pondered but never took up.I eagerly look forward to the third book that I do. The flow of the writing is just beautiful, the word choice perfect. Not once was I bored or felt the story meandered. Great stuff, that it is.

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