The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series was written over a period of at least four decades as thirty-six short stories and one novel (The Swords of Lankhmar). The stories form a coherent whole: the adventures of two of the greatest swordsmen and greatest rogues any world has ever known. The first three books were collected as The Three Swords (1989) and the second three as Swords Masters (1990).

Fafhrd is a tall northern barbarian, and the Mouser is a small, dark man of uncertain but urban origin. They share a common attitude toward life because they are the sundered halves of an even greater hero from ages past. They meet as youths in fabled Lankhmar, the most cosmopolitan of the many cities of Nehwon, and instantly become friends. (Actually, this is their second meeting but their first “on camera.”) Their friendship appears destined to last a lifetime. Thirty-four of the thirty-seven stories in this series chronicle their joint adventures; the first two occur before the two meet, and the third is the tale of their meeting. These adventures cover much of Nehwon and even part of the ordinary world. Fafhrd and the Mouser save Lankhmar many times, and the world itself more than a few, but many of their adventures are the sort that would naturally befall a pair of reckless wanderers in a world full of magic, mystery, and danger.

The two rogues have two magical patrons, neither of whom is human. Ningauble of the Seven...

(The entire section is 463 words.)

Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Several things raise the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories well above the level of most sword and sorcery fiction. One is character development....

(The entire section is 435 words.)

Ideas for Group Discussions

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Although Leiber writes stirring action sequences and can be a brilliant prose stylist, the success of the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories...

(The entire section is 485 words.)

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Heroic fantasy is humanity's oldest form of literature and if one looks for the earliest precedents for modern fantasy, whether it be the...

(The entire section is 231 words.)

Related Titles

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

The seven books in the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series — five short story collections and two novels — although theoretically...

(The entire section is 176 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

In 1973 Sword of Sorcery appeared, a comic book based on Leiber's characters. It was a very well-written, intricately-drawn magazine,...

(The entire section is 73 words.)