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.)