‘The Book of Swords’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2018 100/200


The Book of Swords by Gardner Dozois

Hardback Edition

Finished on 6/19/2018



Fantasy fiction has produced some of the most unforgettable heroes ever conjured onto the page: Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné, Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Classic characters like these made sword and sorcery a storytelling sensation, a cornerstone of fantasy fiction — and an inspiration for a new generation of writers, spinning their own outsize tales of magic and swashbuckling adventure.

Now, in the Book of Swords, acclaimed editor and bestselling author Gardner Dozois presents an all-new anthology of original epic tales by a stellar cast of award-winning modern masters—many of them set in their authors’ best-loved worlds. Join today’s finest tellers of fantastic tales, including George R.R. Martin, K.J. Parker, Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, C.J. Cherryh, Daniel Abraham, Lavie Tidhar, Ellen Kushner, and more on action-packed journeys into the outer realms of dark enchantment and intrepid derring-do, featuring a stunning assortment of fearless swordsmen and warrior women who face down danger and death at every turn with courage, cunning, and cold steel.

– The Best Man Wins by K.J. Parker
– Her Father’s Sword by Robin Hobb
– The Hidden Girl by Ken Liu
– The Sword of Destiny by Matthew Hughes
– “I Am a Handsome Man”, Said Apollo Crow by Kate Elliott
– The Triumph of Virtue by Walter Jon Williams
– The Mocking Tower by Daniel Abraham
– Hrunting by C.J. Cherryh
– A Long, Cold Trail by Garth Nix
– When I Was a Highwayman by Ellen Kushner
– The Smoke of Gold Is Glory by Scott Lynch
– The Colgrid Conundrum by Rich Larson
– The King’s Evil by Elizabeth Bear
– Waterfalling by Lavie Tidhar
– The Sword Tyraste by Cecelia Holland
– The Sons of the Dragon by George R.R. Martin

Genres: Fantasy, Short Story, Adventure, Sword and Sorcery, Anthology

A Fantastic Collection of Short Stories

Spoiler-ific review

This anthology was compiled by the sadly deceased Gardner Dozois. When I learned of his recent passing I decided to look up one of his recent anthologies and review it. Dozois was a luminary of the genre, having won over 40 Hugo and 40 Nebula awards, along with countless other awards, for his short story collections. He was a great influence on the field, and will be missed.

I read several, but not all of, the stories in this anthology. The ones I did read were fantastic. I particularly liked the first book in the anthology, THE BEST MAN WINS, for it’s glowing prose and earthy characters. One of the best reasons to read anthologies of short work is to look for new authors to read, and I will be checking out KJ Parker’s other works as a result of reading what I saw here.

Highly recommended. When I have time (and I’m not staring down the gun of several hundred book reviews to write) I’ll return and finish this anthology. For now I’ve had enough to whet my appeteit.

Stay Sunny!

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