While THE LORD OF THE RINGS took the world by storm, Fritz Leiber's fantastic but thoroughly flawed anti-heroes, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, adventured and stumbled deep within the caves of Inner Earth as well. They wondered and wandered to the edges of the Outer Sea, across the Land of Nehwon and throughout every nook and cranny of gothic Lankhmar, Nehwon's grandest and most mystically corrupt city. Lankhmar, is Leiber's fully-realized, vivid incarnation of urban decay and civilization's corroding effect on the human psyche. Fafhrd and Mouse are not innocents; their world is no land of honor and righteousness. It is a world of human complexities and violent action, of discovery and mystery, of swords and sorcery. SWORDS AGAINST DEATH, the second volume in the Lankhmar series, finds Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser beginning their real journey. Their hearts altered by the loss of first true love, they embark on a long and winding path of drunken debauchery and womanizing until crossing paths with two cross wizards, Sheelba of the Eyeless Face and Ningauble of the Seven Eyes. A most violent of clashes ensues. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser descend into Thieves House to discover the exacting skill of the united backstabbing Thieves of Lankhmar and their rival guild, The Slayer's Brotherhood, the city's unionized killers. They would wander along The Bleak Shore to a howling tower to show how fear isn't the product of murder but the cause. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser must resume their plundering and drunken debauchery until once again darkness had taken the balance for its favor and then a change would come. These are just a few of the encounters our swindling swordsmen will willingly endure in ridding their hearts of their first true loves. But did they know it would make them indentured swordsman servants to their former foes, the formidable Sheelba and Ningauble
Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) was born in Chicago. His father was a noted Shakespearan actor and Leiber joined his father's company in 1934, and even appeared in a few films. However in 1936 he started writing. As well as producing important and hugely enjoyable fantasy, he was also the author of much acclaimed sf and horror.