Swords and Deviltry, the first book of Leiber's landmark series, introduces us to a strange world where our two strangers find the familiar in themselves and discover the icy power of female magic. Three master-magician femme-fatales and a sprightly lad illuminate the bonds between father and son, the relationship between the bravado of the imagination, and the courage of fools. A hedge wizard explains the cold war between the sexes. Mouse and Fafhrd meet again and learn the truth of how Mouse became the Gray Mouser. Together they traverse the smoke and mirrors of Lankhmar learning more and more of the foggy world in which they live, mapping the sinister silent symptoms of the never-ending night-smog. They follow the night-smog's relation to the region's longing for larceny and the hazy opiate of vanity. Last but certainly not least, they experience the pleasures and pains of the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokers that will lead them to countless more adventures and misadventures.
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.