Anthology Thursday – Sword & Sorcery – Part 2/4

Anthology Thursday is a series of posts breaking down and reviewing an anthology every month. Because I need to read more short fiction. This month is The Sword & Sorcery Anthology edited by David G Hartwell & Jacob Weisman.

Terrifying barbarians, cunning mages, and daring heroes run rampant through these exceptional examples of the exciting sword and sorcery genre. In “Tower of the Elephant,” Conan takes up jewel thievery but proves to be far better with his sword. “The Flame Bringers” finds antihero Elric infiltrating a band of bloodthirsty mercenaries and outwitting a powerful sorcerer. “Become a Warrior” is the unexpected tale of a child who loses all she holds dear, only to gain unforeseen power and unlikely revenge. Further entries come from early legends such as Jack Vance and Catherine Louise Moore, the next wave of talents including Fritz Leiber and Michael Moorcock, and modern trendsetters like George R.R. Martin, Karl Edward Wagner, and David Drake. This essential, fast-paced anthology is a chronological gathering of influential, inventive, and entertaining fantasy—sure to appeal to action-oriented fans.

The Caravan of Forgotten Dreams by Michael Moorcock

Brief synopsis: Elric thought he’d hung up his cursed blade for good, but when a barbarian horde threatens his new home he must take it up once more.

There’s something about the style that annoyed me slightly, but I don’t know what. In all it was a good story, but I was glad to see it end. Even if there were dragons in it eventually.

The Adventuress by Joanna Russ

Brief synopsis: A woman flees an unwanted engagement and another woman helps her.

I did not like this one at all. The style and tempo irked me to no end.

Gimmile’s Songs by Charles R. Saunders

Brief synopsis: Dossouye is a harden warrior woman with a war-bull for a companion. When she encounters two roughians it’s the beginning and end of a very long tale.

This was a great short story! It had everything and it was concise. I loved how it established setting effortlessly…..or appeared effortless. I would definitely read more by this author.

Undertow by Karl Edward Wagner

Brief synopsis: An evil sorcerer holds a beautiful lady captive, but not all is as it seems.

I was not expecting quite that turn of events. Good twist. Over all it was a good story and I was entertained. I think there is some interesting writing techniques here when it comes to multiple POV’s.

The Stages of God by Ramsey Campbell

Brief synopsis:………WHAT?!

I don’t know what I just read. This one is just weird. Not horrible, but definitely odd.

The Barrow Troll by David Drake

Brief synopsis: Ulf has kidnapped a priest and is taking him to fight a troll.

A very simple plot with an interesting twist at the end. I enjoyed it…..except that it was historical fantasy, but other than that it was good.

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