Ill Met in Lankhmar Published: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser faced each other across the two thieves sprawled senseless. They were poised for attack, yet for the moment neither moved. Each discerned something inexplicably familiar in the other. Surely must be! Without letting the Mouser out of his vision, he glanced down.
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Fafhrd and Gray Mouser are some of the most compelling characters in all of sword and sorcery literature. They have complex motivations and reactions to varied circumstances.
They are, at turns, brilliant and stupid, competent and bungling, all tempered by a good bit of luck. Among their many talents, they are rogue thieves, amateur wizard Gray Mouser and bard Fafhrd , and, most importantly, accomplished swordsmen.
Circumstances dictate their initial meeting, but mutual respect, a sort of chivalry, a shared sense of dark humor, mutual loss, and a desire for revenge cause them to become inseparable.
Even after their past literally stops haunting them, they remain compatriots and fellow-adventurers. You simply must read it for yourself. The tone strikes just the right balance between funny and serious, not straying too far toward silliness or darkness, though both elements can be found threaded throughout these tales. On a side note, Leiber sticks with earlier notions of sorcery, established by Howard and others, that magic is not something you really want to dabble in unless you absolutely have to.
Messing about with the natural order of things carries heavy consequences. Though magic can help your cause, there is a price to be paid for forcefully upsetting the balance of the universe. The setting of the city of Lankhmar seems overdone only because so many more recent works of sword and sorcery are derivative.
One need not be a grammar snob to enjoy the yarns Leiber has spun in these stories.
Ill Met in Lankhmar