The Book of Swords

The Book of Swords

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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Random House, Inc.
New epic fantasy in the grand tradition—including a never-before-published Song of Ice and Fire story by George R. R. Martin!

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, Scott Lynch, 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
And an introduction by Gardner Dozois

“When fine writer and expert editor [Gardner] Dozois beckons, authors deliver—and this surely will be one of the year’s essential anthologies.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Baker & Taylor
An anthology of original fantasy tales by some of today's leading genre masters includes contributions by George R. R. Martin, Scott Lynch, Garth Nix, Cecelia Holland, and Elizabeth Bear.

& Taylor

An anthology of original fantasy tales by some of today's leading genre masters includes contributions by such names as George R. R. Martin, Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear.


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Feb 16, 2018

A lot of people might be considering checking this anthology out because it contains George R.R. Martin's newest 'A Song of Ice and Fire' short story "Sons of the Dragon". The book also has several other great fantasy authors (I myself am partial to Scott Lynch's "The Smoke of Gold is Glory", which seemingly takes place in Lynch's popular Gentlemen Bastards world), but the GRRM work may be the most well known. The story is written well enough, though those of us who have been waiting on the authors next full novel might grunt over the fact that he's put it aside to work on these prequel short stories. Most of the story takes place during the reign of his weaker son and heir Aenys, followed by the brutish reign of his younger son Maegor. The tale was well written, in standard GRRM style, but the problem is the content. If you have read 'The World of Ice and Fire', you've already read this story. SOTD is essentially a retelling of the parts of that book that explain the reigns of Aenys and Maegor, with less detail.

I really recommend reading this book if you are a fantasy fan, as most of the stories in it are excellent short stories, but I would recommend against it if you are only looking to read GRRM's latest work. Especially if you've read WOIAF, as everything in this story has already been tread over in that book, only in more detail.


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