Hello all. It’s a double Tuesday meme day and this Top Five Tuesday, it’s swords.
Now, fantasy loves swords. It loves swords for their slicing and capabilities, for their mythic resonance, for their posing possibilities… find someone who loves you like fantasy loves swords, and you’ll find yourself in Helen levels of being kidnapped and launching a million books. So don’t do that. Just a bit under.
But seriously, this is a fun challenge to find the swordiest possible book, so let’s do this.
1) Swords and Scoundrels by Julia Knight
Right, let’s kick things off with a book that has swords in the name, swords on the cover, and lots of swords inside. That pair of scoundrels on the front? They’re not carrying those swords because they want to know where the director wants the stage props put. You know, I never finished this book, but now I kind of want to. Does that have anything to do with the very attractive lady in the black leather and bad attitude? A little yeah.
2) The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
That was a good start, but we can get swordier. What about Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara, a book that even I would call a Tolkien clone? You can see the sword in the title. You can see it glowing away like a Las Vegas hotel sign on the cover. Thing is, and I know this is a bit of a spoiler, but its a symbol rather than ye olde body alteration device. Just not quite swordy enough for me.
3) Sharpe’s Sword by Bernard Cornwell
So we need a sword that sees some use as well as being important. Enter Richard Sharpe and this book full of important swords. See, some French officer has managed to fool Sharpe and needs capturing before he can do any more mischief, and if Sharpe just so happens to be able to steal his really nice sword at the same time, then, well… but there’s so much more to it than that. One of the finer entries in a great series.
4) By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey
But what if we had a sword that was important, well used, and had some personality? In Mercedes Lackey’s coming of age story about the herald Kerowyn, she inherits the magical sword Need, and Need has some big if silent opinions on how she should be used. Opinions that shape the entirety of Kerowyn’s life, even if she as stubborn as a goat who’s just finished their first year of philosophy. This a very sword orientated book, and would be a worthy champion, but…
5) The First Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen
Now I only know of this by reputation but consider the following evidence.
The title – How can a book named Book of Swords not be a very swordy book? This is ronseal.
The art – It’s a bit rubbish, but it does feature a sword and sweet fanny adams else.
The blurb – “The gods decide to devise a Game of great fun: their colleague Vulcan forges 12 magic Swords, each with a different power, and scatters them across the world. Play begins in grand and gloriously violent fashion as Swords are gathered and used to control chance, enhance fortune, and change destiny. The holder of a Sword wields power undreamed… power to change the world and the holder.” Yup, that sounds the business.
The author name – HE’S GOT A SWORD TYPE IN HIS FRICKING NAME FOR CRYING OUT LOUD
Clearly, there has been no more swordy book in the history of time. Want swords? You won’t be bored.
And that’s me done! Let me know what you make of the choices.