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The third book of swords

The third book of swords

Fred Saberhagen
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4.7 of 5
T. Doherty Associates; 1st edition (1984)
The gods, the creators of the twelve Swords, realize their error in giving powerful Swords to humans. The humans, both good and evil, are ready to fight to the death to acquire and retain the Swords. With the Swords, new ideas and new dreams have entered the world. A change is taking place that threats the gods' very existence.
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7 Reviews
  • The first two books made good stories by keeping the Swords sparse, mysterious (you never knew their rules--why it was thrumming up at the last minute to save these folk now, when it hadn't at all the other day), powerful, and developing, in a fantasy world the reader never quite knew the rules of (because several things don't make sense, nor a character or two)--which made it all the better when Mark's vaunted Swords lore finally had a moment of grim...graduation to the big leagues when a certain Sword came sighing out of its sheath in that grim scene below the blue temple, and Mark's turn with Shieldbreaker, along with much of the other material at the end of Book II, seemed to launch things to a new level.
    ...But in Book III, it seems clear he hadn't thought how to close out the series. The Dark King lives up to his moniker probably better than you'd expect--but once the Mindsword has its big scene. Its BIG scene, fairly early, things just have the feeling of generally going haywire. Hermes' thing in the previous book had accomplished that. Here...the plot is still very competently put together, with Yambu a better (and more developed) character than expected, but characters are separated, any romantic issues given only the most cursory resolution, and generally the whole thing feels out of place--a mix of tieing up loose ends Saberhagen didn't want to deal with anymore and proper storytelling. Draffut fights a god again, and Saberhagen apparently got enough complaint letters that we actually got to see it, this time. But it's a bit of a strange fight (just go back and watch the Lords of Life and Death battle it out as unstoppable forces in 'The Black Mountains' again). Eh. Ultimately...I would finish and stop here, as The (following) 'Lost Swords' vary, but overall decline, in quality--but don't expect a full or satisfying conclusion. Oh...there's a full conclusion, true, in the last book, but it's unquestionably the worst conclusion the man ever published, eight books later as Saberhagen brought back some old mysteries for the fans and generally tied everything up at a breakneck pace just to make sure everything was covered and he wouldn't be asked to write any more of them. No 'full conclusion' is better than that one. Leave it there.

  • Originally read the complete book of swords, this was a good story captivating all the way through

  • Interesting magic system and a fun read (the whole series).

  • Fred Saberhagen is simply one of the best fictional authors in the business. I got this book to complete a collection I started years ago. If you've never read the "Swords" books, you are really missing out. This series is one of the greatest works of fiction of all time and a great majority of the material in these books can be referenced to some work of fact or fictional literature from the past. His style of writing is simply amazing and will captivate you and entertain you for years to come as you read and re-read his books over and over again.

  • good

  • Have ready this series five or six times - decided to buy for my kindle! Well written, engaging characters, and a great premise! Recommend the series for anyone who likes Fantasy!

  • I really enjoyed this book. It tied some strings up pretty well. It also gave a humanistic perception of the gods. It wasn't great but it was really good.

  • The Dark King has the Mindsword. With their new found wealth, can Mark and Ben do anything to stop the Dark King from taking over the world? -- Great read and an interesting way to complete the trilogy.