The Book of Swords⭐⭐⭐⭐ (A Mixed Bag of Goodies)

Author: Gardner Dozois (Editor)
Pages: 522
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780399593765

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, 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.

Goodreads Synopsis


  • “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

The book has pretty much everything. Quests for revenge, impossible tasks, riddles, magic and even Gunslingers (which was an interesting choice, but not a bad one). But most of all, the red thread that ties this book together; Swords. Magic swords, legendary swords, making of swords and family heirlooms. You name it!
Some stories were great, other less so. But only because of my personal taste. All were very well written, had interesting settings and events. It’s clear to see that these are masters at work. My personal favourite was “The Best Man Wins”, and I’ll be checking out more of K. J. Parker’s works on the future.

One one side, I love this book! Well written and engaging stories that more often than not had me hooked from the start. On the other, the book annoys me a bit! Just because many of the stories left a taste for more in my mouth. Sooooo good but so little of it! Except for “Her Father’s Sword” and “The Sons of the Dragon”. I already know the rest and then some about the bigger scope of their worlds. In other words, this book is not very satisfying, but a perfect taste test if you want to try out some new authors but not dedicate yourself to a full series. Or if you, like me, like to read an excellent short story once in a while.

Gardner Dozois // Goodreads review // Instagram


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