THE BOOK OF SWORDS By Gardner Dozois

Gardner Dozois specializes in these Big Fat Books that bring together a number of “name” writers in an anthology centering around a theme or concept. In this case, each story revolves around a sword. Some of the swords are magical, but all of them are special. I really liked Matthew Hughes’s “The Sword of Destiny” that takes a wizard’s henchman into a wild adventure he hadn’t counted on. I also found Kate Elliott’s “‘I Am a Handsome Man’, Said Apollo Crow” very compelling. I hope Elliott continues the story of the unique Apollo Crow from the Spirit World. Dozois presents a variety of stories in his anthologies: there’s something for just about everybody and nearly every taste. Next year around this time, Dozois will bring out The Book of Magic with some of the same writers plus a few new ones. I find the Dozois anthologies include entertaining stories by top writers. Recommended. GRADE: B+
Introduction – Gardner Dozois
“The Best Man Wins” by K. J. Parker
“His 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

8 thoughts on “THE BOOK OF SWORDS By Gardner Dozois

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Bought this but haven’t got around to reading it yet. I am a big fan of Hughes and have read the others in that series. Just read Walter Jon Williams Quillifer which I liked a lot and whom his story here is about. Glad you liked it.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, you would find some clever plotting and solid writing in THE BOOK OF SWORDS. But, you’d have to be in the mood for a lot of fantasy.

  2. R. K. Robinson

    I thought about it, but have too much else on my plate these days. Eye surgery tomorrow, after which I’ll not be seeing much for a week or so. I am reading short stories (I seem to have a short attention span these days), but not this one. I think Dozois is one of the best anthologists out there.

  3. wolf

    As soon as I see “swords” or “sorcery” I turn anway – never liked this type of fantasy …
    But there’s still enough to read, actually too much!
    Like R K Robinson I have troubles with long and complicated books nowadays …

    Still I agree re Dozois as an anthologist.


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