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The Broken Sword

Thor broke the sword Tyrfing to save the roots of Yggdrasil the tree that binds earth heaven and hell Now the elves need the w. THIS JUST IN In a stunning development certain to send shockwaves through the world of Fantasy Literature The Lord of the Rings long considered by many to be the Greatest Epic Fantasy of all time has been bitch slapped and bitch smote by Poul Anderson s 1954 dark fantasy epic The Broken Sword Anderson s story is now loudly demanding at least a share of the top honors Such recognition would be welcome and long overdue according to fantasy icon Michael Moorcock who believes that Anderson s tale knocks Fellowship of the Rings into a cocked hat Linguists are currently hard at work translating what the hell Moorcock s statement means but it does appear to be high praise for Anderson s novel More on this as it develops Here is a breakdown of this criminally overshadowed epic fantasy tale provided to us by some FANTAnerd who reads way too many books about elves and wizards When looking at Lord of the Rings and The Broken Sword one can t help but notice a number of similarities between the two epics Both Tolkien and Anderson drew on well known myth sources from places like England Scandinavia and Ireland as a primary backdrop for their stories Both have elves dwarves trolls and other non human races that pre date man and whose societies are in decline and have seen their best days Both have powerful magical objects that eventually doom the wielder ie the one ring and the titular broken sword Finally both incorporate epic melodramatic poetry into the narrativeHowever this is where the two books FOREVER part company Tolkien skips off and builds a light kiddie friendly playground around a bunch of tree hugging runts with hairy feet Anderson hacks and machetes a path much truer to the source material from which it is drawn and creates a dark savage world where rape murder and atrocities are a way of life and humans are used as pawns by immoral or at least amoral gods who orchestrate events for their own hidden purposes While Tolkien paved the way for commercially popular successors like Robert Jordan David Eddings and Terry Brooks the influence of Anderson s tale can be seen running through the veins of the darker noirish fantasy tradition exemplified by writers like Michael Moorcock China Mieville Neil Gaiman and Joe AbercrombieFor my money this latter group is the far interesting and worthwhile side of the fantasy genre and where I prefer to spend most of my time PLOT SUMMARYBACKGROUNDThe world created by Anderson is sublime and is easily one of the richest most concentrated fantasy worlds I have ever come across Taking place primarily in viking controlledinfluenced England around 1000 1100 AD Anderson draws from multiple traditions to create a mesmerizing blend of NorseEnglishIrish mythology with the added aspect of the steady creep of the Christian tradition as an invading force that is slowly eroding the powers of the old gods For example as the story begins the spread of Christianity referred to as White Christ has so diminished the power of the realms of Faery eg elves trolls sprites sidhe goblins etc that only humans gifted with witchsight can even perceive them The way this is portrayed in the narrative is terrific In addition to the peoples of Faery the other major group of players in Anderson s epic are the Norse gods ie Aesir and their eternal nemesis the Frost Giants ie Jotunn These Norse gods remind one of the old ancient tales and they are anything but Hollywood I hesitate to call them evil but they are certainly the supreme manipulators of the story and most of the narrative threads are set in motion as a result of their clever maneuvers The story begins with a viking named Orm stealing coastal land from an Englishman and slaughtering the man s entire family except for an aging grandmother who manages to escape and who is also a witchDOH The witch plots revenge on Orm and sets in motion a plan the culminates in Imrac an elf earl stealing Orm s newborn son to be fostered with the elves In the baby s place Imrac leaves a changeling he created by raping a captured troll princessI told you this wasn t Disney The elves name the human baby Scafloc and Orm and his wife name the changeling Valgard The fostering of a human child by the elves is cause for a massive celebration in the realm of Faery At the celebration a messenger from the Norse gods presents a present to Imrac to be given to Scafloc when he becomes an adult It is a massive iron sword broken in two The messenger explains that only the creator of the swords the frost giant Bolverk can make it whole but it will serve Scafloc well Iron is the one substance no creature of Faery can touch and so the sword is wrapped and hidden deep in the castle behind magic spells Wellthat s about all of the set up I want to give as so much of the wonder of the story is all of the maneuvering among the various factions Scafloc grows to be mighty warrior and wielder of elf magic Valgard also grow to be a mighty warrior but one with a violent temper and the very image of a Viking berserker Both Valgard and Scafloc become pivotal pawns in a complex massive epic orchestrated by the gods and involving all out and I mean ALL OUT war between the Elves and their allies and the trolls and their allies Much of the book is taken up with the massive war between the elves and trolls and it is as good as it gets The battle scenes in this book in my opinion absolutely put Tolkien to shame and are epic violent and loaded with the melodramatic prose so reminiscent of the ancient heroic sagas Swords flew in a blur that spouted blood The shock and crash of metal drowned wind and sea The elves stood in a ring and around that circle was another of corpses Tall and terrible his fair locks flying in the gale and his eyes ablaze with blue hell flames Scafloc loomed over the struggle Never did his sword rest and he ducked the clumsy troll thrusts and swipes with a flickering grace from which his own glaive darted like a snake s tooth The trolls began to fall away from him and his band cleared the bows Now forward he yelled The elves advanced sternward behind a curtain of flashing steel Mightily did the trolls fight Elves sank with crushed skulls or cloven bellies or transfixed hearts But the trolls went back and back only their trampled dead holding fast I can not express how much this book resonated with me This is a standard bearer of epic fantasy and I can t believe it isn t held in the same esteem as LOTRNow I know it may seem that I am dumping a bit on old JRR and I want to be clear that this is not my intention well except for the tree hugging runts comment I really do love Lord of the Rings and think it deserves its legion of followers However I do think think this book is superior in almost every area and I enjoyed it far than I ever enjoyed Tolkien If you prefer Moorcock Mieville and Abercrombie to Jordan Eddings and Brooks than I think you may find yourself agreeing with me Regardless you should definitely check it out 60 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATIONPS I listened to the audio version of this book as read by Bronson Pinchot and it was INCREDIBLE and enhanced the reading experience substantially El Socialismo Historico Altoaragones many to be the Greatest Epic Fantasy of all time has been bitch slapped and bitch smote by Poul Anderson s 1954 dark fantasy epic The Broken Sword Anderson s story is now loudly demanding at least a share of the top honors Such recognition would be welcome and long overdue according to fantasy icon Michael Moorcock who believes that Anderson s tale knocks Fellowship of the Rings into a cocked hat Linguists are currently hard at work translating what the hell Moorcock s statement Dont Call Me Coach means but it does appear to be high praise for Anderson s novel More on this as it develops Here is a breakdown of this criminally overshadowed epic fantasy tale provided to us by some FANTAnerd who reads way too Obłok Magellana many books about elves and wizards When looking at Lord of the Rings and The Broken Sword one can t help but notice a number of similarities between the two epics Both Tolkien and Anderson drew on well known Destinys Need myth sources from places like England Scandinavia and Ireland as a primary backdrop for their stories Both have elves dwarves trolls and other non human races that pre date Stranger Things T01 (01) magical objects that eventually doom the wielder ie the one ring and the titular broken sword Finally both incorporate epic Gabe (Alvarez Security melodramatic poetry into the narrativeHowever this is where the two books FOREVER part company Tolkien skips off and builds a light kiddie friendly playground around a bunch of tree hugging runts with hairy feet Anderson hacks and Tony (Alvarez Security machetes a path The Simon Iff Stories & Other Works much truer to the source Polish-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary material from which it is drawn and creates a dark savage world where rape The Best Interface Is No Interface murder and atrocities are a way of life and humans are used as pawns by immoral or at least amoral gods who orchestrate events for their own hidden purposes While Tolkien paved the way for commercially popular successors like Robert Jordan David Eddings and Terry Brooks the influence of Anderson s tale can be seen running through the veins of the darker noirish fantasy tradition exemplified by writers like Michael Moorcock China Mieville Neil Gaiman and Joe AbercrombieFor James Fitzjames my Contemporary Poetry money this latter group is the far interesting and worthwhile side of the fantasy genre and where I prefer to spend Sweet 16 most of Le Crocodile d'Aristote: Une histoire de la philosophie par la peinture my time PLOT SUMMARYBACKGROUNDThe world created by Anderson is sublime and is easily one of the richest Chasing Vermeer (Chasing Vermeer, most concentrated fantasy worlds I have ever come across Taking place primarily in viking controlledinfluenced England around 1000 1100 AD Anderson draws from Something Wonderful (Sequels, multiple traditions to create a Men In Petticoats mesmerizing blend of NorseEnglishIrish Jungle Fever (Jessicas Seduction mythology with the added aspect of the steady creep of the Christian tradition as an invading force that is slowly eroding the powers of the old gods For example as the story begins the spread of Christianity referred to as White Christ has so diminished the power of the realms of Faery eg elves trolls sprites sidhe goblins etc that only humans gifted with witchsight can even perceive them The way this is portrayed in the narrative is terrific In addition to the peoples of Faery the other Bride for a Night major group of players in Anderson s epic are the Norse gods ie Aesir and their eternal nemesis the Frost Giants ie Jotunn These Norse gods remind one of the old ancient tales and they are anything but Hollywood I hesitate to call them evil but they are certainly the supreme Atomic Design manipulators of the story and Great Goddesses most of the narrative threads are set in Transference Countertransference motion as a result of their clever Linchpin maneuvers The story begins with a viking named Orm stealing coastal land from an Englishman and slaughtering the The Shadow of Gods (The Godling Chronicles, man s entire family except for an aging grandmother who The Tropes of Fantasy Fiction manages to escape and who is also a witchDOH The witch plots revenge on Orm and sets in Doctor Strange motion a plan the culminates in Imrac an elf earl stealing Orm s newborn son to be fostered with the elves In the baby s place Imrac leaves a changeling he created by raping a captured troll princessI told you this wasn t Disney The elves name the human baby Scafloc and Orm and his wife name the changeling Valgard The fostering of a human child by the elves is cause for a The End of Everything (The Risen Dead, Pt. 1) massive celebration in the realm of Faery At the celebration a The Embrace messenger from the Norse gods presents a present to Imrac to be given to Scafloc when he becomes an adult It is a Madoc, Vol. 5 massive iron sword broken in two The Humiliated by My Husband and Best Friend messenger explains that only the creator of the swords the frost giant Bolverk can Heart of Darkness (Includes: Lords of the Underworld make it whole but it will serve Scafloc well Iron is the one substance no creature of Faery can touch and so the sword is wrapped and hidden deep in the castle behind Infatuation (Underground Kings magic spells Wellthat s about all of the set up I want to give as so Wim Crouwel much of the wonder of the story is all of the Białe. Zimna wyspa Spitsbergen maneuvering among the various factions Scafloc grows to be হারেম mighty warrior and wielder of elf Wolf Protector (Federal Paranormal Unit, magic Valgard also grow to be a My Horizontal Life mighty warrior but one with a violent temper and the very image of a Viking berserker Both Valgard and Scafloc become pivotal pawns in a complex Pitu i Kudłata Dają Radę massive epic orchestrated by the gods and involving all out and I The Wounded King mean ALL OUT war between the Elves and their allies and the trolls and their allies Much of the book is taken up with the Lords of Kobol - Book Five massive war between the elves and trolls and it is as good as it gets The battle scenes in this book in Down a Notch my opinion absolutely put Tolkien to shame and are epic violent and loaded with the Ass Goblins of Auschwitz melodramatic prose so reminiscent of the ancient heroic sagas Swords flew in a blur that spouted blood The shock and crash of Mounted by a Monster metal drowned wind and sea The elves stood in a ring and around that circle was another of corpses Tall and terrible his fair locks flying in the gale and his eyes ablaze with blue hell flames Scafloc loomed over the struggle Never did his sword rest and he ducked the clumsy troll thrusts and swipes with a flickering grace from which his own glaive darted like a snake s tooth The trolls began to fall away from him and his band cleared the bows Now forward he yelled The elves advanced sternward behind a curtain of flashing steel Mightily did the trolls fight Elves sank with crushed skulls or cloven bellies or transfixed hearts But the trolls went back and back only their trampled dead holding fast I can not express how Torrent (River of Time, much this book resonated with Belle de Jour (Belle De Jour me This is a standard bearer of epic fantasy and I can t believe it isn t held in the same esteem as LOTRNow I know it After Hours may seem that I am dumping a bit on old JRR and I want to be clear that this is not Black Mirror and Critical Media Theory my intention well except for the tree hugging runts comment I really do love Lord of the Rings and think it deserves its legion of followers However I do think think this book is superior in almost every area and I enjoyed it far than I ever enjoyed Tolkien If you prefer Moorcock Mieville and Abercrombie to Jordan Eddings and Brooks than I think you Tame a Wild Heart (Tame, may find yourself agreeing with Voyeur (Colección Maestros del Erotismo, me Regardless you should definitely check it out 60 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATIONPS I listened to the audio version of this book as read by Bronson Pinchot and it was INCREDIBLE and enhanced the reading experience substantially

Download ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ¾ Poul Anderson

Giant to make Tyrfing whole again But Scafloc must also confront his shadow self Valgard the changeling in his place among men.. The Broken Sword A dark fantasy classic of Norse mythologyOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteraturePoul Anderson s The Broken Sword 1954 was selected by David Pringle in his Modern Fantasy The 100 Best Novels and is highly praised by Michael Moorcock whose character Elric of Melnibone and his demon possessed sword Stormbringer are directly inspired by The Broken Sword The audio version is narrated by Bronson Pinchot who has an amazing vocal range and narrates with passionTo get right to the point this book is amazing and deserves a much wider readership It s one of the most powerful tightly written and relentlessly dark high fantasies I ve ever read It s chock full of Norse gods demigods Vikings elves trolls goblins sea serpents evil witches dark magic mighty heroes beautiful maidens and above all tragedy doomed love and implacable fate It taps into the same rich vein of Nordic lore that JRR Tolkien did with The Lord of the Rings but hews much closer to the dark and violent but heroic tone of those earlier sagasThere are no jolly and peace loving Hobbits smoking pipes here Characters both mortal and otherwise are often cruel passionate and ruthless Yet they storyline itself harks back to the most basic and fundamental heroic stories people have told throughout history As such it feels very mythic and archetypal and the writing of Anderson is muscular rich gritty and evocative to a degree rarely seen in the bland Tolkien clone fantasy mega series that have clogged the shelves for many decades In fact the recent popularity of grim dark fantasy penned by writers like George RR Martin Joe Abercrombie Glen Cook etc can be seen as readers tiring of the same old formula and wanting a darker realistic take on fantasy adventureI see this as part of a broader shift in popular entertainment that coincides with the power of the Internet and online media distribution In the past just a few TV networks and film studios controlled the types of TV programs and movies that were available to the public but the advent of online film distribution caused an explosion of content both good and bad that has allowed for greater creative activity than ever before Perhaps this is apparent in the world of TV where in the last decade the best writing and programs are drama series like The Sopranos The Wire Game of Thrones Breaking Bad House of Cards Mad Men Homeland etc These programs share a common thread of gritty realism reinventing tired old genres and a healthy cynicism and dark humor that was lacking in the stale offerings of the traditional networksThe world of The Broken Sword is very complex and Anderson throws in hundreds of exotic names of ancient tribes lands peoples and faerie creatures that populated Europe many centuries past The effect is to blur the boundaries between the actual Norse Dane Anglo Saxon Germanic Irish Scottish Welsh and English peoples and ancient places with their rich mythology The Aesir Norse gods Odin Thor Loki make appearances as do Irish demigods and there is mention of a fearful new white god Christ who is a threat to the elder gods Such is the skill of Anderson that it is impossible to distinguish which elements are fantasy and which are historical He also provides a sense of immensely long history and ancient god like figures who only rarely venture into the temporal realms of men yet have active interest in their doings The mix of such a plethora of mythologies in The Broken Sword can be a bit confusing but the tight focus of the main story always prevents Anderson from getting lost in the infinite potential side stories that he might have examined if he were writing a multi volume epic to ensure a steady stream of royalties as most epic fantasy writers of recent years have resorted toThe Broken Sword is the story of Skafloc the human son of Orm the Strong but raised by elves and the dark changeling Valgard a half elf and half troll substituted for the infant Skafloc as a baby by a capricious elf named Imric This sets in motion a series of tragic events that culminate in massive battle between an army of elves led by Skafloc and an army of trolls led by Valgard There are other mythical creatures and gods involved in the conflict but the most intimate battles rage in the hearts of Skafloc who discovers too late that he has unknowingly fallen in love with his sister Freda and Valgard who is beguiled by an evil witch into slaying his brothers and parents which drives him from human society and into the hands of the trolls with whom he shares blood ties The two become enormously powerful warriors but at the same time are torn with feelings of guilt self loathing and the inability to take joy in anything other than killing and vengeance After discovering his love for Freda was incestuous Skafloc seeks a weapon capable of opposing the vast troll armies led by Valgard and his powerful battle axe nicknamed Brother Slayer Skafloc takes a broken sword embedded with dark and evil magic which is reforged by the giant who made it It imparts incredible strength and killing ability to the wielder but must drink blood once it has been drawn which had tragic conseuencesThe Broken Sword is one of the few books I ve read where any page you turn to will yield incredibly vivid images and descriptions but to give you an idea of the dramatic tone and writing style here is just one example in the climactic final battle between Skafloc and Valgard Like a blind man Valgard turned away wrenching the arrow from his hand He howled gnawed the rim of his shield froth at his mouth His axe began to shriek and thunder striking at all before it He was mad with killing lust Skafloc fought with a bitter flame of cold murder within him the giant sword was a living fire in his hands Blood and brains spurted heads rolled on the ground guts were slippery under his horse s hooves He fought he fought in a timeless whirlpool of death where only the icy lightning workings of his brain were real He scattered death as a sower scatters grain and wherever he went the troll lines broke Swords blazed under the moon spears flew axes smote metal and men cried their pain The horses reared trampling whinnying their blood clotted manes flying Elves and trolls died in a storm of weapons and were crushed under the swaying struggleThe Broken Sword made me want to go right back for a second listen and that s pretty rare for someone with 400 books on his TBR list It also made me much curious to explore the incredibly rich body of classic fantasy tales that inspired it including the works of ER Eddison Lord Dunsany William Morris H Rider Haggard and earlier heroic tales like the Iliad or Beowulf not to mention the almost limitless mythology and folklore of pre Christian Europe So you might consider this book a gateway drug that could easily get you hooked on ancient fantastic tales of heroism and adventure Proceed at your own peril brave warriors

Poul Anderson ¾ 2 Characters

Eapon for their war against the trolls Only Scafloc a human kidnapped and raised by elves can hope to persuade Bolverk the ice. Many ages ago when majestic forests dominated our lands and little cottages of hay and wood were the only thing protecting the hairy humans from the elements tales were not just tales The stories passed down from one generation to the next held Truth The stories read in those days were never forgotten They were carved in trees and stones they were carried with the water and the wind they were illuminated by the stars and the moon The tales were everywhere as mountains harboured dwarves and trolls treetops were infested with fairies and the ground one walked upon held within it both the Depths of Darkness and the Source of Life A wizard sat by the fire brooding He had many tales in his head of love of war of passion of hatred of honor and of treachery He had whispered many of his wise accounts to the birds to the blades of grass and to the clouds but the ears that he was supposed to reach had stopped listening The metallic churning of machines and the clinging of dirty coins drowned out all other noise and Man had stopped listening to the wizard s stories The wizard stood up and strolled pensively to his desk He had to get his stories out there without burdening busy Man s brain catch them with his wisdom unawares He glanced at his library and an idea struck him A book Of course But it needed to be a special book One that did not scare away busy Man with many pages but carried an abundance of stories within it nonetheless And so he crafted a book as small as a mouse but as heavy as a mountain a book as forethoughtful as an old man but as fast as an elfish horse A book black as tar but soft as a feather And so it is that The Broken Sword was crafted A magical book both in what it tells and how it tells it It is a story carved in trees and stones and hearts whispered in winds and memories Take heed of its warning Do not reforge the sword in the face of desperation for it will show you much uglier things

  • Kindle Edition
  • 208
  • The Broken Sword
  • Poul Anderson
  • English
  • 17 June 2019
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About the Author: Poul Anderson

Winston P Sanders P A KingsleyPoul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the st century Anderson also authored several works of fantasy historical novels and a prodigious number of short stories He received numerous awards for his writing including seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards Anderson received a The Broken PDF/EPUB or degree in physics from the University of Minnesota in He married Karen Kruse in They had one daughter Astrid who is married to science fiction author Greg Bear Anderson was the sixth President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America taking office in He was a member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America a loose knit group of Heroic Fantasy authors founded in the s some of whose works were anthologized in Lin Carter's Flashing Swords anthologies He was a founding member of the Society for Creative Anachronism Robert A Heinlein dedicated his novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls to Anderson and eight of the other members of the Citizens' Advisory Council on National Space Policy Poul Anderson died of cancer on July after a month in the hospital Several of his novels were published posthumously Series.



10 thoughts on “The Broken Sword

  1. says:

    Why is this book not popular? Written four years after The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and published the same year as Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword is a fantasy masterpiece Combining Norse myth and legend English and World myth with historical fact and setting this tells a legendary tale economi

  2. says:

    THIS JUST IN In a stunning development certain to send shockwaves through the world of Fantasy Literature The Lord of the Rings long considered by many to be the Greatest Epic Fantasy of all time has been bitch slapped and bitch smote by Poul Anderson's 1954 dark fantasy epic The Broken Sword Anderson's story is now loudly demanding at least a share of the top honors Such recognition would be welcome and lon

  3. says:

    Every young medium if it wishes to be taken seriously as an art form must find a way to present mature stories Movies began to take themselves seriously in the thirties comic books began their struggle to elevate t

  4. says:

    The Broken Sword is an essential work of heroic fantasy as important to the development of the genre as Eddison

  5. says:

    Many ages ago when majestic forests dominated our lands and little cottages of hay and wood were the only thing pr

  6. says:

    Poul Anderson is an authors' author Wait I already said that in my review of Tau Zero Now I will talk about his versatility The Broken Sword is nothing like his sci fi books that I have read before and it is so very different from Tau Zero tha

  7. says:

    It was a cool spring dark with the moon nearly full rime glittering on the grass and the stars still hard and bright as in winter The night was very uiet save for the sighing of wind in budding branches and the world was all sliding shadows and cold white lightPublished in 1954 Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword is one of the forgotten giants of early modern fantasy The book remains an astounding influence of several important writers in th

  8. says:

    There is a broken sword and there is a broken thing a changeling the story's villain There is a man and a woman and both shall be broken as well; love shall bind them and love shall break them There are elves that rape their prisoners and trolls that mourn their lost daughters; Odin disguised as Lucifer and Lucifer coming to mock and offer no succor even to those who swear fealty There is a White God bringing change all shall fear

  9. says:

    The Broken Sword A dark fantasy classic of Norse mythologyOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteraturePoul Anderson’s The Broken Sword 1954 was se

  10. says:

    There are hundreds of good fantasy books several that can be considered classics Only a few can be compared in any fashion to the The Lord of the Rings For me this is one of them It may not be as grand or as ambitious as LOTR but The Broken Sword is recognized by several in the know as an unheralded classic by Poul Anderson a major fantasy science fiction master and this book a personal favorite of mineThe Broken Sword was first published

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