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Review: Adept’s Gambit – Miskatonic Books

ADEPT'S GAMBIT: The Original Version

A book containing anything new by Fritz is always welcome. After the wealth of material in the Midnight House collections and Strange Wonders, it had all gone a little quiet, til Miskatonic Books announced their release of Fritz’s original (circa ’36) version of Adept’s Gambit, complete with HP Lovecraft’s thoughts and annotations.

Adept’s Gambit always seemed an untypical Fafhrd & Mouser story.  The tone seemed akin to The Bleak Shore and The Howlng Tower, yet it was full of commentary and farce the we would see again in Lean Times in Lankhmar or Swords of Lankhmar.  There is also the strange sexuality running through the book (which Leiber himself had noted and is referenced in this new book)which gave it a more spicy feeling than many of the other stories.

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Minireview: The Snow Women

Fantastic, April 1970

When Ace released the swords series in it’s own internal chronology, Fritz ended up writing many link pieces to fit the stories. He also had to formally set in place the backgrounds Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser as well as their meeting.

He had already visited the antecedents of the Gray Mouser in 1962’s  ‘The Unholy Grail’, in ‘The Snow Women’ we follow Fafhrd’s earliest adventure. There was a feeling of gothic in the Unholy Grail, with it’s mad lord, dungeons and waif like heroine, but the  Snow Women, written in 1970, is much more typical of Leiber’s later work.

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