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The Sword of Rhiannon
     

The Sword of Rhiannon

5.0 1
by Leigh Brackett, Nicola Griffith, Erik Mona (Editor), Pierce Watters (Editor), James Sutter (Editor)
 

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  • Greed pulls the archaeologist Matt Carse into the forgotten tomb of the
    Martian god Rhiannon and plunges the unlikely hero into the Red Planet’s fantastic past, when vast oceans covered the land and the legendary Sea-Kings ruled from terraced palaces of decadence and delight.
  • Talented enough to co-write The Big Sleep film with William

Overview

  • Greed pulls the archaeologist Matt Carse into the forgotten tomb of the
    Martian god Rhiannon and plunges the unlikely hero into the Red Planet’s fantastic past, when vast oceans covered the land and the legendary Sea-Kings ruled from terraced palaces of decadence and delight.
  • Talented enough to co-write The Big Sleep film with William Faulkner and imaginative enough to pen the original screenplay for The Empire Strikes
    Back
    , Leigh Brackett is a giant in the science-fiction field, and The
    Sword of Rhiannon
    is one of her most popular adventure tales.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781601251527
Publisher:
Paizo Inc.
Publication date:
04/15/2009
Series:
Planet Stories Series
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
16 Years

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The Sword of Rhiannon 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SELindberg More than 1 year ago
Leigh Brackett's sword & planet adventure The Sword of Rhiannon is a short novel but a favorite among aficionado's. It was first published Sea-Kings of Mars and Otherworldly Stories in "Thrilling Wonder" Magazine in 1949 (cover artist Earle Bergey). This really is a gem. Written before Sci-Fi and Fantasy really became substantial genres of their own, the summary of this sounds Sci-Fi but really is Fantasy. The Mars milieu features little technology; in fact, it is almost exclusively populated with fantasy creatures ("halflings" that are like reminiscent of harpies, mermaids, and man-serpents) and fantasy/historic technology (swords, pirate ships); there is a lack of laser guns and air-ships. Actually, the technology that enables some interesting time/space travel is rooted in a Lovecraftian Mythos magic associated with an elder race (Quiro). Our protagonist is Carse, an archaeologist/criminal who is very "Indiana Jones" like (of course this was created long before Indy Jones hit theaters). The titular Sword of Rhiannon is revealed from the start to Carse; it had been hidden for centuries in a tomb, so it was rumored, and he quickly finds the tomb from which it came as sought treasure to loot. His adventure begins as he comes into contact with eldritch forces... The adventure is high throttle action from start to finish. The reader learns more of the curse of Rhiannon. However, there is a rich history and dynamics between cultures that are not fully realized. I would have enjoyed experiencing more of: the initial/future perspective on Rhiannon's past, the Dhuvian's oppression of others, the demonstration of Rhiannon's power(s), the demonstration of the Sword's power or purpose... Brackett's prose is deeper and more poetic than one expects from pulpy Sword & Planet. Here is an excerpt: "It was a long way to the city. Carse moved at a steady plodding pace. He did not try to find the easiest path but rammed his way through and over all obstacles, never deviating from the straight line that led to Jekkara. His cloak hampered him and he tore it off. His face was empty of all expression but sweat ran down his cheeks and mingled with the salt of tears. He walked between two worlds. He went through valleys drowsing in the heat of the summer day, where leafy branches of strange trees raked his face and the juice of crushed grasses stained his sandals. Life, winged and furred and soft of foot, fled from him with a stir and a rustle. And yet he knew that he walked in a desert, where even the wind had forgotten the names of the dead for whom it mourned. He crossed high ridges, where the sea lay before him and he could hear the boom of the surf on the beaches. And yet he saw only a vast dead plain, where the dust ran in little wavelets among the dry reefs. The truths of thirty years living are not easily forgotten." This book is very well done but feels like four servings of a five-course-meal. It is a quick read and well worth it, but apparently this is a stand alone adventure. This novel could easily have been inflated to 2x its length without departing from its pulp-adventure roots (i.e., it would not become filler-saturated epic fantasy). Brackett did write more Sword and Planet, but not with Carse.
Zothique More than 1 year ago
In my appreciation, THE SWORD OF RHIANNON may represent the zenith of the "Sword & Planet" branch of the Heroic Fantasy genre as developed by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Otis Adelbert Kline, and C.L. Moore. First serialized in 1949, Leigh Brackett's classic story is colorful and engaging, inhabited by intriguing beings, driven by logically rising drama, and told in a sometimes sensual prose. As conjured in this slim volume, the world of Old Mars is a world of sea kings and merfolk and mysterious gods, and a world to return to again and again: to re-visit the familiar, to catch a glimpse of something overlooked, to ponder what was only hinted at. To borrow a little from the introduction, this is a beautiful eulogy to a fantastic Mars that never was, but should have been. If this even remotely appeals to you, I highly recommend you join Matt Carse and his eventual companions on their frightening and wonderful adventure. Thanks go to publisher Planet Stories for bringing this book back into print in a readable trade-size paperback with a cover design with a period flavor to it.