Swords and Sorcery at its best,
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This review is from: The First Book of Lankhmar (Fantasy Masterworks 18) (Paperback)
As part of a generation raised on Elves, Dragons, and Vampire knock offs, Leiber's tales brought a refreshing change from the countless Tolkien imitators that dominate the market. Almost immediately, you're struck at how rational these characters are - concerned as they are with self-preservation and motivation for their own ends. They don't run off at the drop of a hat to save the world from a dark lord or rescue a damsel in distress. If anything, if the pay's good, they may end up working for said dark lord! Imagine that, a fantasy story that contains well rounded, adult characters, rather than the usual do gooder children of the Harry Potter series.
The stories can be hit or miss, and as other reviews have noted, they're best enjoyed in small sips rather than a full dose, but by god, when they're done well, only Robert E Howard's Conan series comes close to matching them.