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Ardneh's Sword (Tom Doherty Associates Books) Hardcover – May 2, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Simple prose and a straightforward plot make the latest entry in Saberhagen's Empire of the East saga perfect for younger fantasy fans. The aristocratic parents of 15-year-old Chance Rolfson, a descendant of the hero Rolf, whose adventures are chronicled in Empire of the East (2003), encourage the lad to join an expedition seeking ancient artifacts associated with the godlike being Ardneh. They hope a taste of the outdoor life will cure Chance of "certain dreamy, unambitious tendencies." Chance soon finds that traveling with a scholar, an intelligent owl and a small band of troopers isn't all that easy. When Chance starts to notice strange occurrences, the adults in his party doubt his explanations. Eventually, the expedition becomes an exhilarating mad dash to reach Ardneh's sword, an object of immense power with the potential to change the world forever. Chance, however, remains pretty passive throughout. Hopefully, he will take a more active role in future installments. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A thousand years ago, the legendary Ardneh battled for humanity against the archdemon Orcus. Both perished, but humans were saved and left the tradition of Ardneh's power and benevolence. Now, an archaeological expedition seeks the storied treasure of Ardneh. No one, including the scholar guiding the expedition, is sure where it is or what form it will take. Their search takes them through largely unmapped, bandit-infested lands. One expedition member, Chance Rolfson, is a descendant of the illustrious Rolf who fought beside Ardneh. He suffers from nightmares and has joined the party in hopes of curing himself by immersion in sometimes dangerous practicalities. But not only do his dreams continue, but when he encounters things and people no one else can see, he eventually realizes that he is key to the expedition's success or failure. If the characters are slightly decorated archetypes, the action is well handled and the plot well wrought. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Tom Doherty Associates Books
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765312107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765312105
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,901,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fred Saberhagen (1930-2007) is widely published in many areas of speculative fiction. He is best known for his Berserker, Swords, and Dracula series. Less known are the myth-based fantasies Books of the Gods. Fred also authored a number of non-series fantasy and science fiction novels and a great number of short stories. For more information on Fred, visit his website:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on September 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ardneh's Sword (2006) is a sequel to the Empire of the East series, following Ardneh's World. It is also a bridge to the Swords series, taking place about one thousand years after the mutual annihilation of Ardneh and Orcus.

In this novel, Chance Rolfson is a direct lineal descendent of Rolf, agent of Ardneh in the great war against the Emperor of the East. Chance has been forced by his family into an expedition searching for Ardneh's Sword. They are certain that an opportunity to get out into the fresh air of the countryside will cure him of his dreamy ways. He serves as assistant to the Scholar Jervase, often taking care of the talking owl Mitra.

One night, just before dawn, Chance is awakened by a thump on the canvas cover of the wagon. Then a slit is cut in the cover with a sharp claw and an object on a necklace chain falls into this hand. He sees a distorted human face through the tear. Scrambling outside, he finds Mitra on the ground with a wounded wing, but no other bodies. A net is lying nearby. The object on a chain has disappeared, but his hand tingles.

Scholar Jervase and Captain Horkos, commander of the military escort, question Chance about the commotion, but seem to class these events with his prior sleepwalking episodes. Enchantress Ayaba checks him for signs of magical influence, but finds nothing unusual. She also checks out the net that had presumably entangled Mitra, yet still finds nothing. Later Lady Ayaba's little helpers vanish and she knows not why or where they are gone.

Then Chance goes wandering one evening after the midday meal and finds a very young female creature by the river. She is wearing an unusual garb much like long underwear that she claims is keeping her warm, including her bare feet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A thousand years has passed since the rise of the transcendent Ardneh, who along with intrepid warriors like Rolf, saved mankind from extinction from the minion of archdemon Orcus. Orcus and Ardneh died in their critical battle that employed the new magics and the old technology. Over the centuries Ardneh's tale of courage became more myth with few humans believing he ever existed or for that matter his evil adversary.

In the present Rolf's descendent Chance Rolfson suffers from stunning nightmares. Hoping to escape his dreams, Chance joins an expedition seeking proof that the legendary Ardneh existed. They seek the great vault that most people insist is fable. In the unknown forests that they trek, bandits and demons attack the band. As they seek shelter from the assaults, Chance concludes that his nightmares are visions that will enable him to find the greatest weapon left behind by the fabled heroes of yore, ARDNEH'S SWORD.

This is a fine sequel that fans of Fred Saberhagen especially those who read the EMPIRE OF THE EAST (the tale of Rolf and Ardneh) will enjoy. The story line is filled with non-stop action as Chance joins a quest as a participant, but soon realizes that to his regret he is the man. Chance makes this an interesting epic fantasy as his doubts ring true.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MB on February 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ok, i've read EotE and the Swords since probably grade school and I finally got around to Ardeh's Sword. I'd put it off having read the mixed reviews and struggle over messing with my respect for Saberhagen and wanting to know what happens in the book. In retrospect maybe I should have let it lie. Honestly this book seems like fan-fic, and not very good at that. Its very, very poorly written and I have real suspicions about how much Saberhagen himself actually wrote, or at least how sound of mind he was by this time. I won't even get started on the editing, because there was none. Tor should be mortified that they put this book out as it was. Characters alternately share everything with each other and than implausibly clam up about key issues... and sometimes the story forgets that they already shared certain information. I'm not exaggerating. The story forgets that things have already happened. (MINOR SPOILERS)-The main character is literally told information about Draffut and about 2 chapters later is told the same information by another character and is surprised by it. Abigails only contribution seems to be to say things like, "By Ardneh, where are the children!" every so often (spoiler alert- she loses the children about 5 times in 3 chapters). Characters appear and disappear in the story in about the same way that plot threads do- inexplicably. There is a plot thread involving a certain object that may or may not be cursed that is cast aside with no answer at one point (literally)... and is later brought up in conversation with everyone but the reader apparently enlightened as to whether it was or not.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer A. Stigall on May 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you enjoyed Empire Of The East and/or the Swords series I expect you will enjoy this at least as much, especially the way he puts the pieces together and brings unity to the Swords and Empire worlds. One thing, though, if you're expecting to learn more about the Emperor, don't.
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