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The First Book of Swords (Saberhagen's Swords 1) [Kindle Edition]

Fred Saberhagen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

The Books of Swords

The gods decide to devise a Game of great fun: their colleague Vulcan forges 12 magic Swords, each with a different power, and scatters them across the world. Play begins in grand and gloriously violent fashion as Swords are gathered and used to control chance, enhance fortune, and change destiny. The holder of a Sword wields power undreamed — power to change the world and the holder.

To add to the enjoyment, foolish mortals are invited to join, risking their puny lives. Demons and elementals need no invitation. But something had gone wrong in the forging, and the Game —

Product Details

  • File Size: 377 KB
  • Print Length: 219 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: JSS Literary Productions (March 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SRC70W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,238 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, Fun, Old Style Fantasy, But Not Much To It May 10, 2012
By Art
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If your here, its likely because you read the series many years ago and are pondering a re-read. So far, I have only re-read this first book, and my verdict is "go for it". If you are contemplating a first read, I might steer you to Empire of the East (the 3 book collection) as a better value and first foray into Saberhagen's work. Similar writing style and pacing, but has more action than this introductory book.

The first book is very short -- 200 and something pages. Characterizations are very light compared to more modern works and the plotting, at least in this first book, isnt necessarily overly impressive either. Some "gods" -- whatever they may be -- want to have a "game" and some humans get swept along by events. No one is going to confuse the First Book of Swords with modern epic fantasy. But the book is a tremendously easy read, has plenty of action, and is just likeable. Sometimes you dont need a 1000 page tome filled with a dozen POVs and details of all the characters inner thoughts and motivations.

The basic premise, 12 swords, of incredible but highly varied and unique powers, drives and make the series. For example, if you read the series, you might remember Far Slayer, which can slay any enemy from a distance, but ultimately brings no satisfaction to the party launching Far Slayer; Coinspinner, the sword of luck...which manages to abandon its holder at inopportune times, and Sightblinder, which causes others to see the wielder as someone they love of fear. From the varied powers of the swords, coupled with Saberhagen's simple but fun writing style, the Book of Swords series tells fun and memorable tales, as various factions scramble to grab the swords and their power.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fine fantasy novel with a whole lot of intriguing ideas dancing around in a small space. I wasn't prepared for the abrupt, cliffhanger ending -- I didn't realize it wasn't a stand-alone novel in a series, but rather Part 1 of a three-part story -- but I don't hold that against the novel. I enjoyed it while it lasted, and I'll definitely read the second and third parts.

I liked it enough, in fact, that I'd have given it four stars if not for the fact that this Kindle edition was obviously scanned from an existing print edition, then never edited for errors. The Kindle edition is rife with missing punctuation, commas where they don't belong, words that are almost right but not quite -- all the types of errors you expect to see when OCR software is used to convert a printed document into a digital one. I'm really disappointed that no one cared enough about the source material -- or about the reader -- to proofread the digital text before releasing it as an eBook. It wouldn't have taken an expert editor to clean up the eBook; just someone with a basic understanding of grammar, spelling, and punctuation and a willingness to put a little more into the final product than simply scanning it and kicking it out the door.

I hope the publisher will consider editing these novels (and any future Kindle editions of Saberhagen's books) to bring them in line with the print editions. I think Mr. Saberhagen's legacy deserves at least the small effort this would require -- and I'd like to be able to read the rest of the many Swords novels without being annoyed by the publisher's carelessness.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Those Swords August 19, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I read this series of books years ago and absolutely LOVED them. Over the years I've re-read them countless times, and loved them each time I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Wanda
Format:Kindle Edition
The First Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen published 2012.
Narrated by Derek Perkins.
8 Hrs 52 Min 9 Sec

The narrator Derek Perkins did a very good job in making this story come alive.
Although I am a ardent Fantasy reader this book did not really grip my attention as much as I figured it would after reading the blurb.

The story is never slow though it is simply that the book is setting the stage for a series that I am sure will be much more captivating than the first book in the story.
It had it's moments though and I would recommend you read it yourself to decide if this fantasy world is one where you can get lost in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved this series July 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Can't say enough. Absolutely loved this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Re-Purchase on Kindle January 27, 2014
By John P
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Have ready this series five or six times - decided to buy for my kindle! Well written, engaging characters, and a great premise! Recommend the series for anyone who likes Fantasy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love the Swords April 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read the entire series in hardback form, and I absolutely love the series. Every now and then I get an urge to reread them, and I love that the first trilogy is in kindle form. If you enjoy the mix of high fantasy with sword and sorcery, you will definitely enjoy these books.
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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:

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