Fafhrd #6: Swords & Ice Magic by Fritz Leiber
Stories of sword and sorcery by a Grand Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy!
In Swords and Ice Magic, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser discover how the sadness of the Executioner creates a macabre dance from the point of view of the choreographer. Beauties and beasts explain the dual nature of all life's creatures. Trapped in the Shadowland, our dogmatic duo finds the dualities of swords and needles, maps and territories, girls and demons, mortals and gods, learning of the mischievous vanity of the gods. Lost at sea, Gray Mouser becomes a natural philosopher, drifting, captive of the Great Equatorial Current. He wonders about fire and ice, about women and men, until they arrive at Rime Isle, a tragic comedy of a place, wandering gods and restless mortals, a comedy with puppets and puppet masters.
Before The Lord of the Rings took the world by storm, Leiber's fantastic but thoroughly flawed antiheroes, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, adventured deep within the caves of Inner Earth, albeit a different one. They wondered and wandered to the edges of the Outer Sea, across the Land of Nehwon and throughout every nook and cranny of gothic Lankhmar, Nehwon's grandest and most mystically corrupt city. Lankhmar is Leiber's fully realized, vivid incarnation of urban decay and civilization's corroding effect on the human psyche.