Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly segment that asks you to pick 5 books that fit that week’s theme. It was created by Bionic Bookworm and is currently being hosted by Meeghan Reads. Tuesdays are a state of mind.
Swords a big part of the fantasy genre, so there’s a lot to choose from. I’ll try to keep it interesting, but we’ll see. Here’s my top 5:
1. Scions of Shannara
I read the Shannara books in my formative years, so they hold a place in my heart that perhaps they wouldn’t have earned if I read them now. Nevertheless, I have some good memories from reading them, and there are a few tropes that I still hold dear. In the second trilogy (starting with Scions of Shannara), we have a character with a magic sword (passed down through the generations, of course); however, wielder becomes addicted to its magic, so when it’s broken (spoiler alert) he goes through magic sword withdrawal. This price of magic / addiction trope has stuck with me ever since. This is also certainly where I first saw the word ‘scions’ – it’s a good word.
2. Swords in the Mist by Fritz Leiber
I’m a big fan of Sword & Sorcery with dynamic duos, and Gray Mouser and Fafhrd are two of the best. This is a good enough place to start in their adventures, and it has a sword in the title. Easy-peasy.
3. The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
This is probably my favourite Abercrombie book. One of the iconic characters from this book is Whirrun of Bligh, an absolute nutter.
Whirrun carries the impressively named Father of Swords. It’s claymore-esque by description. Seems fitting for a list about swords. Side note, Whirrun also appears in the short story collection, Sharp Ends, along with another dynamic duo (to follow on from the above): Javre & Shevedieh. Hopefully we get more stories with them in the future.
4. Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin
Reading this book just made me happy. I’m quite hit and miss on comedic books, but this hit the spot. A tongue-in-cheek rendition of King Arthur’s court, focusing on the ‘less valued knights’. It also features a stinky magic sword known, ironically, as Ambrosia. There’s also appearances by Excalibur and, in the sequel, Fauxcalibur (aka Faycalibur).
5. The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
Not original or fresh, I know. But this series is near and dear to my heart (another one from my youth). The magic sword, Callandor, makes an appearance in many of the books in this series; however, this one shows it in all its glory on the cover.
That’s it from me!