Farslayer's Story (Books of Lost Swords, #4)
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Farslayer's Story

by Fred Saberhagen
Release date: 1989
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy

FARSLAYER – the Sword whose power is to kill the bearer's enemy even at the other end of the world – is rediscovered. Its finder is the beautiful mermaid Black Pearl, herself the victim of a magical curse that has changed her from a simple fisherman's daughter to a creature of the river. She gives the sword to the minor wizard Cosmo Malolo, who has seduced her while promising her that he will restore her to human form permanently. Unfortunately, the Malolo clan has been feuding for generations with the Senones, their rival clan across the river, and Farslayer simply enables them to kill each others' leaders in a one-night bloodbath that more than decimates the clans.

In the hills that wild and stormy night, the hermit Gelimer finds a stranded traveler – Cosmo, bearing Farslayer. Cosmo dies mysteriously, and Gelimer hides Farslayer – just before Prince Zoltan and the Lady Yambu turn up at this hermitage, victims of a shipwreck that has altered their continuing pilgrimage. And not long after their departure, another, more sinister visitor arrives: one Chilperic, sworn servant of the evil macro-wizard Wood, who will stop at nothing to obtain the Sword. Chilperic is attended by the demon Rabisu, placed under Chiperic's command by Wood.

Zoltan encountered the mermaid Black Pearl three years ago, and he has never forgotten the beautiful creature. In love with her, he has no idea that her heart is already given to the wretched Cosmo... Zoltan swears to help her regain human form.

With the arrival of Prince Mark and Ben of Purkinje the plot thickens further. Mark wants Farslayer (of course), knowing full well the havoc it can wreak in hands bent on revenge.

And then Tamsin, an enigmatic, sensuous healer, arrives on her griffin.

This is a rousing tale of action, magic and bittersweet love, told with all the gusto that characterizes Fred Saberhagen's enormous narrative gift.

(updated 2010-09-07)

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