I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Demons and evil gods inhabit the untenable peak of the mountain called Stardock. They guard a magnificent trove of treasure that lies at the heart of the dangerous peak, and the brave warriors known as Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser have decided that they will fight to make the riches their own!
As their quest leads them from adventure to adventure, the two heroes find themselves at the threshold of the magical and mysterious kingdom of Quarmall. As they attempt to breach the defenses of ancient and evil sorceries, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser must learn that where treasure lies, treachery often follows.
Another great read from Fritz Leiber! I do love his command of the English language and use of words which I didn't know existed, but that I can understand immediately from their use in the text. For example, the "caprid stench" of a group of mountain goats.
Also loved the huge, warm-blooded, furry snakes that the two heroes face half-way up their mountain climbing expedition. The climb is very well realized--I have a bit of a thing about heights and I had to keep taking little breaks from reading, to let my breathing & heart rate subside a bit. I was especially happy that there was no need for them to climb down, as that might have done me in.
I can't help but love Fafhrd, the large Viking-like rogue and I certainly see many parallels between him and Howard's Conan. Both authors, Leiber and Howard, wrote beautifully and told tales of honourable, but incorrigible "barbarians." I also appreciate that Fafhrd and the Mouser occasionally need to breaks from each other's company, while remaining loyal to their bond.
Cross-posted at my blog, The Next Fifty, at: