Poul Anderson‘s The Broken Sword was published the same year as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), and draws on some of the same Scandinavian mythology and history to create its fantasy world. The novel has been described as “a masterful tale of men, elves, and gods that is at once breathtakingly exciting and heartbreakingly tragic.” A winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, Anderson is considered by many to be one of the masters of “golden-age” speculative fiction. The Broken Sword was recently released in eBook by Open Road Media, as well as 16 of the author’s other novels.
Here’s the synopsis:
In his greed for land and power, Orm the Strong slays the family of a Saxon witch—and for his sins, the Northman must pay with his newborn son. Stolen by elves and replaced by a changeling, Skafloc is raised to manhood unaware of his true heritage and treasured for his ability to handle the iron that the elven dare not touch. Meanwhile, the being who supplanted him as Orm’s son grows up angry and embittered by the humanity he has been denied. A pawn in a witch’s vengeance, the creature Valgard will never know love, and consumed by rage, he will commit a murderous act of unspeakable vileness.
It is their destiny to finally meet on the field of battle—the man-elf and his dark twin, the monster—when the long-simmering war between elves and trolls finally erupts with a devastating fury. And only the mighty sword Tyrfing, broken by Thor and presented to Skafloc in infancy, can turn the tide in a terrible clashing of faerie folk that will ultimately determine the fate of the old gods.
Read on for a two-chapter excerpt. Continue reading