The Return of the Sword: An Anthology of Heroic Adventure

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Return of the Sword: An Anthology of Heroic Adventure

I read and have read a lot of anthologies. They’re great for “in-between-books-reading” and are perfect when you just want a story that you can start and finish in one sitting. Anthologies are also a great source for sampling different writers.

Jason M Waltz did a great job of picking out the stories to use for The Return of the Sword. Except for only one or two stories (even the ones that weren’t particularly something to my personal taste) I found these to be very well and interestingly written.

The Return of the Sword contains twenty sword-and-sorcery tales — too many for me to summarize and rate individually here. I’d say most of the stories fall between 3 and 4 stars, but my personal favorites — “The Battle of Raven Kill” by Jeff Draper, “To Be A Man” by (FanLit’s own) Robert Rhodes, “The Hand that Holds The Crown” by Nathan Meyer, and “The Mask Oath” by Steve Goble are each an easy 5 stars and then some. In fact, I’d buy this book for those stories alone. And I’d venture to say that most any fan of fantasy literature will find something to their liking in this book.

I highly recommend The Return of the Sword to anyone who appreciates a straight-forward adventurous tale, and I applaud the effort to present some quality sword & sorcery tales in a market where the sub-genre seems all but forgotten. I hope more publishers will follow suit and give us more new S & S books.


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GREG HERSOM’S (on FanLit's staff January 2008 -- September 2012) addiction began with his first Superboy comic at age four. He moved on to the hard-stuff in his early teens after acquiring all of Burroughs’s Tarzan books and the controversial L. Sprague de Camp & Carter edited Conan series. His favorite all time author is Robert E. Howard. Greg also admits that he’s a sucker for a well-illustrated cover — the likes of a Frazetta or a Royo. Greg live with his wife, son, and daughter in a small house owned by a dog and two cats in a Charlotte, NC suburb. He retired from FanLit in Septermber 2012 after 4.5 years of faithful service but he still sends us a review every once in a while.

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One comment

  1. Hey Greg – my email’s been on the blink, so in case you didn’t get mine or you responded and I didn’t get yours, you interested in reviewing the 2nd RBE heroic adventure anthology, Rage of the Behemoth?

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  1. An Interview With Robert Rhodes | Fantasy Literature's Fantasy Book Reviews - [...] story “To Be a Man”. You can read Greg’s review of Return of the Sword here. This interview is…

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