Fantasy Masterwork of the Week: The Broken Sword

So what book would prompt no less a figure than the legendary Michael Moorcock to say ‘It has a wonderful, wild, manic originality, a driving story and a genuine feel of the grim realities informing Anglo-Saxon myth and legend which few other fantasies possess’?

What masterpiece would prompt the late, great Robert Holdstock to hail a ‘Fantasy of harsh truth and driving narrative, imbued with the energy and the wild beauty of the old Norse tales’?

Well, if you were paying attention to the title of this post, you’d know it is none other than Poul Anderson’s stunningly powerful Norse dark fantasy, The Broken Sword . . .

The sword Tyrfing has been broken to prevent it striking at the roots of Yggdrasil, the great tree that binds earth, heaven and hell together…

But now the mighty sword is needed again to save the elves, who are heavily involved in their war against the trolls, and only Skafloc, a human child kidnapped and raised by the elves, can hope to persuade the mighty ice-giant, Bolverk, to make the sword Thor broke whole again. But things are never easy, and along the way Skafloc must also confront his shadow self, Valgard the changeling, who took his place in the world of men.

A superb dark fantasy of the highest, and most Norse, order. The Broken Sword is a fantasy masterpiece.


The Broken Sword is available as a Fantasy Masterworks paperback and an SF Gateway eBook.


You can find more of Poul Anderson’s work via his Author page on the SF Gateway website, and read more bout him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.