The Sword of Rhiannon (Trade Paperback)

***** (based on 3 ratings)
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by Leigh Brackett, with an introduction by Nicola Griffith

Matthew Carse was a Martian archaeologist turned looter, selling priceless historical relics for his own gain, until the sword of a fallen god sent him hurtling back in time to a Mars still lush with life. Captured by the cruel and beautiful princess of a degenerate empire, Carse must ally with the rebellious Sea Kings and their strange psychic allies in order to defeat the tyrannical people of the Serpent. Yet even if he can conquer the enemy’s alien super-science, Carse still faces an even greater danger—the dark god that lurks inside his own skin.

Talented enough to co-write The Big Sleep with William Faulkner and imaginative enough to pen the original screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back, Leigh Brackett never fails to deliver breathtaking worlds and fantastic adventure.

“A love song and eulogy to a planet ...a hymn to the lost past of a Mars that never was.”
    —Nicola Griffith, award-winning author of Ammonite and Slow River

“Fiction at its most exciting, in the hands of a master storyteller.”
    —George Lucas, creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones

176-page softcover trade paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-152-7

About the Author

Though Leigh Douglass Brackett (1915–1978) was one of the most prominent science fiction authors of her time, she was equally adept in both crime fiction and westerns. While many of her early stories, beginning with "Martian Quest" in 1940, were science fantasy with a strong adventure theme, her first novel, "No Good From a Corpse"(1944), was a hard-boiled detective mystery that so impressed director Howard Hawks that he had his staff call in "this guy Brackett" to help William Faulkner write the script for The Big Sleep. The film, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, is considered a shining example of film noir, and launched Brackett's scriptwriting career, which would go on to include such notable pictures as Rio Bravo, The Long Goodbye, and the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back, which was written shortly before her death and later revised significantly. During this time, however, she maintained her status as a pulp science fiction icon, writing numerous stories and occasionally collaborating with protégé Ray Bradbury or husband Edmond Hamilton. It was during this busy period that she created her most famous character, criminal and wild-man Eric John Stark, an anti-hero who allowed her to explore colonialism's affect on native cultures, a theme that pervades much of her work. Despite her death from cancer in 1978, Brackett's works live on today as some of the most important in the genre.

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***** (based on 3 ratings)

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This book is the shiznit, Limey!


I pity the fool who doesn't buy this book!

The Sword of Rhiannon (Trade Paperback)


The Sword of Rhiannon gets two thumbs up from me. It tells the tale of a human archaeologist on Mars who discovers the fabled sword of the dead god Rhiannon and is cast back a million years in time to when the red planet was still lush with life and covered with great seas. The result is a formulaic story (charismatic rogue, comedic rogue who dupes protagonist and then becomes his sidekick, evil beauty, and a dark god) where the tale alternates between charismatic rogue with back against the wall who finds a way to succeed and charismatic rogue with back against wall who doesn't find a way to succeed. Although formulaic, it is a formula which has been successful time and again. This story is no exception, in my opinion. As an end note, the original copyright is 1953 and so there is a distinct difference between the writing style and that of more modern science fiction/fantasy fiction authors. For me, that is one of the reasons that I purchased it.


Matt Carse, an archaeologist of the most definitely roguish sort of tomb raider is looking to score. Then the discovery of the mythical Sword of Rhiannon catapults him back into time, and into the body of a man well suited to be a barbarian adventurer.

Landing in the middle of a group of people that really don't like his country, he has to go from galley slave to dealing with possession by an ancient powerful scientist and war.

A great old-style planetary romance novel that ratchets up the adventure as it goes along. Hero, comic sidekick, femme fatale, winged men, fish women, ancient super weaponry and more.

Great stuff, and also published as Sea-Kings Of Mars.

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