Fafhrd And The Gray Mouser
Read the classic Conan stories by Robert Howard. Together with Fritz Leiber, both authors pioneered Sword andSorcery and influenced countless writers.
For the modernized version of classic sword and sorcery, made edgy, dark, and disturbing; for themes that all modern grim dark fantasy touch on, read Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock. He's that man who took sword and sorcery and made it depressing and deep.
Classic sword and sorcery but often left unmentioned, unlike the other greats like the Conan books. Kane delivers exactly what it promises: swords, sorcery, madness, revenge, loyalty, and plenty of violence. It may be old, but it's absolutely worth reading especially if you want some outstanding Sword and Sorcery.
A modern update (translated from a Polish author) on some of the classic Sword and Sorcery with complex themes, deeply trouble characters, and strong world building. The Witcher has taken the western world by storm -- you may have heard of these books through the awesome Witcher video games which are based on the books. If you have not yet picked up The Witcher books just yet, you are in for the treat -- it's really some of the best NEW fantasy out right now, and very much different than your typical western-influenced fantasy as these books were penned by a Polish author and as such feature a different perspective than you'll find in typical Tolkien-inspired fantasy.
For a modern take on Sword and Sorcery, you might look at J.V. Jones Sword of Shadows saga.It's more of an epic fantasy, but it does hearken back to some of the classic sword and sorcery conventions -- it's set on an icy world, the characters are dark and troubled, there's violence and nastiness, and plenty of magic and mayhem. Not quite grimdark, but definitely gritty.
Some ol' good sword and sorcery by Fred Saberhagan to be found in his Book of Swords books. The premise centers about god swords that fall to earth -- mortals who find them are given great power. Of course, humanity being the flawed species that it is, problems ensue. On the surface this may sound like a standard fantasy tale, but it's surprisingly deep as you get into it. Sword in Sorcery that's much better and much deeper than your usual shallow stuff.
The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson, an absolute classic in the genre and arguably highly influential when it came out decades ago. This is Sword and Sorcery set in a Norse world and a very deep novel and highly underrated.
The Black Company by Glen Cook. Military Fantasy with a lot of Sword and Sorcery. I won't say much here that I haven't already said a million times in other recommendations, but...if you haven't read The Black Company and you like Sword and Sorcery, military battles, strategy, and plenty of anti-hero characters, read it.
See our Best Sword and Sorcery List for more specific S&S recommendations
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