The Broken Sword, Paperback Book

The Broken Sword Paperback

Part of the Fantasy Masterworks series

3.5 out of 5 (5 ratings)


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 Scafloc, 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 Scafloc 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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9780575082724

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Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.

Review by

I wanted to like this book. The blurb was good. It looked exciting. It was dull. I know Poul Anderson is trying to mimic the mythic writing style, but I find that style hideously dry and dull. It read like a synopsis. It read like a little kid who can't express themselves fully and a surly teen who won't express themselves.It got better...

Review by

Dark fantasy based in the Norse sagas - recommended by Richard Morgan ~ & he was right! However, Anderson's style does mix 'n' match various saga conventions, & at times can read like Kipling's 'Puck of Pook's Hill' crossed with Elizabeth A. Lynn's 'Dragon's Winter'. At least it isn't a pastiche of Tolkien ... is it? Anderson's elves are intelligent & vicious, with a patently nasty streak in their make-up which is refreshing!

Review by

An engaging mishmash of Norse and Celtic legends (written at about the same time as the Lord of the Rings, and drawing on much of the same source material), which definitely captures some of the feel of the old sagas, with flashes of quite poetic prose, the brooding feeling of a world swirling towards darkness, and fairly thin characterisation. I'd say that it probably has had nearly as much influence on the fantasy that followed afterwards as Tolkien's work, though in different ways.

Review by

This was an interesting story, almost mythic rather than fantastic in it's feel I enjoyed this read. Scafloc is stolen from his parents by elves and a changeling child left in his place. When they both grow to adulthood things happen that cause them to fight each other and in order to win the sword Tyrfing has to be remade. Tyrfing was broken years ago because it could be used to strike at the roots of Yggdrasil, the world tree, but now it's the onlly thing standing between the elves and destruction. There were some bits that really were twitch-making but overall not a bad read.

Review by

Apparently published in the same year as Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". Plenty of elves, trolls, dwarves, etc, but very little interest in language. I would have loved this book as a sixteen year old; the amoral and immortal elves would have seemed quite the thing.

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