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Vintage Treasures: The Sword and the Satchel by Elizabeth Boyer

Monday, September 28th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

The Sword and the Satchel-small The Sword and the Satchel-back-small

Elizabeth Boyer’s first novel, The Sword and the Satchel, launched her on a successful career as a fantasy author in the 80s and early 90s. Rather uniquely at the time, she drew heavily from Norse mythology, and the setting of every one of her novels is the Scandinavia of Norse myth — packed with deadly frost giants, sinister dark elves, quarrelsome trolls, mist-shrouded burial mounds, wizards, sorcerers, and dwarves. Her first series, World of Alfar, began with The Sword and the Satchel and continued in three additional volumes:

The Elves and the Otterskin (1981)
The Thrall and the Dragon’s Heart (1982)
The Wizard and the Warlord (1983)

Her other books include the four volume Wizard’s War series, The Clan of the Warlord (1992), and her final novel, Keeper of Cats (1995).

The Sword and the Satchel was published as a paperback original by Del Rey in May 1980. It is 312 pages, priced at $2.25. The cover is by Robert Florczak.

5 Comments »

  1. I discovered the World of Alfar books pretty early in my fantasy fandom. Along with a couple James P. Blaylock books, I thought of them as sort of “light” fantasy: not like the Dungeons and Dragons adventure stuff I looked for.

    But even now, I like them (and the Wizard’s War series) because I think that Boyer was telling sort of traditional myth/fairy tale stories. And they were easy reads.

    Comment by Bob Byrne - September 28, 2015 1:48 pm

  2. Indeed I have these, mostly the corgi British paperback editions gathering dust on my shelves. Another old series I must get to. Also have The Trolls Grindstone and The Curse of Slafig, which are marked as books 5&6 but apparently are books 1&2 of subsequent series. I will get to them, sometime….

    Comment by Tiberius - September 29, 2015 1:28 am

  3. > I discovered the World of Alfar books pretty early in my fantasy fandom. Along with a couple James P. Blaylock books,
    > I thought of them as sort of “light” fantasy… they were easy reads.

    Bob,

    Yeah, I think that was the general consensus at the time. Boyer’s books were well liked for their terrific settings, and they were fun, quick reads. I thought of them much like Piers Anthony, whom I sort of put in the same category.

    Comment by John ONeill - September 29, 2015 11:53 am

  4. > Also have The Trolls Grindstone and The Curse of Slafig, which are marked
    > as books 5&6 but apparently are books 1&2 of subsequent series.

    Tiberius,

    Yeah, those are the first two books in the 4-volume Wizard’s War series. I haven’t read them, so I can’t tell you how (or if) they’re actually connected to the World of Alfar books…. anyone else know?

    Comment by John ONeill - September 29, 2015 11:55 am

  5. John – Yeah: light hearted fantasy. I put John Morressy’s ‘Kedrigan the wizard’ series in that category. I don’t know that I’d go back and re-read them, but they were fun at the time.

    Comment by Bob Byrne - September 29, 2015 12:36 pm


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