Friday, 8 July 2016


I have reread Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword (London, 1977) to the point where Skafloc transforms into a wolf, then an eagle, then an otter. However, I have already discussed his werewolf experience here. As an eagle, he experiences sharp sight and:

"...the glory of flight, of wind and skyey endlessness..." (p. 128)

- like one of Anderson's Ythrians.

The otter:

sees further and hears as well as the wolf;
smells better than a man although not as well as the wolf;
tingles with sensations in every hair and whisker;
is swift, supple, lustrous, vain and frolicsome.

A smaller animal, like a weasel or a rat, would have been better for burglary but Skafloc has only three magic skins.

By changing between shapes, he enters Elfheugh and acquires the broken sword which is engraved with runes:

"He had the feeling that the mightiest of these were hidden on the tang." (p. 133)


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Shouldn't that be runes were ENGRAVED, not "encrusted" on the sword?


Paul Shackley said...


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Thought so! "Encrusted" seemed odd in that context.