Welcome back to another Tuesday Top Five, in which I force my opinion of things upon you and you hopefully nod in agreement. Today’s installment is of the Top Five Magical(ish) Swords in Fantasy novels and series. I did not do ‘All Fantasy Weapons,’ because I am probably going to do non-swords at another time (there are some cool bows and axes out there), and there are plenty of swords to choose from here. So here we go.

#5 – CallandorThe Wheel of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

Callandor, The Sword That Is Not A Sword, The Crystal Sword, is a powerful sa’angrael in Jordan’s world. It is meant as a tool for the Dragon Reborn to use to channel far more of the One Power than he normally would be able to, and is rarely (if ever) used as an actual sword.

The sword itself is very long, and made of what looks to be glass or crystal, and was protected for thousands of years until Rand was able to ‘pull it from the Stone’ of Tear. Afterward, he did not use the blade much, and eventually even put it back into the Stone, only to have it retrieved recently in preparation for the Last Battle.

The power of this sa’angrael is immense. Moraine once mentioned that Rand could level a city with the sword, and that is likely to be extremely understated, since it appears now that the Sword is possibly the main tool to be used in the Last Battle.

#4 – The Sword of LeahShannara Series, by Terry Brooks

This sword was not originally magical, and was just the family sword of the Leah lineage. It was carried for generations until Rone Leah had it enchanted by dipping it in the waters of the Hadeshorn.

The blade is black and has the power of ‘life and death,’ and can cut through magic, but also creates a bond with the wielder, causing them to be more and more dependent on the sword.

The sword is shattered and reforged at least once, and was used to help defeat the Shadowen in an important battle.

#3 – Stormbringer – Various novels by Michael Moorcock

This vampiric and highly powerful sword is actually a demon who has taken the form of a weapon. Elric of Melniboné uses through many of his stories.

The sword is a huge, black blade, covered in runes and glyphs. It can cut through just about anything known to man, and it drinks the souls of its victims, entombing them within its body. Being a demon, it is conscious and is a force for Chaos.

The blade is used by Elric throughout the Wars of Law and Chaos, and eventually turns on its wielder, killing Elric just as it seems all will be made right, and looking to corrupt others.

#2 – The Sword of the Rivan KingThe Belgariad and Mallorean, by David Eddings

This sword from David Eddings’ series, used as both a symbol and powerful weapon, is first introduced in the main story during the fourth book.

It is made from star metal, and is very long and gray, and without the Orb of Aldur, cannot be lifted. Once Belgarion places the Orb of Aldur on the pommel, he (and only he) can lift and wield the sword, thus proclaiming him as the Rivan King, as well as preparing him for his final battle with the god Torak.

The sword was part of one of the Prophecies attempts to help prepare the Child of Light for the final confrontation between the two Necessities. Belgarion uses the sword to defeat Torak in a climactic duel.

#1 – Blackwand, the Vlad Taltos series, by Steven Brust

Blackwand is Morrolan’s ‘Great Weapon,’ and is used whenever Morrolan must enter battle. Its official Serioli name, translated, means Magical wand for creating death in the form of a black sword, but Morrolan kindly shortened the name for conversations’ sake.

Physically, the longsword is of black and unreflective metal, with a plain crosspiece and a smooth black hilt. Like all Morganti weapons, the sword has the power to utterly destroy the soul of those it slays (keeping them from being resurrected), but since it has a soul and will of its own, it can choose not to destroy the soul, and can even protect the wielders soul. It can also blast a powerful and lethal black beam of energy from its tip.

Morrolan received the sword when he was searching for a place of power, a sacred artifact, and a soulmate – he argues that the sword is all three. The sword apparently has a bit of a female demeanor, according to Vlad, and is ‘aggressive and temperamental.’ The sword is very loyal to Morrolan, going so far as to kill another wielder when that wielder used Blackwand to strike down Morrolan.

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Honorable Mention – Excalibur – Every story EVAR about King Arthur, by various authors

It is very hard to list any of these weapons without mentioning the Sword of the British King. Most magical weapons in fantasy stories have roots, histories, and creation myths that in some way or another, come from what we know and remember of Excalibur.

Though other rightful British Rulers have been rumored to have carried the sword, it is most-remembered as the sword of King Arthur. It has the power to blind its enemies, and even the scabbard protected the wielder from dying from loss of blood.

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There you have it. What have I forgotten? Let me know, or recommend me something to read with some new kick-ass swords in it.

E.S.

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