In the early 1980s I read a fantasy short story in which a female fighter told the male protagonist that he could "have her" if he defeated her in a sword fight. I read the story in German, but very likely it was translated from English. It was published in an anthology, very likely one of the ones listed below.

As I remember it, the story (or at least the encounter and fight between the man and woman) took place in an inn in a Conan-like world, but I might misremember.

Unfortunately, that is all I remember. I want to know how it ended :-)

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    This is a very common trope; tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BestHerToBedHer
    – Valorum
    May 11, 2021 at 21:50
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    A Red Sonja story?
    – Moriarty
    May 12, 2021 at 1:08
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    OP, Lorendiac and I are thinking of a story by Jennifer Roberson called the The Lady and the Tiger. Tiger is a famous male sword-dancer in a desert region with claw marks on his face. The Lady is a female swordsinger from a cold(er) northern climate. They're very evenly matched. I think they both wear harnesses with scabbards on their backs as opposed to their waists. ISFDB doesn't show it as translated to German, but ISFDB doesn't have everything either.
    – mkennedy
    May 17, 2021 at 21:26
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    @mkennedy Good that you give the author and title. In fact that story has been published as "Sandtiger und Del" in Wolfsschwester: Magische Geschichten II, the German edition of the anthology Sword and Sorceress II, edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I remember both the English and the German editions of that anthology series, so I could have read either one. Your brief description sounds very much like the story I am looking for. I'll try to get a copy of that book and read the story. That may take some time, but I will let you know. Thank you!
    – user140857
    May 18, 2021 at 7:40
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    [contd.] The thighs of the female swordfighter get a lot of the author's attention and that the narrator-protagonist might "win her" could have appealed to my younger virgin self. Thank you, @mkennedy, for not showing the reluctance of Lorendiac and disclosing the author and name of the story you were thinking of. I guess my question has been answered, even if the answer didn't provide the satisfying resolution to a decade-long riddle I was hoping for.
    – user140857
    May 22, 2021 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


F M Busby's For a Daughter?

It doesn't take place at an inn, though, but it was translated into German.

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    Actually that is a story I did read, and in German, but it is not the one I am looking for. Thank you nevertheless!
    – user140857
    May 12, 2021 at 12:51

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