Sword and sorcery is a sub-genre of fantasy characterized by medieval technology (and setting), where the hero is an underdog. The hero is marginalized (broody, morose, pessimistic) and finding magic will give him or her an advantage. The story revolves around one hero who tries to solve personal problems. The story is fast-paced and the battles are solved on the spot and do not have far reaching consequences. The end justifies the means. The story is often brutal with no defined moral issues. The stories are full of swashbuckling adventures.
Examples are Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny or Sword-Dancer by Jennifer Robinson.