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[Read] ➫ Elric of Melniboné By Michael Moorcock – Cravenjobs.co.uk

pdf Elric of Melniboné, ebook Elric of Melniboné, epub Elric of Melniboné, doc Elric of Melniboné, e-pub Elric of Melniboné, Elric of Melniboné 12ea4b1e0e1 It Is The Colour Of A Bleached Skull, His Flesh And The Long Hair That Flows Below His Shoulders Is Milk White From The Tapering, Beautiful Head Stare Two Slanting Eyes, Crimson And MoodyHe Is Elric, Emperor Of Melnibone, Cursed With A Keen And Cynical Intelligence, Schooled In The Art Of Sorcery The Hero Of Michael Moorcock S Remarkable Epic Of Conflict And Adventure At The Dawn Of Human HistoryIncluded Is A Dramatic Introduction Read By Michael Moorcock Over Mins In Length

10 thoughts on “Elric of Melniboné

  1. says:

    I have spent a long time searching for a modern fantastical epic which is worth reading It seems like there should be one, out there, somewhere I have so enjoyed the battlefields of Troy, the dank cavern of Grendel s dam, Dido s lament, Ovid s hundred wild spun tales, perfidious Odysseus, the madness of Orlando, Satan s twisted rhetoric, and Gilgamesh s sea voyage to the forgotten lands of death And so I seek some modern author to reinvent these tales with some sense of scholarship, poetry, character, and adventure.There are many great modern fantasies, but the epic subgenre lacks luster In reading the offerings Martin, Jordan, Goodkind, Paolini, even much lauded Wolfe I have found them all wanting They are all flawed in the same ways their protagonists are dull caricatures of some universal badass ideal, plot conflicts are glossed over with magic or convenient deaths, the magic itself is not a mysterious force but a familiar tool, and women are made secondary or worse though the authors often talk about how women are strong and independent, the women never actually act that way.But then, they are all acolytes of Old Tolkien, who is as stodgy, unromantic, and methodical as a fantasist can be without being C.S Lewis Though I respect Tolkien s work as a well researched literary exercise, it is hard to forgive him for making it acceptable to write fantasy which is so dull, aimless, and self absorbed It is unfortunate that so many people think that fantasy began with Tolkien, because that is a great falsehood, and anyone who believes it does not really know fantasy at all It nearly died with him.Yet there are many who do think he started it They like to comment on reviews, especially reviews of their favorite books especially negative reviews of their favorite books which have, lamentably, become a specialty of mine And often, they end up asking me Well, what fantasy do you like There are many I could name, numerous favorites which have shocked and overawed me, which have shaken me to my core, which have shown me worlds and magic I dared not dream But none of them are epics.I could mention Susanna Clarke s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, a powerfully self possessed work and one of the only fantasies of the past twenty years that I consider worth reading the other is China Mieville s Perdido Street Station but these are a Victorian alternate history continuation of the British Fairy Tale tradition and a New Weird Urban Fantasy, respectively I could mention Mervyn Peake s Titus books, which so powerfully inhabit my five star rating that Mieville and Clarke must be relegated to four but this is a work whose fantastical nature would probably not even be apparent to most fantasy enthusiasts.Alas they are not good counter examples I can and do mention Robert E Howard s Conan, and Fritz Leiber s Lankhmar series, but these are fast paced adventure stories, and though their worlds may be vast, mysterious, and grand, the stories themselves lack the hyperopic arc at the heart of an epic work.But there have been many suggestions, many readers who have come to my aid, and who have named authors I might look to next, in my quest Guy Gavriel Kay, Ursula K LeGuin, Jack Vance, Poul Anderson, Jeff VanderMeer, Michael De Larrabietti, John M Harrison, Scott Lynch, Patricia McKillip, and John Crowley Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss have been both suggested and sneered at It is my hope that, somewhere amongst them, I will find the exemplary epic fantasy I am looking for but I haven t found it in Moorcock.Moorcock is good, he has scope, depth, complexity, and long, twisting plots, but at their core, his stories are modern, metaphysical, and subversive They are light and lilting, ironical and wry too quick and twisting to be epic The characters are introspective and self aware, and it is clear that it is they, and not the world, who will be at the forefront.It is all so thoroughly modern, so reinvented, full of sprightly ideas and metaphysical brooding But it is decidedly not modern in the accidental, self defeating ways of all those pretenders to the epic title The characters are not merely the male fantasy counterpart of a bodice ripper, with modern, familiar minds dressed thinly in Medieval costume The world is not simply our world with an overlay of castles dragons for jet fighters, spells for guns, with modern politics and sensibilities.No, Moorcock s world and characters are alien and fantastical, but Moorcock does not achieve this by ripping them whole cloth from history, but by extrapolating them from modern philosophical ideas Fantasy stories have always been full of dreamscapes, of impossible places for the reader to inhabit These places draw us in, somehow we recognize them, like our own dreams, because of what they represent.Anthropomorphism is the human tendency to see people where there are none to see smiling faces in wood grain, to assign complex emotional motivations to cats, and to curse at the storm that breaks our window The Other World of British Fairy Tales is based on the latter the assigning of our luck good and bad to capricious spirits The world of fairy has rules as do storms , but those rules are mostly a mystery to man.But Moorcock s world personifies the ideas of Kant and Nietzsche his Other Worlds called Planes are those of the human mind they are places of morality, like heaven and hell, except he has updated the concept to existential morality There is Chaos, and there is Law Chaos is the selfish urge, Law the communal urge, and he arrays his magic, spirits, and dreamscapes along this axis.Like Milton, he has infused his epic with the latest thoughts and notions, updating it for the modern age Also like Milton, Moorcock s influence has been felt, far and wide, despite the fact that most people do not recognize it.The Dungeons Dragons game prominently used his Law Chaos dichotomy, among other concepts, and his Wheel of Psychic Planes is an influence on their most audacious and unusual publication, the philosophical Steampunk setting, Planescape And many of these tropes have filtered down into the grab bag common to the modern voice of fantasy stories.Reading Elric, one will invariably be reminded of a dozen other books and games, as Elric drinks endless potions to maintain his strength and vitality, slaying twisted demons on a plane of fire in search of a rune sword, dressed in ornate black armor and a dragon helm Indeed, the central mythology and much of the plot of the Elder Scrolls games in particular Oblivion owe a vast debt to Elric and his world, and not simply for the land of Elwher.Clearly, Moorcock s odd vision has been transcribed onto the imaginations of fantasists, but as with those who were inspired by Tolkien, most of his followers have failed to recreate the weight of the original message Except for a few outliers, like Planescape and Perdido Street Station, most authors have copied the outward appearance of Moorcock s alien world, but were not skilled or knowledgeable enough to take the substance along with the form the existential ideas, the vital core of his dreamscapes, are most often missing, or at best, faded.But while the ideas and the overall vision are strong even compared to the ubiquitous attempts to recreate them there are a number of flaws in Moorcock s presentation The first and most damaging is a weakness in the voice Moorcock has a lot to say, but must sometimes resort to explaining his ideas to us He is not always able to deliver his world and characters through interactions, hints, tone, and actions He is hardly an inexperienced enough author to explain to us that which is already self evident, but it is a weakness in his delivery which sometimes takes us out of the flow of the story, so that we must step back from the world and listen to Moorcock talk about it, though he does do his best to veil it with Elric s thoughts.Secondly, it can be difficult to get a strong impression of his characters, they are often difficult to sympathize with or to predict It isn t that they aren t vivid and active, but that their actions are often based around ideas and concepts the things Moorcock built his world on which can create a sense of a top down world, where the characters are there to fulfill a purpose, to explore various notions and philosophies The book is certainly not an allegory there are no easy one to one correlations to be made between characters and ideas, but the world does not revolve around personalities except, perhaps, for Elric s, but his thoughts and motivations are often the most difficult to reconcile The personalities of all the other characters are, or less, wholly dependent on him.To some degree, the characters seem to operate on much older fantasy rules their capricious yet repetitive acts becoming motifs for the larger ideas in the story, not unlike Tolkien s fantasy forefather, E.R Eddison, whose characters seem half mad with heroism for its own sake another candidate for my favorite epic, if I didn t think his beautiful, deliberate archaism might prove too remote for many readers.Part of the reason for this is that Elric s personality and world were created as an exercise, and with an explicit purpose to portray the anti Conan He is sickly, weak, pale, effeminate, sorcerous, erudite, cruel, reluctant, intellectual, and hardly promiscuous Conan becomes king by his own hand, while Elric begins as emperor and we witness the hardships of his downfall.But this contrariness, while coloring the story, is hardly its center Moorcock uses it as a springboard an inspiration to drive him to something greater It is one example of the fact that genius is at its best when it has a lofty challenge before it Moorcock is not interested in making a parody, but in exploring a little trodden path, operating on the notion that if you start with something familiar and begin to move away from it, you are bound to end up somewhere else.I must also mention an unbelievable incident involving a group of blind soldiers, which put dire strain to credulity A bit of creative myth or capricious magic could have saved it, but as it stands in the book, it makes little sense.But despite the subtle weaknesses in voice and characterization, Moorcock s idiomatic adventure story is eminently enjoyable There are few fantasy books I could name which suggest such a playful intellect as this, and though it is not as wildly imaginative as his Gloriana, this philosophical exploration disguised as a pulp adventure is a delightful read that never gets bogged down in indulging its own thoughtfulness.My List of Suggested Fantasy Books

  2. says:

    After reading and having my hair blown back by The Swords Trilogy The Knight of the Swords,The Queen of the Swords and The King of the Swords , I decided to dive into the adventures of Moorcock s most famous avatar of the Eternal Champion, Elric of Melnibone.This first installment serves as a nice introduction to the contemplative albino sorcerer, who rules the ancient, powerful land of Melnibone It was a nice surprise to learn that in the never ending, multi dimensional cosmic dust up between the Lords of Order and the Lords of Chaos, Elric s people, the Melniboneans, are aligned with the bad guys at Chaos and are viewed by the pesky, upstart humans as evil, a perception that has considerable merit I thought it added a nice shading to Elric s introduction as an anti hero by showing his as a moral outsider to his own people Elric, who assumed the throne upon the death of his father, has always been uncomfortable with his people s darker ways and their allegiance to the Lords of Chaos While no angel by human standards, his appetites have never run to the less savory customs of his people making him somewhat of a radical among his people When he tries to introduce reforms to his society, he causes all kinds of pissed off among the old guard who view him as weak upstart and troublemaker This sets up one of the fundamental themes of the book as Elric struggles with his identity and his place in a society in which he does not feel fully at home.As with The Swords Trilogy, Moorcock s writing is lush and lyrical without being long winded The prose is also infused with just a hint of melodrama that works very well for this kind of sword and sorcery story In addition, the world building is jam packed with idea and concept tidbits that are wonderfully and really add flavor to the narrative I have become a big fan of Moorcock s style and plan to revisit the world of Elricoften One of my favorite Moorcockian nuggets from this book was the concept of the dream couch that is used by the Melnibonean rulers On the dream couch, an hour of real time can be the equivalent of ten thousand years or of subjective time to the person using it It is on the dream couch that the Melnibonean rulers including Elric learn the arts of sorcery, combat and other skills that would normally take them than a lifetime to learn I nearly splooged when I read this and thought the concept was a terrific way to plausibly show within the context of the fantastic how a young Elric could have attained such a high degree of badassness and jedi mastered so many talents in such a short time Moorcock s amazing concept was not only fun to read about, but provided credibility for the rest of the story and I was completely sucked in from there I ve always thought that good fantasy should make us suspend our disbelief, not our intelligence This is GOOD FANTASY Bottom line, this is another high quality sword and sorcery effort by one of the best to ever write in that genre 4.0 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED P.S As a final note, I want to point out that I listened to the audio version of this book read by Jeffrey West with an introduction by the author and the quality of the reading was really superb It included music in the background during the entire reading which could have been a big distraction but in this case added significantly to the ambiance of the story I highly recommend it if you have the chance to check it out.

  3. says:

    I have always detested Michael Moorcock.As a fantasy reader whose passion for Tolkien s writing knows no boundaries, I have always had a hard time swallowing the venomous spite and blind arrogance with which he s been denouncing the champion of my fantasy dreams Generally speaking, I never felt anything against authors who attempted to step out of Tolkien s shadow These separatists, as I enjoy calling them, count shining stars like Mervyn Peake and China Mieville among their ranks, both men I respect immensely But with Moorcock it s personal Whereas Mieville countered his earlier criticism by praising Tolkien to the high heavens, Moorcock remained adamant in his contempt.And yet I always knew I would one day have to read his work If for no other reason than to get to know my enemy better But I think part of me also grudgingly admitted subconsciously that there has to be a certain level of awesomeness to a fantasy author writing lyrics for Hawkwind and Blue yster Cult.So I read Elric of Melnibon I confess to hoping to hate it so I could totally ravage it in a scathing review But it was no surprise that when asked on a late night of reading how the book was, I had to reply annoyingly good For it is good It has many flaws, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading it And I can hardly wait to read about the albino emperor of Melnibon.I will probably never like Moorcock His books, though

  4. says:

    Elric of FREAKIN Melnibone.A supersized but colorless everlasting gobstopper of fantasy have at you.If he were a mongoose, he d be Elrici tiki tavi.If he were a professional wrestler pronounced RASTLER in Memphis he d be Elric Flair Wooooooooooooo If he were an amateur bowler in California and part time brother Shamus he d be El Ricerino and only if we were not into the whole brevity thing If he were anything other than Michael Moorcock s magnificent Man of Melnibone he d be a calorie deficient, sorcery and drugs addicted, disabled inbred monarch on a cold seat.He is Elric Conan What is best in life To crush enemy, see him driven before you, to hear the lamentation of the vomen, and to never have to mess with that white guy with the bigass black sword You re damn skippy, Conan Elric sprang forth from the Lovecraftian demented mind of English writer Michael Moorcock Elric of Melnibone started the ball rolling in 1972 and has been showing fantasy writers how its done ever since.A MUST read for all fantasy readers.

  5. says:

    It pleases me to return, after many years, to the saga of Elric VIII, Emperor of Melnibone, the doomed albino with the icy demeanor and imperious nature whose constant companion is Stormbringer, a bloodthirsty sword with a consciousness and will all its own Elric is the sickly descendant of a haughty alien race, a long line of amoral conquerors and wielders of magic Many of his nobles including his cousin, the accomplished magician Yrkoon do not think the young emperor is fit for his high task He is soon challenged by a pirate fleet from The Young Kingdoms, and the threats that that arise from this challenge soon endanger not only the princess Cymoril but the throne of the Dragon Isle itself.This is an excellent beginning to a first rate series, a series which showed me fantasy could offer alien and uncomfortable beauties, hard pleasures far removed from the comforts of Professor Tolkien s snug shire.

  6. says:

    A Scarlet Citadel That Was But Is No More Sob Sob Sob Buddy Read SCTWBISMSSSBR with Elena and Beige Okay, so there s this guy called Elric Just pointing this out in case some Clueless Barnacles are in a boozy daze and missed the title of this book and stuff He s a Super Hot Albino Dude SHAD waves at her ex boyfriend Geralt of R with flesh the color of a bleached skull, milk white long hair because he s, you know, an albino and stuff and very sexey red eyes Told you he was Super Hot Elric descends from a long line of deliciously ruthless dictators well meaning Sorcerer Emperor chaps who have been mercilessly ruling spreading their love and compassion over the world in general and the island of Dragon err Isle in particular for ten thousand years and stuff Oh, and by the way, there are, um, you know, dragons in Dragon Isle I kid you not They were feeling a little lethargic and sleeping off their latest Mikonos escapade in this book, and therefore weren t around much, so don t get all excited, you dragon fangirls fanboys fanwhatevers See what I mean Anyway, Dragon Isle and its wonderfully amoral mostly benevolent leaders and stuff Poor Elric must be the unluckiest Albino Sorcerer Emperor ever, because the kingdom he inherited is kinda sorta on the decline and about to get its lovely derriere kicked six ways to Sunday before last by the emerging nations of the Young Kingdoms aka Puny Humans, Inc It sucks to be him, if you ask me Especially since he s not exactly the picture of dictatorial health He s a pretty pathetic, decrepit creature, actually Hadn t I known better I could have sworn he was an apathetic barnacle in disguise I mean, the dude is so ridiculously weak and frail, he has to take potions waves at her ex boyfriend Geralt of R again in order to not drop deadly dead and stuff Want to know another reason why it sucks to be him He isn t what you might call a super fan of the whole Sorcerer Emperor Gig Thingie SEGT He d rather spend time thinking deep thoughts and reading and meditating and all that kind of silly stuff than engaging in the same delightful activities as his lovely subjects You know, wonderful hobbies such as rape, cannibalism la carte, tender torture, playing with slaves no board games involved and basically anything that involves being good to thy neighbour What a sweet, pleasant bunch, these Melniboneans Doctor Jest returned to his charges and, reaching out with his free hand, expertly seized the genitals of one of the male prisoners The scalpel flashed There was a groan Doctor Jest tossed something onto the fire Ah, good old Doctor Jest The most charming of them all, assuredly I m this close to giving Doctor Prawn the boot, and kidnapping temporarily borrowing Jest the Hilariously Named to replace him and stuff But I digress So Elric, being the scholarly bore that he is, doesn t really approve of his peons slightly violent, unethical way of life And his peons, being the moderately unbalanced, homicidal clique that they are, aren t huge fans of their not so beloved Emperor s despicably principled, philosophizing ways And that s where Prince Yyrkoon comes in He is Elric s cousin, and next in the line of succession, you see And worries a whole lot about his beloved relative s well being Of course he does He s a kind, loving soul, and completely devoid of personal ambition The last thing he wants is to kill Elric deadly dead and or take his place Obviously Such a comedian, that Yyrkoon.What happens next Well spoiler spoiler spoiler, obviously And also Slightly Yummy Sea Battles arrr , elemental gods you don t want to make deals with oops, too late , severed heads yay , Barbarians no Cimmerian Sweetie Pie in sight, unfortunately , the munificence of fear , good jokes or bad jokes, depending on one s perspective , supremely villainous, comic book type, worms villainous villains, sorcerous stuff duh , groaning mists, a ship so bloody shrimping cool I m putting it on my Nefarious Christmas Wishlist, magic mirrors the Evil Queen should have trademarked them when she had the chance, methinks , thwarted plans aka fun times , a couple of stubborn, sentient swords, sweet sardonic voices music to my ears , baby sacrifices finally, someone who understands me , Pulsing Caverns which apparently remind some, um, eccentric people I shall not name waves at Elena of a, um, certain female body part , bestial if a little coarse and stupid demons, Pig and Snake and Thing oh my , and last, but certainly not least, eye less, vomit adorned, brain bashed, self mutilated corpses YUM Nefarious Last Words NLW the crustaceans and my little self find it stupendously hilarious that Moorcock intended for Elric s adventures to be the antithesis of my Barbarian Paramour s, because some of the stuff in this book is just as lusciously clich d as Robert E Howard s most OTT stories Which is pretty fishing awesome, if you ask me Book 2 Elric The Fortress of the Pearl Pre review nonsense An albino MC with flesh the color of a bleached skull and slanting, crimson eyes Yummy.By the way, young Elric, do you not happen to have a third cousin thrice removed called Geralt of R He was one of my High Security Harem slaves boarders for a while we kinda sorta had a very minor falling out and I kinda sorta banned him for a somewhat permanent while , and you remind me slightly very much of him and stuff, so I thought you might be related and stuff Full There Ain t Naught Like Classic Sword Sorcery Tales Methinks Crappy Non Review TANLCSSTMCNR to come.

  7. says:

    This is some epic awesomeness.I m an absolute sucker for the grand sweeping personal quests to gain and yet magical power in the service of rescuing your one true love, casting aside morals, the greater good, your own health, and possibly your own sanity This tale holds up perfectly after all this time All the best aspects of modern fantasy are encapsulated and written with such spartan clarity and diamond sharpness within Moorcock s classic I only needed this one taste and I m now a lifelong fan It s that easy This is easily one of the classics of all Sword and Sorcery and I knew that people swore by it before I read it, but I was hesitant Why Hell if I know It was such a brilliant, fantastic, imaginative world, but even better than that were the characters Elric, of course, is the ultimate Nietzsche Super Man, fully beyond good and evil, but he, like all super villains, considers himself the ultimate hero of his story, and I have to agree with him I love the story.It s really cool that I ve finally read something, after all this time, that evokes the same feeling as I get from the classic Star Wars films When they faced each other with the two uber powerful runic swords, I got chills Seriously I usually don t get suckered in this easy I ve read a LOT of fantasy and a LOT of really great fantasy, but this one was so diamond hard that it left me speechless I was even impressed by the author s command of sheer storytelling The whole thing actually evoked awe and wonder Each new mastery of magic came at a cost, and there was so much magic Like the Ouroboros, Elric kept feeding on himself to gain and power, and the cycle repeated and repeated, with future sacrifice for power, now Is it the ultimate faustian tale I don t know, yet, but I ll be reading As it is here, we ve got a meteoric rise from the simple mastery of the kingdom of Melnibon to the mastery of chaos magic, the elementals, and the godlike black sword Do you want a character so awfully OP that nothing, absolutely nothing, can stand in his way Hell yeah I m a gamer Do you want to have a story that manages to take him and never make him boring Hell yeah Here you go I m seriously ashamed that I never got into this earlier I knew it was out there I know the author is recognized as one of the greats of fantasy And now I know why, and I m hooked.

  8. says:

    This is the tale of Elric before he was called Woman slayer, before the final collapse of Melnibone This is the tale of his rivalry with his cousin Yirkoon and his love for his cousin Cymoril, before that rivalry and that love brought Imrryr, the Dreaming City, crashing in flames, raped by the reavers from the Young Kingdoms This is the tale of the two black swords, Stormbringer and Mournblade, and how they were discovered and what part they played in the destiny of Elric and Melnibone a destiny which was to shape a larger destiny that of the world itself This is the tale of when Elric was a king, the commander of dragons, fleets and all the folk of that half human race which had ruled the world for ten thousand years.This is a tale of tragedy, this tale of Melnibone, the Dragon Isle This is a tale of monstrous emotions and high ambitions This is a tale of sorceries and treacheries and worthy ideals, of agonies and fearful pleasures, of bitter love and sweet hatred This is the tale of Elric of Melnibone Much of it Elric himself was to remember only in his nightmares Elric should sit proudly in a fantasy Hall of Fame In terms of influence on the development of the genre, Elric has few rivals Before the rise of the moody albino swordman sorcerer, there was basically a choice between the brutality of Conan and the knightly scions of Tolkien In the footsteps of Moorcock I have noticed an increasing preference for anti heroes, for nuanced characterization, for 50 shades of grey He is reluctant to assume the power he inherited, introspective and plagued by ethical doubts Even physically, he is sickly, needing daily potions to regenerate his strength Elric turns his weakness into an advantage by becoming bookish, reading entire libraries on magic, one reason to consider him atypical of the staple fantasy stable boy with a secret identity If the young emperor has found any advantage in his lifelong weakness it must be in that, perforce, he has read much One aspect in particular makes me count the Elric saga a watershed moment in fantasy, a splitting of the mainstream in two directions for Tolkien and his imitators the gods or Fate rule the destiny of the mortals Elric rebels against prophecy and predestination, and argues for the supremacy of free will and chance The lords of the Higher Worlds have ambitions in our world Though they have given me aid, of late, I fear them I should like to see if it is possible for men to rule their own affairs I should include in the list of anti heroes other sword sorcery founders, like Fritz Leiber or Jack Vance, but this would complicate my theoretical argument of the divided stream And I don t want to focus too much in my review on generalities, because the appeal of the first Elric book is that in a couple of hundred pages he manages to build an epic scope to the story, to infuse it with a sense of wonder and adventure, to mix magic and gods with martial combat and human passion love, greed, doubt, pride, friendship, hate The epic begins by introducing the reader to the young emperor of Imrryr the Beautiful, the Dreaming City, capital of the Dragon Isle of Melnibone , our future guide through the histories, races and sights of a hundred worlds or It may not be apparent in this first novel, but in the universe imagined by Moorcock time and space are flexible, full of portals to parallel realities and alternative timelines Elric is like The Hero with a Thousand Faces an avatar, a catalyst of change, a mythical figure that breaks and reconfigures what is real He is also unique and memorable in his physical appearance It is the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh and the long hair which flows below his shoulders is milk white From the tapering, beautiful head stare two slanting eyes, crimson and moody, and from the loose sleeves of his yellow gown emerge two slender hands, also the colour of bone, resting on each arm of a seat which has been carved from a single, massive ruby For a synopsis, my opening quote from the fictional chronicles of his life should suffice It is also illustrative of the style of writing a touch too florid at times but clearly the work of a young writer enthusiastic about the genre I have read a few years ago a book that Moorcock cites as an important influence on Elric The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson There are indeed similarities in the language used and in the type of hero who refuses to accept predestination Moorcock I believe is better at capturing the sense of wonder and discovery, as in the description of the Ship Which Sails Over Land and Sea The ship was tall and slender and she was delicate Her rails, masts and bulwarks were exquisitely carved and obviously not the work of a mortal craftsman Though built of wood, the wood was not painted but naturally shone blue and black and green and a kind of deep smoky red, and her rigging was the colour of sea weed and there were veins in the planks of her polished deck, like the roots of trees, and the sails of her three tapering masts were as fat and white and light as clouds on a fine summer day The ship was everything that was lovely in nature few could look upon her and not feel delighted upon sighting a perfect view Another defining characteristic of the Elric saga is the downbeat tone, the sense of an ending of an era the last dragons are sleeping, the most beautiful city in the world will become a ruin, young lovers are separated and tortured, Elric himself is prone to depression and despair Rackhir laughed and slapped the albino upon his black armoured back You are a gloomy comrade, friend Elric Are all your thoughts so hopeless They tend in that direction, I fear, said Elric with a shadow of a smile Don t expect jolly hobbits and lovable scoundrels The Melniboneans are an old race and jaded to pleasure or ambition, only half human, closer to Tolkien s elves in their inception, on their way out from the world scene Elric is the only one who shows signs of a conscience and of curiosity, and these traits will make an outcast of him Other possible limitations of the series it is addressed mainly to fans of sword sorcery, so it s appeal outside the genre is limited the secondary characters are under developed the style is not as polished and subtle as, for example, in the works of Jack Vance or Karl Edward Wagner There is a lot of promise and beautiful passages, but this first novel is clearly an early effort it could benefit from a little humour and less sadness it might feel dated as a seventies story, with some drug experimentation and symbolism along the lines of Enter the Shade Gate, then you must seek the Tunnel under the Marsh which leads to the Pulsing Cavern In that chamber the runeswords are kept The sexual analogy of the womb and rebirth are clear enough.All in all, a masterpiece of fantasy, but with limited interest for the general public I look forward to reading the rest of the Elric stories As a last teaser, Moorcock has this to say about what lays in store for his albino wanderer Elric s destiny has been forged and fixed as surely as the hellswords were forged and fixed aeons before Was there ever a point where he might have turned off this road to despair, damnation and destruction Or has he been doomed since before his birth Doomed through a thousand incarnations to know little else but sadness and struggle, loneliness and remorse eternally the champion of some unknown cause

  9. says:

    Signed edition is limited to 300 copies, each signed by Michael Moorcock, Piotr Jablonski, and Holly Black.This copy is numbered 40 of 300 produced.Bound in full black cloth, stamped in three colors.Color illustrations hand tipped into the book with translucent overlays.Introduction by Holly Black.Oversize at 6 9 inches.Head and tail bands, ribbon marker.Top edge stain.Contents 007 Introduction Holly Black011 Master of Chaos 029 And So The Great Emperor Received His Education 035 Elric of Melnibon

  10. says:

    This is THE classic sword and sorcery tale that came about in the early 1960s Note that I am referencing when Elric first appeared which was in Moorcock s novella, The Dreaming City Science Fantasy 47, June 1961 Wiki.Note that this is one of my early reviews so the format is different CONCEPT Very interesting This one was done in the 60s before there were a lot of Sci fi Fantasy writers Moorcock is definitely one of the older writers and his works range in quality though fortunately this one is quite evocative of the genre.MARKETING APPEAL This story came about in the 60s, I believe, when pulp sci fi magazines were a big thing I doubt it made a lot of money at first but it became a cult classic Elric appealed to readers b c 1 Unlike Tolkien, it dealt with grayish characters no big struggle between good and evil of protagonist vs Antagonists 2 it dealt in an unknown world where there were lots of cool planar areas 3 Elric was somewhere between good and evil and 4 the swords and context of the storyline were actually quite well done.SCORING Superb A , Excellent A , Very good B , Good B Fairly Good B Above Average C , Mediocre C , Barely Passable C Pretty Bad D , Dismal D , Waste of Time D , Into the Trash F DIALOGUE B STRUCTURE A HISTORY SETTING B CHARACTERS A EVIL SETUP ANTAGONISTS B EMOTIONAL IMPACT B SURPRISES B MONSTERS A PACING A THE LITTLE THINGS A OVERALL STYLE A FLOW OF WORDS B CHOICE OF FOCUS A TRANSITIONS FLASHBACKS POV B COMPLEXITY OF WORDS SYMBOLISM THEMES A OVERALL GRADE B plus to A DIALOGUE Dialogue was pretty good Sometimes it would get formal but in other times it would relax a bit Overall though, it didn t get too contemporary as some authors are very guilty of doing I hate it when slang or sayings from our times are used if it s supposed to be a totally different world.PACING The book is sparse to begin with only 160 pages but it moves fast I think the pacing is great Of course, the pacing is so good b c Moorcock doesn t give us a lot of details Everything is so succinct that I wonder if he ever wrote screenplays Sometimes though I d like details.Have to be fair here in comparison to authors who have meatier texts 160 pages it s easier to move fast compared to 900 pages as the typical epic fantasy And when Moorcock was writing it was for magazines with limited space so I m not going to dock his grade for it.OVERALL STRUCTURE First half is Elric dealing with his evil cousin and trying to deal with Melnibonean attitudes which disturb him The latter half is rescuing Cymoril the love of his life from Yrkoon and acquiring the long lost soul blades For the most part, I didn t have any problem with the story structure of this series It was a pleasurable read and while it wasn t great Zelazny nor superb GRRM it did fall between good and very good Rousing dark swords and sorcery.COMMENTS Apparently, Moorcock was never big on Tolkien so he took the opposite approach in his works far darker less details gore not as happy What follows are spoilers and is intended for people reading this who don t remember the novel too well and wish to go down memory lane view spoiler SPOILERS SYNOPSIS Elric of Melnibone is Emperor of an island kingdom of sophisticated people whose culture is decaying While he prefers to think of higher matters, his cousin, Yrkoon, has designs to seize the throne.So when a fleet from the Young Kingdoms attacks Dragon Isle, Elric calls forth his army and his fleet to ambush the barbarian fleet After they drive the enemy away Elric only wishes to go back, but Yrkoon angers him by suggesting he is a coward So, with a heavy heart, he agrees and they go off to sink the enemy fleet.But during that raid, Yrkoon betrays Elric, when he is wounded, and sends him overboard in full armor Looks like the end for Elric BUT he calls upon the Lord of the Water Elementals Using magic almost forgotten by his people, the Lord of the Water Elementals assists him, returning him to the shore.Yrkoon is removed from his short time on the throne, forced to eat the flesh of one of his soldiers and is then watched But, even when things seem to get better, Yrkoon betrays them, steals Cymoril and escapes Elric uses magic to try and trace him but it doesn t work He sends out scouts and even considers using the dragons slumbering powerful beings but all to no avail.Finally, he calls upon one of the Lords of Chaos, Arioch, a young smiling blonde haired man, who agrees to help Elric in return for his services Elric agrees He then calls upon the Lord of the Water Elementals and is given a ship that travels over land and water.Elric and his Captain of the Guard, as well as some troops, locate Yrkoon in one of the Young Kingdoms and set out After having a problem with the Lord of the Earth Elementals who is brother to the other Lord and who believes the ship belongs to him , Elric is told his ship will no longer work on land So, Elric and his soldiers go on foot and finally reach the town in secrecy It s also discovered that Yrkoon has the Mirror of Memory which traps the memory of any who look at it set up above the city No wonder no one remembers coming to this town.A big fight ensues Elric cleverly blindfolds his men so that they aren t affected but the rest of the soldiers are affected Yrkoon turned the mirror on the town Yrkoon then escapes to another world Elric follows and comes across a red priest who has been trapped there for a long time After a fight in town, they enter a cave, go through a womb and find the two magical swords taken away a long time ago but once belonging to Elric s people STORMBRINGER and MOURNBLADE Yrkoon and Elric duel Elric wins in the end but his sword demands the blood of his cousin.Elric controls the sword and for now, conquers the blade but it will be an ongoing battle for his soul and already tainted morality hide spoiler

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