Friday, July 13, 2007

By Michael Moorcock

The final novel of the Elric saga makes manifest what the reader has known all along: Elric is just a pair of hands for Stormbringer the Runesword to work its will. The weapon controls events, the man is the tool.

Of course, Elric ain’t going without a fight. The wizards of the island realm of Pan Tang have launched a war of global conquest, acting as front men for the Lords of Chaos. It’s a direct affront to Elric, since his people did exactly the same thing from their island kingdom of Melniboné, but with much more class.

If it were only human foes, this would be no big deal for a hero like Elric. But book six brings Elric into headlong confrontation with his fate, which is inextricably linked with the Runesword, Stormbringer.

Of all the Elric saga books, Stormbringer is the hardest to like. It’s not a cheerful tale of treasure hunts. Moorcock has carefully nurtured his world and his characters until the reader cares about them. Watching them suffer makes a demand on a reader. But it is a necessary part of the saga, one that is foreseen from the beginning. The reward for a reader is a catharsis you usually don’t find in sword and sorcery. If you like heroic fantasy, meet Mr. Moorcock’s demands and earn the reward of Stormbringer.

-Dave Hardy


Charles Gramlich said...

How do the later novels, like "Fortres of the Pearl" and "Revenge of the Rose" figure into the orginal series? Or does anyone know? I've read them but wasn't quite sure.

Dave Hardy said...

I read "Fortress of the Pearl" quite a few years ago. Honestly, it did not make the impression on me that the earlier Elric stories did.

If I recall, Moorcock gave the setting as something that happened in Elric's wandering years.

There's also "Elric at the end of Time", which is sort of coda to "Stormbringer". Elric also tunrs up in various guises in "Tales from the Texas Woods".

Are there any Elric experts about to enlighten us to the larger world of Elriciana?

PaulMc said...

I've read that the later novels take place during the gaps in the original series, as you noted.

I've also heard, more than once, that as the novels continue, they seem to be more about the MultiVerse than about Elric.