Gollancz is very proud to present the author's definitive editions of the saga of Elric, the last emperor of Melnibon?. Michael Moorcock and his long-time friend. I have been desperately looking for it for some time. I am very close to pulling the trigger on two hardback volumes that include the first 6 books. Elric of Melnibone. The Elric Saga (Series). Book 1. Michael Moorcock Author Jeff West Narrator (). cover image of The Sailor on the Seas of Fate.

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Original saga ; Later novels ; Later trilogy ; Collections ; Graphic novels ; Publishing history ; Chronology Characters in the Elric series 4. I read in the order listed as "The 'Core' Saga" and then read other stories as I It's best to begin with Elric of Melniboné (or even the [Elric: The. Gollancz is very proud to present the author's definitive editions of the saga of Elric, the last emperor of Melniboné. Michael Moorcock and his long-time friend.

After withstanding the power of the Black Jewel and saving the city of Hamadan from the conquest of the Dark Empire of Granbretan, Hawkmoon set off for the Kamarg, where friendship and love await him. But the journey is beyond treacherous. With his boon companion, Oladahn, the beastman of the Bulgar Mountains, Hawkmoon discovers the peaceful city of Soryandum, which holds the power to transcend the confines of time and space. This power, which keeps the city from falling to the Dark Empire, could keep the Kamarg safe. But alas his love Yisselda is now a prisoner of the Mad God, whose powerful amulet is linked to Hawkmoon's ultimate destiny: a power that began at creation and calls heroes to arms throughout existence. Hawkmoon must rip this amulet from the neck of the Mad God if he hopes to save the Kamarg and free his friends and his one true love from the Dark Empire's relentless wrath. The author of many literary novels and stories in practically every genre, his novels have won and been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Whitbread and Guardian Fiction Prize. Michael Moorcock is also a musician who has performed since the seventies with his own band, the Deep Fix; and, as a member of the prog rock band, Hawkwind, won a gold disc. His tenure as editor of New Worlds magazine in the sixties and seventies is seen as the high watermark of SF editorship in the UK, and was crucial in the development of the SF New Wave.

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.

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But then, they are all acolytes of Old Tolkien , who is as stodgy, unromantic, and methodical as a fantasist can be without being C. 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? But none of them are epics. 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. 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.

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?

But none of them are epics. 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.

Elric of Melniboné

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.

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. 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? This copy is numbered 40 of produced. Bound in full black cloth, stamped in three colors.

Color illustrations hand-tipped into the book with translucent overlays. Introduction by Holly Black.

Head and tail bands, ribbon marker. Top-edge stain. View all 4 comments. Nov 17, Shannon rated it really liked it Shelves: This is THE classic sword and sorcery tale that came about in the early s. Note that this is one of my early reviews so the format is different. Very interesting. Moorcock is definitely one of the older writers and his works range in quality though fortunately This is THE classic sword and sorcery tale that came about in the early s.

Moorcock is definitely one of the older writers and his works range in quality though fortunately this one is quite evocative of the genre. 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. 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.

Dialogue was pretty good. Sometimes it would get formal but in other times it would relax a bit. I hate it when slang or sayings from our times are used if it's supposed to be a totally different world. The book is sparse to begin with; only pages but it moves fast. I think the pacing is great. Everything is so succinct that I wonder if he ever wrote screenplays. And when Moorcock was writing it was for magazines with limited space so I'm not going to dock his grade for it.

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. Apparently, Moorcock was never big on Tolkien so he took the opposite approach in his works; far darker; less details; more 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. 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. 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. 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.

Elric of Melnibone (eBook, ) [terney.info]

No wonder no one remembers coming to this town. A big fight ensues.

Yrkoon then escapes to another world; Elric follows and comes across a red priest who has been trapped there for a long time. 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. View all 6 comments. Jun 14, Evgeny rated it really liked it Shelves: This is the first book of a classic fantasy series with an iconic anti-hero.

From what I understand the author tried to create something different from The Lord of the Rings ; at the time this book was published the majority of fantasy genre consisted of The Lord of the Rings clones.

Considering that the series now has a status of genre classics, the author succeeded. He This is the first book of a classic fantasy series with an iconic anti-hero. He is cursed with intelligence and curiosity, something his subjects lack.

For this reason he is not liked much and the majority of his people believe his cousin Yyrkoon would make a better read - more traditional Emperor. Yyrkoon is a very ambitious man who would make everything in his power to put himself on the throne. I already said everything about this book: My only complaint about this book and only this book, the rest of the series do not have this kind of silliness: I will not give any spoilers, but the people who read the book know exactly what I am talking about.

The final rating is 4 very solid stars. View all 8 comments. Jul 01, Alex rated it it was ok. You know, I kept seeing Moorcock's Elric stories referred to by authors I enjoyed greatly as being totally inspirational and important to the beginnings of "New Weird" fiction which is what people who write Urban Fantasy but want to be taken seriously call their work.

So I'm going on vacation and I think to myself "This'll be the perfect thing to read on the beach or in transit; fun, surprisingly good, etc etc etc". As it turns out I'm just not seeing it. I know that issue may be that I'm read You know, I kept seeing Moorcock's Elric stories referred to by authors I enjoyed greatly as being totally inspirational and important to the beginnings of "New Weird" fiction which is what people who write Urban Fantasy but want to be taken seriously call their work.

I know that issue may be that I'm reading the first volume of the stories, and the author just hadn't gotten his pacing or style down, but man so far these are just slightly above average at their best. I'm being very kind in that last sentence. It's like, yeah, he's an albino, woooo, yeah, vampire sword, woooo, yeah, killed his loved ones, wooo. It's not that I'm dulled because other people have done bits and pieces of this kind of thing since they were written, so there's an impact that I'm incapable of getting, it's just that all of this isn't done particularly well.

The action set pieces aren't very good either, standard vague swinging of swords and then slightly gross accounts of brain matter splattering. I read Leiber's Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories and they're wonderful, so it's not the sword and sorcery genre that isn't doing it for me.

I dunno, I hate it when I can't see what the fuss is about Ohhhh also, my version of this book isn't the one in the picture here. It has the dorkiest cover ever looks like a World of Warcraft elf dipped in bleach , and these absolutly totally mediocre fantasy art illustrations inside. Which also ticked me off because with the slightest bit of effort or creativity you could have done images that elevated the stories. View 1 comment. I read this edition years ago.

I loved it. I have also reviewed the omnibus volumes that came out recently. While I like some Elric stories better than others I believe "he" this character, you know "Elric" holds a special place in the annals of fantasy characters.

Or maybe I should say tragic fantasy characters. I just noted this review and thought I'd add this to my earlier comments. There was a time when back in the '70s and '80s when the Eternal Champion books were a "must read" among fa I read this edition years ago. I was reading and looking for fantasy Sword and Sorcery, Epic Fantasy etc. We had to search for it back then. Lancer books and few others "discovered" the market and we fantasy readers began to find interesting reads.

Howard's works, also reprints of things like Lord Dunsany, Hope Mirrlees and others. Now I'm not a fan of all Moorcock's works, I'm not even a fan of all the books peripherally connected to the Eternal Champion cycle but some of them are really not to be missed by fantasy fans.

There's a reason why fantasy classics are classics. While Yyrkoon is dancing, acting like a proper nobleman, and plotting to kill Elric, Elric spends his time thinking about tradition, social justice, and his duty to his country. Should Elric sacrifice his personal ideals in order to be the leader his people demand? Is his responsibility to his country or to the world at large? Many of the Elric stories were originally published in pulp magazines or as novellas, so they are fast-paced with sketchy scene and character development.

Aug 20, Swankivy rated it did not like it. This book and I. I tend to dislike fantasy books whose language is flowery, whose characters are coarse and papery, and whose plots are obviously constructions of the authors to be used with appropriately puppet-like characters.

But my friend liked this story, so I said I'd read it. I don't understand how this stuff got popular. Not at all. I read some of it out loud to a discerning friend of mine, sometimes in disbelief and unable to stop from laughing, and to this day we mak This book and I. I read some of it out loud to a discerning friend of mine, sometimes in disbelief and unable to stop from laughing, and to this day we make fun of some of the phrases. For example, you have this scene where Elric is drowning and a vision "came unbidden to his dying mind.

Michael, seriously, your characters can't have read your book! How about when the word "white" was used about fifty times when describing the scary torture artist?

Enough already. View all 5 comments. Feb 04, Lee rated it really liked it Shelves: Oh Elric, Elric Elric. You have been sitting on my shelf for years, waiting patiently for me to take you down. All this time I ignored you, biased that you were old school and no longer relevant.

Finally, because my book buddies brought up your name, I endeavored to give you my valuable reading time. Oh, how you engaged and enthralled me. Half a book in the first sitting, I could not put you down. Yes, you are old school fantasy and utterly cliched in parts, but the saying "they don't make em lik Oh Elric, Elric Elric. Yes, you are old school fantasy and utterly cliched in parts, but the saying "they don't make em like they used to" holds true with the 'writing a story' versus 'writing a book'.

Elric, your world sounds fascinating and I was loving being on Dragon Isles, even though I didn't get to meet any dragons as they were all having a Nanna nap during my time there. But since you have the classic loyal, stoic general with a title of Dragon Lord , I am hopeful that in the next book we get to meet the beauties. Speaking of beauties, Cymorill, oh she sounds delightfully Not much spade work required there eh?

Got her on a string mate! I have to admit, that she does sound a little 'old school fair maiden' but I can forgive that, because your coussin made up for it with his stupidly nefarious deviousness. Oh what a fool. I love the "muuhhahhhaaa, I am going to say aloud my plans to topple you and rule the world, because I have no fear, for I dabble in the dark arts". Elric my friend, whilst I was saddened not to meet dragons, I was thrilled to get to go on a journey with a ship that can sail across the seas and the land.

That was fortuitous for you to get your hands on eh? No need to transfer the luggage when making land fall. And so Elric, we come to the end of the book and you are still a pretty nice guy. I think you are trying to do the right thing for your peeps. To be honest, they sound like a pretty awful bunch and you do need to work on getting rid of the perception that humanity has of your race.

You know, the 'demon' bit?

Elric of Melnibone

But you are taking the right steps for redemption. I for one, will be putting you back in the bookcase tonight and moving onto the next installment of your story.

There are at least ten of your adventures on my shelf, so I am expecting you to become a shining example of using power for good, or become an evil tyrant following your peoples traditions. Or even somewhere in between. Either way, I can't wait. Nice to finally meet you Elric. Oct 30, Apatt rated it it was amazing Shelves: I have this feeling that my luck is none too good. Hauling me faster and faster to an early, early grave. And it howls! It howls like hell! Elric has to be just about the coolest most bad ass mofo in th I have this feeling that my luck is none too good.

Elric has to be just about the coolest most bad ass mofo in the history of fantasy fiction. Elric is armed with an accursed soul sucking black sword called Stormbringer, a weapon so fearsome Excalibur would want to put a restraining order on it. Considering the gargantuan length of your average fantasy epic these days it is amazing how much plot, characterization and action Moorcock managed to squeeze into less than pages. Elric's character its developed quickly and vividly. The plot of this book is like Games of Thrones on speed and the end is a beginning for many more adventures to come.

Elric is one of Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champions, essentially one hero in different versions protecting parallel universes. Most Eternal Champions books do not have to be read in order but as far as Elric is concerned this one is the best starting point. I am looking forward to reading them all. Su historia, su aventura, parece en un inicio simple y sin sentido aunado al hecho de que la narrativa es sencilla, nada tediosa ni muy descriptiva , pero luego se va revelando todo el trasfondo terrible.

Sus motivos, oscuros y divinos, son tangibles. Pero el todo no me ha llegado al favoritismo. May 21, Malum rated it really liked it Shelves: I read this about 20 years ago and decided to pick it up again.

I think I liked it a bit better this time because I can better see all of the neat elements that Moorcock put into the world of Elric. Elemental lords, Chaos gods, and the war between Law and Chaos are just a few of the worldbuilding elements that really made this work shine. I still can't give it five stars, however, because Elric has got to be one of the dumbest protagonists in fantasy literature. I mean, how many times do you let I read this about 20 years ago and decided to pick it up again.

I mean, how many times do you let someone try to murder you before you finally kill them? View 2 comments. People who want something different from their fantasy.

A sickly emperor with a demon possessed sword 14 April This was one of the earlier fantasy books that does not fall into what I consider the fantasy genre I term as 'Lord of the Rings wannabe's'. Elric is not a hero nor is he on a quest to save the world. In fact, while not going out of his way to destroy the world, the character of Elric would be more at home as a villain than as the central character of a fantasy series. But this is what Elric is, and these stories, originally published as A sickly emperor with a demon possessed sword 14 April This was one of the earlier fantasy books that does not fall into what I consider the fantasy genre I term as 'Lord of the Rings wannabe's'.

But this is what Elric is, and these stories, originally published as short stories, were compiled into what is the first of a series of five books.

Elric is a frail albino and the emperor of the powerful Melnibonian empire. It appears that Melnibone is in its twilight period, having at one stage ruled the world but it is now in decline. As it turns out, Elric will become the last Emperor of Melnibone, but that is another story for another time.

For an emperor he is a very sickly individual and not only does he battle his own ill health, but he must also keep his throne against the intrigues of his cousin Yrkoon. How does a sickly man defend himself?

With a sword that is possessed by a demon, that sword being Stormbringer. For Elric to be able to actually act as an emperor he needs his sword, a sword which will drain its victims life and give it to Elric to temporarily give him strength.

It is in a way the ultimate crutch, without the sword Elric is nothing, but with the sword he is a demoniac possessed. While Elric does quest, he is not the typical hero one finds in most fantasy novels.

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He did not grow up on a farm, nor has be been entrusted with a powerful artifact, nor is their any destiny to his name.

He is an emperor, and a sickly one at that, and his enemies surround him simply to destroy him and take his power. As a book, it is different, and a recommended read for anybody who loves the fantasy genre and wants something different to the average Lord of the Rings ripoffs.

Feb 27, Caro the Helmet Lady rated it really liked it Shelves: I picked this for my reading challenge and I was not disappointed, but rather pissed at myself that I was putting it away for so long.

I was surprised how fresh it felt, considering that Elric was born somewhere between years and They used to rule the world, but now they are slowly becoming extinct. Their rather outsiderish emperor Elric, who's a red eyed albino with weak health and pacifistic ideas, and who's also an avid reader and a powerful sorcerer, is trying to make some positive, in his opinion, change in his kingdom.

Of course he's opposed by some and, what usually comes next, betrayed. And killed. Then he's back to life only to face new problems but also adventures, which is fun. For readers of course. At least to some point "some point" is last chapter, if you read it then you know. Plus there are ancient evil magical swords involved, there are demons and Lords of Chaos, and a damsel in distress, I'm not going to spoil anymore, but what's not to like?

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