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"We must be bound to one another then. Bound by hell-forged chains and fate-haunted circumstance. Well, then - let it be thus so - and men will have cause to tremble and flee when they hear the names of Elric of Melnibone and Stormbringer, his sword. We are two of a kind - produced by an age which has deserted us. Let us give this age cause to hate us." Imrryr, the dreamin "We must be bound to one another then. Bound by hell-forged chains and fate-haunted circumstance. Well, then - let it be thus so - and men will have cause to tremble and flee when they hear the names of Elric of Melnibone and Stormbringer, his sword. We are two of a kind - produced by an age which has deserted us. Let us give this age cause to hate us." Imrryr, the dreaming city; Yyrkoon, the hated usurper; Cymoril, the beloved... all had fallen to the fury and unearthly power of the albino prince and his terrible sword. An Elric faced at last the fate that was to be his in this haunted era - that he must go forth, sword and man as one, and havoc and horror would be forever at his forefront until he found his Purpose that was yet obscured to him.


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"We must be bound to one another then. Bound by hell-forged chains and fate-haunted circumstance. Well, then - let it be thus so - and men will have cause to tremble and flee when they hear the names of Elric of Melnibone and Stormbringer, his sword. We are two of a kind - produced by an age which has deserted us. Let us give this age cause to hate us." Imrryr, the dreamin "We must be bound to one another then. Bound by hell-forged chains and fate-haunted circumstance. Well, then - let it be thus so - and men will have cause to tremble and flee when they hear the names of Elric of Melnibone and Stormbringer, his sword. We are two of a kind - produced by an age which has deserted us. Let us give this age cause to hate us." Imrryr, the dreaming city; Yyrkoon, the hated usurper; Cymoril, the beloved... all had fallen to the fury and unearthly power of the albino prince and his terrible sword. An Elric faced at last the fate that was to be his in this haunted era - that he must go forth, sword and man as one, and havoc and horror would be forever at his forefront until he found his Purpose that was yet obscured to him.

30 review for The Weird of the White Wolf

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    This third volume of the series—according to the Elric chronology—includes the two Elric stories Moorcock wrote first, the novellas “The Dreaming City” and “While the Gods Laugh" (each published in a separate issue of Science Fantasy in 1961). In the first, Elric, rightful emperor of Melnibone, leads a fleet against its capital city Immrryr to exact revenge and rescue his princess consort, but his sword Stormbringer literally has a mind of its own, bringing about disastrous consequences. In the This third volume of the series—according to the Elric chronology—includes the two Elric stories Moorcock wrote first, the novellas “The Dreaming City” and “While the Gods Laugh" (each published in a separate issue of Science Fantasy in 1961). In the first, Elric, rightful emperor of Melnibone, leads a fleet against its capital city Immrryr to exact revenge and rescue his princess consort, but his sword Stormbringer literally has a mind of its own, bringing about disastrous consequences. In the second novella, Elric and Shaarilla of Myyrrhn go on a quest for the Dead Gods’ Book (Elric seeks a deity beyond Law and Chaos, and Shaarilla seeks an end to her deformity: she wants to have her wings restored.) Elric tales are grim, in general, but these two arise from a particular despair. Moorcock was twenty-one, coming off a bad love affair, and drinking far too much. Heartache and the sense of a merciless fate pervade the atmosphere here. The effect of these stories is somewhat lightened by two other pieces: a prequel, “The Dream of Earl Aubec,” which reveals the origin of the Young Kingdoms, and “The Singing Citidel,” in which Balo the Jester to the Gods makes a disorienting appearance on earth.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    Actual rating: 2.512457856 stars. Because I'm in a good mood today. Were I NOT following the Tor reading order for this series (internal series chronology), I might have enjoyed this installment more. But I am, so I didn’t. Had I NOT read my Barbarian Paramour’s mightily titillating adventures before the Grumpy Albino’s, I might have enjoyed this installment a lot bloody shrimping more. But I did, so I didn’t. Because: ① Incongruities and Inconsistencies R Us. The stories in this collection were th Actual rating: 2.512457856 stars. Because I'm in a good mood today. Were I NOT following the Tor reading order for this series (internal series chronology), I might have enjoyed this installment more. But I am, so I didn’t. Had I NOT read my Barbarian Paramour’s mightily titillating adventures before the Grumpy Albino’s, I might have enjoyed this installment a lot bloody shrimping more. But I did, so I didn’t. Because: ① Incongruities and Inconsistencies R Us. The stories in this collection were the first Moorcock wrote in this series, even though they take place after the events depicted in books 1-3 of the saga. And oh my squid, does it show. It feels like Elric got a personality transplant (more or that later) and his actions here (especially in The Dreaming City) make no bloody fishing sense. (view spoiler)[ Really real, spoilerish spoiler coming right up. Thou hast been warned and stuff. (view spoiler)[ Off to destroy Melniboné with a whole bunch of glorified pirates? How? What? Why? Huh? Where the shrimp did that come from? How many installments did I miss, exactly? (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] Most discombobulating this complete lack of coherence is. Yes, this is me being slightly discombobulated. Sorry for the overabundant pilosity, by the way, but quarantine's a bitch when it comes to hair removal. And while I understand that this being Moorcock’s initial foray in Elric’s world could explain some discrepancies, it doesn’t explain why he never bothered reconciling the rest of the saga against these earlier stories. I mean, narrative continuity, it’s a thing and stuff. ② Conan Wannabe, Begone! Two of the stories in this collection are complete Conan rip-offs and feature all the elements of a classic Barbarian Mine tale (same plot structure and cast breakdown, use of similar—if not identical—words and/or phrasing). This wouldn’t be a problem if the writing wasn’t so not good and lacklustre and stuff. But it is. Moorcock is no Robert E. Howard (far from it). Also, my Cimmerian Cutie Pie isn’t around, which is quite unacceptable. Also also, as much as I like Stormbringer, the sentient sword is a complete joke compared to Conan’s weapon of choice, the most lethal beef-bone. So blah and stuff. ③ Poor Execution Inc. Such lazy writing, much meh. There’s so much potential in this series. The premise, the characters…So much room for development here! But did Moorcock bother to give some substance to his story, dig a little deeper into his characters and/or try to make them more complex? (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] Don’t be silly now, that would have been way too much work! Why exploit your arc and characters to their full potential when you can write repetitive, uninspired plots and turn your cast members into underdeveloped, sketchy as fish plot devices? 👋 waves at Yyrkoon the comic book villain and Sweet Cymoril the ever-sleeping damsel in distress 👋 And talking about poorly written cast members, believe me when I tell you that you don’t want to get me started on the way female characters are portrayed here. Oh no, you don’t. Precisely. ④ Elric of the Previous Installments, Where Art Thou? In books #1-3, Elric has all the markings of a beautifully fished-up, harem-worthy character in the making. He is the moody as fish albino with the grumpy sword (aka YUM). In this book, however, his flat-as-a-Dover-sole character is naught but an arrogant, selfish ass with no agency whatsoever. Does our almighty hero actually save the day even once? (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] Oh, please he’s got better, more important things to do with his life! “So what does he do when faced with an evil foe,” you ask? Why he calls Ghostbusters Arioch (his personal, on-demand deus ex machina), of course. Well either that or he lets Stormbringer do all the work for him. And is Elric ever conflicted about this constant, complete lack of control? Nope. Does it ever seem to bother him or present some sort of internal struggle that his sword is a bloodthirsty homicidal maniac, and makes him skewer every shrimp that gets in his way? Nope nope and nope. The guy is just there. Totally unresponsive. And about as emotional as a rock. Yay. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] ➽ Nefarious Last Words #1 (NLW™): The more I think about this book, the more I realize the best thing about it is probably its 1977 cover. I rest in my case and stuff. 👋 To be continued and stuff. • Book 1: Elric of Melniboné ★★★★★ • Book 2: The Fortress of the Pearl ★★★★★ • Book 3: The Sailor on the Seas of Fate ★★★★★ • Book 4: The Weird of the White Wolf ★★★ • Book 5: The Vanishing Tower (aka “The Sleeping Sorceress”) - to be read. • Book 6: The Revenge of the Black Rose - to be read. • Book 7: The Bane of the Black Sword - to be read. • Book 8: Stormbringer - to be read. • Book 9: Elric at the End of Time - to be read. • Book 10: Daughter of Dreams - to be read. • Book 11: Destiny’s Brother - to be read. • Book 12: Son of the Wolf - to be read. (Following the Tor reading order) [Pre-review nonsense] FYI, this was NOT me while I was reading this book: This, however, might very well have been me: Full review to come and stuff. P.S. Mr Moorcock, the crustaceans are NOT amused.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    Before getting reacquainted with the ongoing saga of Elric, the albino sorcerer king that spent the previous volume as a vagabond mercenary, self-exiled from his own people and from the throne he inherited, Moorcock offers us a glimpse at the cosmology underlying his imaginary universe in The Dream of Earl Aubec. Within the standard sword & sorcery structure of the adventure (the champion swordsman of a fantasy realm goes on a quest to conquer a last bastion for his queen), the author debates t Before getting reacquainted with the ongoing saga of Elric, the albino sorcerer king that spent the previous volume as a vagabond mercenary, self-exiled from his own people and from the throne he inherited, Moorcock offers us a glimpse at the cosmology underlying his imaginary universe in The Dream of Earl Aubec. Within the standard sword & sorcery structure of the adventure (the champion swordsman of a fantasy realm goes on a quest to conquer a last bastion for his queen), the author debates the nature of reality, the question of predestination and other existentialist tropes.The Castle of Kaneloon ( Brooding and mysterious, the castle seemed to have a defiant air, for it stood on the very edge of the world. ), like other constructions in the Moorcock's universe, has a dual presence - at the same time solid and imaginary. Earl Aubec moves through the halls in a dreamlike trance, fighting not the scions of a powerful sorceress, but the demons of his own imagination, the doubts and fears that keep one awake in the small hour of the night with thoughts of mortality and pointlessness. The border that the castle Kaneloon guards is a fluid one, the place where the solid earth of Order meets the sea of Chaos. Here sanity battles nightmare and new territories (or theories) can be created by pushing back against the unknown. Aubec is a stand-in for Elric, who has been plagued by the same sort of questions since the first moments the reader lays his eyes on him. Like Elric, Aubec decides that even if the questions are unanswerable, the only thing a man can do is to pick up his sword and go into the unknown, to carve out his own fate. Whether he is succesful or not... well, that's another story. The doom of Imrryr in The Dreaming City , capital of the ancient race of Melniboneans, has been promised since the introduction of the series and in this second novella of the present collection, the dark deed is done - Elric returns from his wanderings among the Young Kingdoms to find his throne usurped by his cousin Yyrkoon and his fiancee Cymoril enchanted into a cursed sleep. Enraged, the albino opens the gates of the city to a host of pirate ships who set the whole town on fire and goes on to hunt for his traitorous cousin. Two things I found memorable in this novella: the issue of responsibility for one's own actions, a leitmotif in the whole Elric series, and the fantastic talent of Moorcock to condense an epic struggle in a relatively short format. On the question of free-will, Elric started out as a rebel against Fate, leaving behind the destiny decided for him by his ancestors, and sometimes going against even his sponsor deity, Arioch the Duke of Hell. As we progress into the series, it becomes evident that Elric is subverted in his quest by the very thing that gives him power - the magic sword Stormbringer, a sentient artefact with a malevolent will of its own. As in the opening story of Earl Aubec, the symbiotic/ parasytic relationship between the sword and its master here mirrors the internal struggle within the soul of the main character, the eternal battle between Chaos and Order. We must be bound to one another, Elric murmured despairingly. Bound by hell-forged chains and fate-haunted circumstances. Well, then - let it be thus so - and men will have cause to tremble and flee when they hear the names of Elric of Melnibone and Stormbringer, his sword. We are two of a kind - produced by an age which has deserted us. Let us give this age cause to hate us!. 'The Dreaming City' is Elric darkest moment so far. It is very difficult to find attenuating circumstances for his crimes and betrayals. He is doomed by his own hand, and 'the sword made me do it!' is a feeble argument even in the albino's own conscience. Elric is once again an exile, a sellsword without a country to call his own, without loyalties and without hope for redemption. Where will he go from here? While the Gods Laugh gives an answer to my last question. Elric's monumental melancholy, his tortured soul and his gloomy moods may be insignifiant in the larger scheme of things. But the existential questions give our hero no rest, and when a new quest is offered, Elric is only too eager to set out on another adventure: One night, as Elric sat moodily drinking alone in a tavern, a wingless woman of Myrhhn came gliding out of the storm and rested her lithe body against him. Shaarilla of the Dancing Mists knows of a secret (beside the bedroom ones), the Dead Gods' Book, an ancient manuscript that is alleged to hold the answer to all questions, and needs a champion to do battle with the book's guardian, Orunlu the Keeper. Shaarilla would like to get her wings back. Elric would like to know if there is any higher power that decides the fate of man. Despairingly, sometimes, I seek the comfort of a benign God, Shaarilla. My mind goes out, lying awake at night, searching through the black bareness for something - anything - which will take me to it, warm me, protect me, tell me that there is order in the chaotic tumble of the universe; that it is consistent, this precision of the planets, not simply a brief, bright spark of sanity in an eternity of malevolent anarchy. The path to the hidden keep where the book rests is long and filled with dangers. Savage beasts are followed by revenant riders, and ultimately by the signature Moorcock scenes of psychedelic kaleydoscopes in primary colours, suffocating mists and dreamlike trances that remove all references to a logical reality : They lost all sense of time and Elric began to feel as if he were living through a dream. . I wonder what kind of drugs they were on, maybe I can try some. The conclusion is by now not unexpected : Elric is stymied in his efforts by an ironic twist of fate (view spoiler)[ the book that holds the secret of the universe, the meaning of life, crumbles to dust in his hands as he tries to open it. Now I will live my life without ever knowing why I live it - whether it has purpose or not. Perhaps the Book could have told me. But would I have believed it, even then? I am the eternal sceptic - never sure that my actions are my own; never certain that an ultimate entity is not guiding me. (hide spoiler)] . There is no easy solution, and the albino must keep searching. I like the notion of the relativity of the concepts of good and evil, replaced here by Order and Chaos. L E Modessitt Jr. uses a similar device in his long Recluce series, where the black wizards and the white wizards often change roles who gets to play the good guys and who the bad guys. Neither Chaos nor Order could survive without each other, and the universe is the result of the balance between the two forces. We exist only to fight - not to win, but to preserve the eternal struggle. says Orunlu the Keeper, a theme that is reiterated in the last novella of the colection, and explains why Elric is considered an incarnation of The Eternal Champion. The Singing Citadel is a rinse and repeat of the previous story. The temptress that seduces Elric with her charms and with the promise of adventure is a certain Queen Yishana. Her kingdom is threatened by a mysterious castle that appears suddenly within the borders. Her soldiers and peasants are lured there by esoteric music, never to be seen again. Yishana's pet wizard and former lover, the mage Teleb K'aarna is unable to cope with the powerful enchantments and will soon add jealousy to his list of complaints about Elric. This story was a tad too similar to the fare promoted by Robert E Howard and his Conan pulps. I expect more from an Elric story, and only in the end dialogue with Balo the Jester, a trickster deity in the mould of Loki, was some of the old magic recaptured. - I intend to establish my own Realm on Earth - the Realm of Paradox. A little from Law, a little from Chaos - a Realm of opposites, of curiosities and jokes. - I'm thinking we already have such a world as you describe, Lord Balo, with no need for you to create it! I plan to continue with the Elric saga over the summer, as I find the different novellas complete each other well into a bigger picture, with a definite continuity and progress in the evolution of the main hero. From a quote used by Moorcock as the title for 'The Laughing Gods', it looks like I must also add Mervyn Peake to my wishlist.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    These shorts and novellas almost all revolve around Elric, the tormented anti-hero that sits in the palm of Chaos thanks to his intelligent and willful sword Stormbringer. As sword and sorcery stories go, this one really stands out. It's not so much Conan as it is straddling the line between shifting realities and the world, wanting to be free of the fate of the Champion of Chaos while being the penultimate brooder with unimaginable powers, seeking peace at any cost. Whenever I think of Elric, I These shorts and novellas almost all revolve around Elric, the tormented anti-hero that sits in the palm of Chaos thanks to his intelligent and willful sword Stormbringer. As sword and sorcery stories go, this one really stands out. It's not so much Conan as it is straddling the line between shifting realities and the world, wanting to be free of the fate of the Champion of Chaos while being the penultimate brooder with unimaginable powers, seeking peace at any cost. Whenever I think of Elric, I think of the ultimate archetype, and there's a lot to point at to prove it. The writer walks the careful line of making him and his quest larger than life, full of magic and conquest, sea battles, monster battles, and even going so far as to open the book of life, as stolen by the greatest necromancer... only to have all answers crumble before him. Chaos and Law are the maelstroms that Elric traverses, and even though the theme is very much done and done again even in this cycle, the quest is always the thing. We're always meant to come away with the same conclusions as Elric, the great and evil Elric, deciding to give the world the misery it so seems to desire. Pretty powerful stuff, really, and these really should be placed in their proper time, the sixties and seventies, introducing us to the template to one of the greatest tragic heroes and sometimes horrendous villains.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

    This was a short novel but very important for Elric - kind of the point of no return, where he becomes THE Elric, brooding and cynical hero, that reminded me strongly of another brooding and cynical white haired hero, called White Wolf... Also, couldn't stop thinking about Targaryens, yay! White haired masters of dragons from far away continent with specific customs. Who's with me to point out the same? Anyway, Elric has to face his own bad decisions from the book 1 and everything turns out from This was a short novel but very important for Elric - kind of the point of no return, where he becomes THE Elric, brooding and cynical hero, that reminded me strongly of another brooding and cynical white haired hero, called White Wolf... Also, couldn't stop thinking about Targaryens, yay! White haired masters of dragons from far away continent with specific customs. Who's with me to point out the same? Anyway, Elric has to face his own bad decisions from the book 1 and everything turns out from bad to worse. Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day for Elric.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Evgeny

    The third book of Elric saga: the boneheaded decision Elric made in the end of the first book came back to him bearing fruits. Now the only way to correct his own stupidity is to sacrifice his own people and to live with this memory for the rest of his life. The book is notable for the fact that Elric acquires a sidekick in it. This is a typical Elric book: larger than life magic, meddling gods who never show up when they are really needed, an anti-hero, struggle of Chaos and Law on grand scale The third book of Elric saga: the boneheaded decision Elric made in the end of the first book came back to him bearing fruits. Now the only way to correct his own stupidity is to sacrifice his own people and to live with this memory for the rest of his life. The book is notable for the fact that Elric acquires a sidekick in it. This is a typical Elric book: larger than life magic, meddling gods who never show up when they are really needed, an anti-hero, struggle of Chaos and Law on grand scale (by the way, the author is the guy who brought the concept of law and chaos in role-playing games) - these are all there. As usual, this is a very fast fun read easily deserving 4 stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    In my last two reviews, I have talked about how Moorcock's fevered imagination keeps these books aloft, even when the plot seems to grow disconnected from the series, or the characters grow repetitive, but he seems to be losing steam, for this book moves along apace, advancing the plot here and there, but not materially adding anything new to our understanding of the world or the characters. Moorcock's shorter plot arcs lack the grand set pieces and focus which make Leiber's and Howard's works so In my last two reviews, I have talked about how Moorcock's fevered imagination keeps these books aloft, even when the plot seems to grow disconnected from the series, or the characters grow repetitive, but he seems to be losing steam, for this book moves along apace, advancing the plot here and there, but not materially adding anything new to our understanding of the world or the characters. Moorcock's shorter plot arcs lack the grand set pieces and focus which make Leiber's and Howard's works so delightful, and even if the brief episodes which make up the larger plot might be called 'short stories', they do not show the completeness or unity of idea of Conan or Lankhmar. I keep longing for a return to form from Moorcock, wishing that he could combine those moments of lucid, pretty prose with his wild metaphysical magics and the brooding introspection which first defined Elric. But alas, it grows harder to look past his errors when he begins to repeat himself. As usual, he has problems finding scenes which illustrate his characters, and so he ends up relying on exposition, or on the characters talking at length about their own thoughts and reactions, which always ends up feeling stilted and incomplete, especially when those traits are not always outwardly demonstrated. the series itself begins to grow repetitive, as Elric is always followed by some bosom compatriot, who by the end will be betrayed, or killed, or lost, or all three. Likewise there are the female interests, who seem to traipse in and out of Elric's life to torment him, but who often have little character of their own. The series focuses narrowly, sometimes unsparingly, upon Elric himself, but it feels as if much more could be done with his character if he had an equally strong supporting cast to play off of. When secondary characters are summarily introduced and dropped, it becomes harder for them to have any effect on Elric--and if they do produce some sudden effect upon him, it can feel rather overly convenient if the relationship has not yet been fully-developed. One of the hallmarks of the Conan series is that in each story, Howard shows us very different sides of Conan: different humors, desires, fears, and outlooks. In the first three stories we get Conan young, aged, and full-grown, and each portrayal depicts a different sort of man. Clearly, with Elric, we would not expect so drastic a shift, as we follow him from place to place in chronological order, but I do find myself disappointed that we don't tend to see other sides to Elric: he is always brooding, somewhat naive, and less callous than he imagines himself. I keep waiting to find something surprising in him, some aspect of depth before unexplored. In short, I wait for the mad philosophical explorations which live in Moorcock's magic to reach Elric, to show up in him in some fundamental way, to change him or leave a trace on him, to become an exploration of his character, and more than that, of his possibility. The series is always looking forward, always moving forward--sometimes too quickly, sometimes without a chance to build or pause or ponder--but always moving; and I have to ask myself: for what? Where are we going? Certainly there are hints, there are moments of conflict and feeling for Elric, but rarely are they given time to emerge, rarely is the story constructed so as to reveal them naturally. If they are not constructed carefully, over time, then when they arrive, they will always be too early, or too late, and seem almost inconsequential in the face of the vast cosmic conflict which tends to make up the heart of the story. Elric feels weak and unsure. He travels somewhere to reach something strange and magical which has piqued his interest. He battles an otherworldly thing, which he defeats, but he now feels drained. He wanders through a strange dimension and faces another thing, which is powerful and dangerous. He almost dies, but then he summons something and it saves him. the most recent of a series of doomed soldier friends saves him and makes an ironic quip (always ironic). Elric departs no richer than he arrived, and despondent at his failure. I am still enjoying this series, and it shows a lot of promise, but at this point, the gap between what it is and what it could be is widening. Sure, it's still more interesting, original, and better-written than most of the fantasy out there, but I'm desperate for it to really find its groove. Moorcock has the tools, I just want to see him use them all at once. My List of Suggested Fantasy Books

  8. 4 out of 5

    Red Haircrow

    Michael Moorcock has created many characters who are an aspect of the Eternal Champion, who battles sometimes on the side of Law and sometimes on the side of Chaos, depending on his incarnation. In the incarnation of Elric of Melnibone, a man weak in body except when augmented by the stolen souls provided through the medium of the perilous sword Stormbringer, he is powerful in intellect, passion and magic. Yet more than that, he is a man who is the very embodiment of the hard choices which Fate Michael Moorcock has created many characters who are an aspect of the Eternal Champion, who battles sometimes on the side of Law and sometimes on the side of Chaos, depending on his incarnation. In the incarnation of Elric of Melnibone, a man weak in body except when augmented by the stolen souls provided through the medium of the perilous sword Stormbringer, he is powerful in intellect, passion and magic. Yet more than that, he is a man who is the very embodiment of the hard choices which Fate can inflict on a soul. Torn between obligation, a desire for vengeance and simply to be allowed by the gods and demons of the Universe to have a measure of peace, Elric is both deadly and beautiful, pitiless and deserving of sympathy. An unforgettable anti-hero, and this is just one installment in the series of his personal incarnation. An outstanding line of books for lovers of saga and epic fantasies, sword and sorcery which blasts its unforgettable images into your heart and soul.

  9. 5 out of 5

    sologdin

    More pulpy sword & sorcery, episodic, fast-paced to the point of parody. Includes what is now the obligatory cryptic prologue. Prologue here has the virtue of self-riducule, wherein the hero is not Elric, but his ancestor Aubec, from whom he had the sword in volume I, prior to achieving the nuclear-sword with which he is more famously associated. Aubec has gone to the edge of the world to incorporate the last castle into the empire, but is tricked by its occupant to win not merely the castle, but More pulpy sword & sorcery, episodic, fast-paced to the point of parody. Includes what is now the obligatory cryptic prologue. Prologue here has the virtue of self-riducule, wherein the hero is not Elric, but his ancestor Aubec, from whom he had the sword in volume I, prior to achieving the nuclear-sword with which he is more famously associated. Aubec has gone to the edge of the world to incorporate the last castle into the empire, but is tricked by its occupant to win not merely the castle, but also "that which lies beyond," the formless chaos which might be tamed to yield "new plains, new mountains, new seas--new populations, even--whole cities full of people fresh-sprung and yet with the memory of generations of ancestors behind them" (24). This conquest beyond, we are told in tolkienian tone, births the new kingdoms and leads to the death of the Empire (26). Whatever. But: it is an accurate description of what Moorcock is doing. The world of the text is bordered by formless chaos in his mind, and, as each new installment is published, and Elric needs more areas to despoil and more persons to slaughter, the author can introduce hitherto unmentioned (and unthought by the writer until his agent reminded him that he is past deadline) portions of the setting, deities to trouble the protagonist or aid him, persons to be used or abused or both. It's extremely weak setting development, and, as there is really not enough space for character development, these being smallish volumes, with a loose focus on Elric's moping, not much of interest in personal interaction. His prior ally, Smiorgan, is snuffed out without much thought (66), during Elric's bizarre adventure to rescue his old fiancee (fails) by sacking Rome his imperial capital (half-succeeds). (The capital receives some stunning descriptions just prior to its destruction, though (39-40)). Sure, cool that he's "truly rootless" (59), after Rome's destruction: "He could envisage no future, for his future had been bound up with his past" (id.)--he had "destroyed the last tangible sign that the grandiose magnificent Bright Empire had ever existed"--a nice bit of proto-fascist ideology--"He felt that most of himself was gone with it" (id.)--and yet, still, even so, "his mind reluctantly brooded on Cymoril" (id.). War on memory lost, or simply abandoned by author? The first part settles all scores from volumes I and II, effectively ending any connection to the setting described therein--now rootless, he's vested in the life of the wanderer, who acquires tasks in taverns--no shit! (71 & 122)--to visit places never before described. The first such task involves a fairly trite and hyper-powered quest for a Super Book of some sort or another. I get that these types of occurrences are features, instead of bugs, when it comes to sword & sorcery--but what is more or less unforgiveable in this installment is that Elric's prior war against memory is largely left aside, and instead he becomes a fucking fundamentalist, wondering if the Super Book will tell him whether "an ultimate God exists" (77). He seeks "the comfort of a benign God" (id.). FFS. (There is later acknowledgement that "he failed to forget Cymoril" (127)--indicating that the series may not be completely hopeless.) After a number of trivial and tedious encounters, he and his new companions discover the Super Book, which "throbbed with light and brilliant color" (110), and then "disintegrated" into "yellowish dust" (110-11). Failed quests in heroic fiction are good, of course. The companion, a "materialist," takes the gems that encrusted the destroyed book, "worth a fortune" (112)--apt commentary on volumes such as this, though they yellow into dust, worth a fortune in the publisher's hands. Third act is even more forgettable, except that it suddenly begins referring to Elric as a wolf in various ways (118, 119, 122)--which apparently explains the title, but as that merely removes the lupine mystery one step, hardly constitutes dispositive explanation. Recommended for eternal skeptics, priest-aristocrats, and tiny creatures in the palm of the jester of chaos.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael Sorbello

    Elric made an incredibly foolish and selfish decision at the end of the first book, and now it's finally come back to bite him where it hurts. He abandoned his role as proud ruler of Melniboné to pursue a life of fleeting pleasures and infinite learning in distant lands. Now the dreadful fates of the dreaming city Imrryr, Yyrkoon the hated usurper and Elric’s beloved Cymoril hang in the balance of chaos. All are at risk of falling to the fury and unearthly power of the albino prince Elric and hi Elric made an incredibly foolish and selfish decision at the end of the first book, and now it's finally come back to bite him where it hurts. He abandoned his role as proud ruler of Melniboné to pursue a life of fleeting pleasures and infinite learning in distant lands. Now the dreadful fates of the dreaming city Imrryr, Yyrkoon the hated usurper and Elric’s beloved Cymoril hang in the balance of chaos. All are at risk of falling to the fury and unearthly power of the albino prince Elric and his soul devouring sword Stormbringer because of a choice he made that unknowingly set his own downfall in motion. With no other options left, Elric confronts his doomed fate in the haunted era he's trapped in.⁣ ⁣ This was the best of the Elric saga so far because Elric finally starts to display evil tendencies. His sword has always had a mind of its own, but now the wills of Stormbringer and Elric have blurred together. Elric is a slave to his evil sword, it takes away the things he loves one by one and drives the prince mad. Elric becomes more selfish, brooding, impulsive and scornful, hating his sword, his dirty soul and the wretched destiny he can't escape from.⁣ ⁣ The battles are bloodier and the setting is even more grim. It seems the harder Elric tries to break free from his cruel fate, the more harsh, chaotic and unforgiving his life becomes.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    This is chronologically the third book in Moorcock's Elric saga, but it contains the first story to be published, The Dreaming City from way back in 1961; the other two stories are The Singing Citadel and While the Gods Laugh. Elric meets his constant and faithful companion Moonglum in this book, Stormbringer's influence grows, and Elric's past comes back to haunt him again. It's very good swords & sorcery fiction that's a key part of Moorcock's vast multiverse study of Balance between Law and C This is chronologically the third book in Moorcock's Elric saga, but it contains the first story to be published, The Dreaming City from way back in 1961; the other two stories are The Singing Citadel and While the Gods Laugh. Elric meets his constant and faithful companion Moonglum in this book, Stormbringer's influence grows, and Elric's past comes back to haunt him again. It's very good swords & sorcery fiction that's a key part of Moorcock's vast multiverse study of Balance between Law and Chaos, but stands quite well as thrilling adventure on its own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Excellent entry in the saga, finds Elric at his darkest hour and the prologue offers hints toward more darkness still to come. Book one Elric at his most Melnibonean and his greatest despair so far. Book two his hopes are dashed again and book three a return to form as he defeats a great enemy and is once again thwarted in vengence.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This is an old favorite, and it hasn't lost any of its charm. The three novellas here are "The Dreaming City", "While the Gods Laugh", and "The Singing Citadel". All enjoyable, but "The Dreaming City" stands out, way out. This was where Elric first appeared in 1961, and everything else came from that. This story alone rates 5-stars. It has all of the tragic punch of the Elric saga and the story flow is fantastic. The other two stories are very good too, coming in a 4-stars each. They tell of some This is an old favorite, and it hasn't lost any of its charm. The three novellas here are "The Dreaming City", "While the Gods Laugh", and "The Singing Citadel". All enjoyable, but "The Dreaming City" stands out, way out. This was where Elric first appeared in 1961, and everything else came from that. This story alone rates 5-stars. It has all of the tragic punch of the Elric saga and the story flow is fantastic. The other two stories are very good too, coming in a 4-stars each. They tell of some of the early events of Elric's post-Immyr travels, including his first meeting with his companion Moonglum. All in all, a great sword and sorcery adventure that can be soaked up in just a few fun hours.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Assaph Mehr

    After reading the prequel Elric of Malnibone (see my review), I wanted to read the first original stories, which were collected and published in this volume. What to Expect Three swords-and-sorcery novelettes of one of the most famous heroes of fantasy, plus one semi-related short not involving Elric. Moorcock wrote the original stories in the 1960's, and though he revisited Elric throughout the coming decades I wanted to read the original tales. The first story, The Dreaming City, tells of Elric's After reading the prequel Elric of Malnibone (see my review), I wanted to read the first original stories, which were collected and published in this volume. What to Expect Three swords-and-sorcery novelettes of one of the most famous heroes of fantasy, plus one semi-related short not involving Elric. Moorcock wrote the original stories in the 1960's, and though he revisited Elric throughout the coming decades I wanted to read the original tales. The first story, The Dreaming City, tells of Elric's revenge and destruction of the culture on which he was raised. This essentially closes the events described in the prequel Elric of Malnobone (written a decade later), but bear in mind it was the first Elric story published and sets to describe Elric and set the scene for his future adventures. The second is While the Gods Laugh, and is somewhat hallucinogenic (hey, man, it was the 60's). In this Elric meets his long time companion, Moonglum. The last is The Singing Citadel, exploring more of Elric's patron god, his revenge motivations, and the earthly magic vs truly demonic powers. What I liked A lot of what I listed in my review Elric of Malnibone holds true here: the swords & sorcery atmosphere of ennui, the linguistic choices, the cosmology. What to be aware of Again, a lot of my previous comments hold true. This is a dated work, written in a style that will deplete the red pen of any any modern editor and will appall modern readers looking for inclusivity. Felix's Review Again, Felix agrees with many of Elric's choices. He has the power, and though Elric is bent on revenge and is self-styling himself evil, he mostly used his skills for the greater good. Summary It's a dated work, and it shows. I'd recommend it for those trying to explore classic Swords & Sorcery, to learn from both the (good) style of storytelling and the (bad) way of handling diversity. At this point, I think I got what I wanted out of it and might take me a while to pick up the other volumes. -- Assaph Mehr, author of Murder In Absentia: A story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic - for lovers of Ancient Rome, Murder Mysteries, and Urban Fantasy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jörg

    So far I'm able to read one Elric volume per day. Eat this, George R.R. Martin. With the third volume, all my worries that Elric might turn into a boring white knight are blown away. On the contrary, he's more bad-ass than ever, annihilating his own civilization, earning the title womankiller and becoming the most notorious villain of the multiverse. Way to go! Again, friends come and go, usually by death caused by our hero. Women are consummated, Elric moves on. Mysterious places, other planes, So far I'm able to read one Elric volume per day. Eat this, George R.R. Martin. With the third volume, all my worries that Elric might turn into a boring white knight are blown away. On the contrary, he's more bad-ass than ever, annihilating his own civilization, earning the title womankiller and becoming the most notorious villain of the multiverse. Way to go! Again, friends come and go, usually by death caused by our hero. Women are consummated, Elric moves on. Mysterious places, other planes, demons aplenty. A breathless fighting fantasy romp where my search for deeper meaning gets lost in the pace of events.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gorana

    Oh, Elric. Do thou not knoweth? One must imagine Sisyphus happy. And congratulations Mr. Moorcock. You managed to reduce Elric to whiny, spineless, predictable, pathetic wimp (and no, putting your tongue into every single female that says 'Hi' does not change that). So many good ideas, all gone to waste. Oh, Elric. Do thou not knoweth? One must imagine Sisyphus happy. And congratulations Mr. Moorcock. You managed to reduce Elric to whiny, spineless, predictable, pathetic wimp (and no, putting your tongue into every single female that says 'Hi' does not change that). So many good ideas, all gone to waste.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    I have a sweet-tooth for Fantasy, and Elric is like pudding. It goes down smooth, and I always have a taste for more. It may not be as well crafted as the decadent chocolate cakes of high fantasy, but then again it doesn't leave me in a sugar crash with rasberry sauce all over my shirt. I have a sweet-tooth for Fantasy, and Elric is like pudding. It goes down smooth, and I always have a taste for more. It may not be as well crafted as the decadent chocolate cakes of high fantasy, but then again it doesn't leave me in a sugar crash with rasberry sauce all over my shirt.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tipper

    Seems I had already read this as part of Elric of Melniboné (Tale of the Eternal Champion #8).. Oh well

  19. 4 out of 5

    Petros

    Notice: I have made a review for every book of this series and they need to be read in order since they are supposed to feel like an on-going impression. So if you read the second without reading the first will feel rather off. I am mostly focusing on the style of storytelling and a lot less on if it reads well or something sophisticated like that. For the same reason I tend to have lots of SPOILERS which means that if you read this text you will know THE OVERALL PLOT and how much I DIDN’T like Notice: I have made a review for every book of this series and they need to be read in order since they are supposed to feel like an on-going impression. So if you read the second without reading the first will feel rather off. I am mostly focusing on the style of storytelling and a lot less on if it reads well or something sophisticated like that. For the same reason I tend to have lots of SPOILERS which means that if you read this text you will know THE OVERALL PLOT and how much I DIDN’T like it. So be warned that this is a mostly negative opinion for the whole trilogy which tends to reveal in detail why I didn’t like it. Better be read after you have read the books or if you want to avoid a not-so-smart series. YOU HAVE NOW BEEN WARNED and I can now initiate the slaughter. --- The Weird of the White Wolf --- The story begins with Elric attacking and destroying Melnibone with a huge fleet. HEY WAIT A SECOND, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? How did he got back from the jungle when he was left all alone with no ship? How did he amass the fleet? Why does he want to destroy his homeland? And why was it so easy to do it when no army could do it in the past? Damn Moorcock, show us some more reasoning. Anyways, Elric runs to save his female cousin / lover Cymoril from his male cousin Yyrkoon (again) and finds her in a sleep spell (again) and him waiting to fight him with the second magic sword (again). WHAT THE HELL; THIS IS THE EXACT SAME THING THAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST BOOK! Is this some sort of alternative reality? Nope, it is the normal one. And all that repeat because HE FAKING LEFT THE ISLAND IN THE FIRST PLACE. And now as a result he kills all of his nation; good going Elric. Well not only that but his sword again moves on its own and kills both Cymoril and Yyrkoon! Dammit Elric, that sword is more trouble than aid. All the above happened extremely fast, with little regard to getting to adjust to the situation. As a result this huge event went by with minimal emotional effect on the reader when it should make him go crazy from excitement. Damn you Moorcock; you got lazy. Then Elric gets all emo with the death of his lover. Not a word or thought about destroying the most powerful nation in the world, his very own kingdom, and wasting its 10.000 year old knowledge and history (none of that matter because they are all mooks) just because he wanted to get laid with a woman he had on his lap but dumped anyway. What the fak is wrong with you Elric? Then another chick appears and asks from Elric to go find a magic book in the birthplace of her own tribe. Ok, the story just repeats from the third book. And Elric apparently got over his emoness as he was banging that woman every night. So they go to this cave and fight some sort of flying apes. He kills them and confronts a huge giant who was the guardian of the book. The giant doesn’t want to fight and just lets them go on. He then finds the book that is so powerful it can answer even what the meaning of life is. He opens it but because it is 30.000 years old it turns to dust. Nice guardian that giant was if he stopped thieves for 300 centuries but couldn’t prevent simple moss from eating away the book. I guess that is why he didn’t want to fight either. Then Elric leaves the chick as he is afraid he will harm her. Yeah you idiot; keep running away from happiness and forcing drama in the story instead of ending it SINCE THE FIRST BOOK! Then a third chick appears and this time asks Elric to stop a tower from the realm of chaos from taking over the world. As usual, he bangs her as well. We can’t have a woman asking a man to do something just for money; can we now? So he goes there with an army of hundreds and confronts a god-like jester who for no apparent reason asks from Elric to be his companion. All the rest don’t matter as usual and are brainwashed to be his mindless puppets. Elric refuses and summons a god once again to take away the jester and free the people. Yeah, great battle of willpower, muscle, swordplay and wits Elric! Why did you even need an army if you planned to summon a god anyway? After that a renegade sorcerer summons a big monster to kill Elric as he returns from the tower. Typically, Elric summons yet again a god to kill the monster. Then the woman asks to be his lover and king of her land as reward for his “amazing” skills of sitting down and commanding gods to do everything he feels like. Guess what? He dumps her as well and goes to hunt the renegade sorcerer who teleported away in some far away dangerous place. What a fakin’ moron! Just command a god to teleport the renegade in front of you and go be king, and have non-stop sex with numerous women! Isn’t that what you seek all this time? I am very disappointed with Moorcock. I thought Elric would be more quality work but it is full of shit as most stories are.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert Beveridge

    Michael Moorcock, The Weird of the White Wolf (DAW, 1977) The third book in the Elric series introduces the reader to Moonglum, Elric's longtime companion (and, thanks to AD&D's Deities and Demigods book, the companion most readers can't imagine him without). Much of the second novel moved away from the events of the first, and concentrated Elric's character on other adventures. The Weird of the White Wolf brings Elric back to Melnibonë along with Moonglum, their friend Smiorgan Baldhead, and an Michael Moorcock, The Weird of the White Wolf (DAW, 1977) The third book in the Elric series introduces the reader to Moonglum, Elric's longtime companion (and, thanks to AD&D's Deities and Demigods book, the companion most readers can't imagine him without). Much of the second novel moved away from the events of the first, and concentrated Elric's character on other adventures. The Weird of the White Wolf brings Elric back to Melnibonë along with Moonglum, their friend Smiorgan Baldhead, and an army of raiders bent on overthrowing Yyrkoon, who stole the throne when Elric left Melnibonë for a year to travel the world. For those wondering, whether you've read the book or not: the "weird" of the title is an archaic definition of the term, given by Merriam Webster as "One's assigned lot or fortune, especially when evil." And when he finds it, he's not all that happy about it. But that's to be expected when one's antihero has a crisis of conscience, I guess. Certainly not a slow book by any means, nor a weak one in the context of the series. And it's definitely a necessity as a prelude to what comes after it. But I still felt there was something missing here; some pieces of description left out, a few places where things could have been filled in better. All of the Elric novels are short, to say the least (Stormbringer, the last and longest of them, clocks in a 217pp.), and feel as if they could use some fleshing out; this one, however, gives that feeling the most. One wonders if the brevity of them was not the insistence of the publisher, and what Moorcock would do with them, given the opportunity (a la King's unexpurgated edition of The Stand). Loads of fun, and highly recommended for fantasy and non-fantasy readers alike, as is the whole series. ****

  21. 5 out of 5

    Giota

    Algernon has written an excellent review of The Weird of the White Wolf. I have little to add to that. My favorite stories was that of "The Dream of Earl Aubec" and "While the Gods Laugh". In this volume Elric becomes moodier, more arrogant, desperate, and he is plagued by guilt. He is moved by wild emotions to irredeemable deeds. He regrets his actions but he is unwilling to let go of the cause of his misery; the one thing that destroys him while giving him power. The perfect anti-hero Elric Algernon has written an excellent review of The Weird of the White Wolf. I have little to add to that. My favorite stories was that of "The Dream of Earl Aubec" and "While the Gods Laugh". In this volume Elric becomes moodier, more arrogant, desperate, and he is plagued by guilt. He is moved by wild emotions to irredeemable deeds. He regrets his actions but he is unwilling to let go of the cause of his misery; the one thing that destroys him while giving him power. The perfect anti-hero Elric chases obsessively after his existential questions and revenging savagely any misdeed against him. Elric is a contradiction character and as I read I could relate and sympathize. It is surprising how Moorcock has managed to flesh out Elric so fully and so perfectly in a few hundred pages, though I have to admit it is done at the expense of the secondary characters that are terribly under-developed

  22. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    This was something of a disappointment this time. I have to say I couldn't remember anything about this book since the first time I read it, none of the individual stories had stuck in my mind at all. This time, incongruities in the plot grated with me a bit. Surprise surprise, Elric's mortal enemy Yyrkoon whom he unfathomably leftas regent while he went off to 'find himself' has resumed his evil plans and re-incarcerated his beloved Cymoril. The first story starts with Elric about to lead an inv This was something of a disappointment this time. I have to say I couldn't remember anything about this book since the first time I read it, none of the individual stories had stuck in my mind at all. This time, incongruities in the plot grated with me a bit. Surprise surprise, Elric's mortal enemy Yyrkoon whom he unfathomably leftas regent while he went off to 'find himself' has resumed his evil plans and re-incarcerated his beloved Cymoril. The first story starts with Elric about to lead an invasion party with the intention of burning Imrryr to the ground and wiping out his entire race. Doesn't really make sense to me. All in all the stories herein are all okay but quite forgettable. Worth reading, perhaps, as part of full story of Elric. But so far a low point in my re-read of the series that I hope improves with later volumes.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carl V.

    Michael Moorcock ramps things up with this third volume of Elric tales. This story includes a prologue that introduces two very interesting characters before moving on to Elric, who is returning after his year of adventure to exact his revenge on the man who tried to kill him and usurp his throne. The relationship between Elric and his sword, Stormbringer, builds during this novel. I'm finding these compelling reads. A more detailed review can be found here: http://www.stainlesssteeldroppings.co. Michael Moorcock ramps things up with this third volume of Elric tales. This story includes a prologue that introduces two very interesting characters before moving on to Elric, who is returning after his year of adventure to exact his revenge on the man who tried to kill him and usurp his throne. The relationship between Elric and his sword, Stormbringer, builds during this novel. I'm finding these compelling reads. A more detailed review can be found here: http://www.stainlesssteeldroppings.co...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Negar Bolboli

    Elric is no longer the same man who left Melnibone with mind to learn of the ways of men. his doom drove him to many unknown lands, to worlds beyond his own and left him ever more tormented and no closer to discovering the purpose of his existance. He is met with sorrow and knowledge does not rid him of it. He can only accept that he is no more than a pawn, a device for the gods to carry out their cosmic plans whose rules remain unclear to humankind. Although he is bitter, his character is not w Elric is no longer the same man who left Melnibone with mind to learn of the ways of men. his doom drove him to many unknown lands, to worlds beyond his own and left him ever more tormented and no closer to discovering the purpose of his existance. He is met with sorrow and knowledge does not rid him of it. He can only accept that he is no more than a pawn, a device for the gods to carry out their cosmic plans whose rules remain unclear to humankind. Although he is bitter, his character is not weak and he battles still, refusing to give way to death and humiliation.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chilly SavageMelon

    I love these Elric books, the best stuff Moorcock did. It's genre pulp so don't look for high-mindedness. But a classic anti-hero, whoopin ass with sword and sorcery. I first found these around 13 and they still hold up...at least for my inner 13 year old. I love these Elric books, the best stuff Moorcock did. It's genre pulp so don't look for high-mindedness. But a classic anti-hero, whoopin ass with sword and sorcery. I first found these around 13 and they still hold up...at least for my inner 13 year old.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    I'm starting to think that maybe I should have left these books in the nostalgia-tinted corner of my mind in which they had resided since I was 10 or so. I'm starting to think that maybe I should have left these books in the nostalgia-tinted corner of my mind in which they had resided since I was 10 or so.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Review coming eventually

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jareed

    I was giddy picking this book up. I was looking for a good series in the field of epic fantasy after reading full blown novels and saw that the Elric series is revered in the genre. I finished the two books and did not stop until well within the third of the series. However, the seemingly unprecedented fears of reading Moorcock and the Elric saga emerging within the second book (which for me) seemed to have been nothing but unfounded was embossed within the third books as if fundamentally attach I was giddy picking this book up. I was looking for a good series in the field of epic fantasy after reading full blown novels and saw that the Elric series is revered in the genre. I finished the two books and did not stop until well within the third of the series. However, the seemingly unprecedented fears of reading Moorcock and the Elric saga emerging within the second book (which for me) seemed to have been nothing but unfounded was embossed within the third books as if fundamentally attached to the series, at best, and at worst, with Moorcock's writing. I place a caveat as need be. I did not read the succeeding books in the series, nevertheless, I will carry on, with intrepid audacity, rendering a review that would seem conclusive for the entirety of the Elric saga. Who knows, the edit button is never far from reach if i may chance to pickup the other books in the series, which i doubt with great veracity. Elric was off at a good start, if I can remember, Elric is the first antihero scheme i have read under the genre. In hindsight, it proved disheartening. The series lacked the grandiosity that is fantasy (for me, defines books under the fantasy genre). The world building, which is vital to a fantasy series categorically failed. Conceivably due to the fact that the series' books are almost always composed of three novellas rather than being a single composite work. Withal, Moorcock did not seem to have deliberately expounded on his world building aside from laying the essential necessities of the Elric series. The character/story arc, although credited as idiomatic as it were, just went too wide losing sight of the main arc. They were entertaining yes but in the end it leaves you candidly empty. This arc failure is because of Moorcock's concept of the Eternal Champion (please google it) of which i will not go into pains elaborating but to me simply is (sad to say) another marketing strategy to get you to read his other works. I do no want to read another book to understand a character. If a renvoi is in the making so that i can enjoy your books, then that's consequentially disappointing. But this did not lead me to stop, no, I read the next book and that's where the proverbial straw was lying. DIMINUTIVE ASPOILER CAUTION! A. Moorcock was simply repetitive in his stories. There were a handful of plot repetitions of some of which i ought to mention. 1. There will always be a sleeping girl! Which of course Elric will help. 2. After helping a high-born short of being a perfect lady, our man Elric will always leave her. 3. Elric will never lose because he can summon a god, or when that god is defeated, a stronger god, or a stronger one or so on..... This repetitive sequences simply sucked the life of the story barely leaving Elric with any character or persona at all. B. Numerous PLOT HOLES (easily discoverable) C. Story conclusions are what would rather seem convenient to the arc rather than well thought out inferences. (Elric can just summon a God to end whatever the hell is pestering him - but then again this may be a selling point of the series). Considered however as revolutionary and radical with the presentations of fantasies in the tone of an antihero theme (one of the earliest of its kind), Moorcock is still something that an avid fan of the genre should not miss.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Martti

    The Good The story is short and moves fast. The author want's to gallop ahead with the story even before he has the chance to finish the last scene. I tried reading Elric about 10 years ago. I remember that speeding really annoyed me, but interestingly enough it doesn't anymore. So now I could actually finish the book and be taken to a fantastic flight into the battlefield of Order and Chaos. The Bad I'm not really a big fan of pulp-action sword&sourcery, because it's a thin fabric with no intricac The Good The story is short and moves fast. The author want's to gallop ahead with the story even before he has the chance to finish the last scene. I tried reading Elric about 10 years ago. I remember that speeding really annoyed me, but interestingly enough it doesn't anymore. So now I could actually finish the book and be taken to a fantastic flight into the battlefield of Order and Chaos. The Bad I'm not really a big fan of pulp-action sword&sourcery, because it's a thin fabric with no intricacies and deeper connections that one has come to expect from a good book after reading GRRMartin, JRRToliken or Steven Erikson. Every character comes and goes, scenes fly past and you really don't care about anyone or anything in these types of fast-food stories. So a speedy action going on, nothing much explained. There is a map given of some sea and bits of continents. Although no orientation. Which brings me to the first specific issue: it was stated that the raiding ships sail WEST, but basically in the next sentence they end up in Pan Tang. I'm sorry, do I need to turn the book upside down to orient the map correctly? I guess that seemed like a logical choice for the editor to make? And the elephant in the room: so it seemed like a logical strategy for the defenders to HIDE until the raiders MURDERED, RAPED and PILLAGED Imrryr and then AFTER the raiders are "tired and satisfied" to attack them. After everyone you love in the city is dead? After everything you have built is burnt down? After your riches have been stolen and you will burn and ram the raiders ships to the bottom of the ocean along with all the loot that they took from you? I'm sorry, mr Strategist, are you INSANE? In what universe does that sound like a solid plan? Do you want the last of your people to die out even faster than they already were? And because this is a no-nonsense book, we get some people coming and going/dying and Elric acting like the only big boss around. That dynamic kinda gets old really fast. Frak you, give me a Tryion Lannister with an intricate background and a crossbow in Elric's ass in any day. Or how about 20 random bowmen attacking the lonely superhero swordman and ending the whole "were so white and super"-race in a whimper. But generally that's a criticism of the second story of this short story compilation. Others might be even classified as ok. The Ugly I bought an Estonian version over 10 years ago and it seems they published the First and the Third book of the Elric series. Wtf? Although to be honest, I don't think in really matters. But still, "great planning" by the publisher. And the ugly fact is also that Elric-saga belongs into the Scifi and Fantasy top100 list of all time. I don't really see why? It's not my top100, but as I have a "Mission", I kinda have to read it. So that is the love/hate relationship that I have with pulp action sword&sourcery. I'd rather play it as a board or computer game.

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Elric meets Moonglum 4 July 2013 I know I have read this one because I have pretty much read most of the Elric books (though there is one I believe that I didn't read because it got to the point where I had begun to lose interest in them and had moved on to bigger and better things). This is not one of the best of the Elric books, and in a way, for me at least, it is very forgettable. The reason that I say that is because, well, I have forgotten pretty much what it is about. It does introduce his Elric meets Moonglum 4 July 2013 I know I have read this one because I have pretty much read most of the Elric books (though there is one I believe that I didn't read because it got to the point where I had begun to lose interest in them and had moved on to bigger and better things). This is not one of the best of the Elric books, and in a way, for me at least, it is very forgettable. The reason that I say that is because, well, I have forgotten pretty much what it is about. It does introduce his companion Moonglum, and some have suggested that we can't imagine Elric without him, whereas I simply thought 'oh, I remember him' or more likely 'gee, that name rings a bell'. What I am doing now, though, is trying to work out what I really want to write about this book because, maybe my brain has frozen now that I have written almost eight hundred commentaries on various books (and actually this would be number 796, so I think I might try and push to 800 by, say Saturday, so I can say that I have written 800 commentaries, and then continue to write commentaries so that maybe, possibly, by the end of the year I can hit 1000, though that is unlikely because it means that I have to read at least 204 books, and that is not going to happen by the end of the year. Anyway, I am coming to the end of the books that I am not really intending to read again and am now only writing commentaries as I read through the books. Well, I can probably do that by reading, and then writing, a commentary on each of the books in my Brother's Little Golden Book collection, and his Doctor Suess collection, because those books can be read in, say, five minutes – okay, that would be cheating, but then again, they are books, and they do deserve to be commented on). Gee, that was a really long parentheses, but I guess I will bring this to an end now so that I can then move on and write commentary number 797, this time on one of the roleplaying books that I have read quite a long time ago (yeah, I could fill them up with some more roleplaying books, but then my cloud is already over proportioned with books that I really don't want people to think that those is my favourite genre).

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