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Elric (fantasy masterworks 17)
Type: FantasyAuthor: Michael_Moorcock
Moorcock was always one of those authors I thought I'll get around to reading but something else always popped up. When I started playing RPGs in the early eighties the influence of Elric, Corum and others were evident, especially in games such as Runequest. A year ago I read Dancers at the End of Time and was surprised how compulsive I found the book. So I bought Elric- the fantasy masterworks version- which comprises the original short stories/novellas that formed Moorcocks first two books: Stealer of Souls and Stormbringer. The stories cover all of Elrics exploits including the doom laden climax, and I think all other stories since fit into the structure here at some stage. The book is traditional fantasy style with a fair twist. The pace, understandable given they were short prices originally, is pacy and no frills. The characters are interesting although all are overshadowed by Elric. I imagine in the sixties it was quite a jolt in fantasy having such an anti-hero as your main character. Elric is at times cruel, selfish, arrogant, peevish and most of all weakened by his addiction to his vampiric sword Stormbringer. This is the books pivotal relationship and one you just know ain't gonna end well. Moorcock took a lot of inspiration from Poul Anderson, who in turn drew from Norse folklore in his tales. This is a saga and a tragedy and one that impacted heavily on modern fantasy writing. I think it deserves it's place in the Masterworks series and would recommend anyone with an interest in classic fantasy to read it.
Rating: 4.25Reviews: 4

User: RossK
User: tgoyette I started reading this series back in the 70's when it originally came out in paperback. It was just short of great. Each novel hinted that the next would be greatness. Greatness was always just around the corner, but it never quite got there. Still it is a good read.
User: Personally I always felt that Elric was Moorcock's most well-established character, those his weren't always the best stories. Moonglum was, by far, the best incarnation of the companion. Though some of Elric's better stories appeared elsewhere, this volume does provide a great deal of the world of the Young Kingdoms and gives a real feel for how the gods are just waiting over the horizon to step in with a curse or a blessing. This book is a good introduction to Elric, though it stands somewhat aloof from the rest of Moorcock's Eternal Champion cycle.

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