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Jewel in the Skull
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Jewel in the Skull (Hawkmoon #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  1,811 ratings  ·  65 reviews

Fantasy legend Michael Moorcock won hundreds of thousands of readers with his vast and imaginative multiverse, in which Law and Chaos wage war through endless alternative universes, struggling over the fundamental rules of existence.

Moorcock's heroes of the multiverse have been lauded as some of the most influential characters in fantasy. Among the Eternal Champions, Dori

Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 1st 1977 by DAW (first published 1967)
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It's a 3 1/2 story but I gave it 4 stars as I felt some of the reviewers were too harsh.

OVERALL FEELING: Evil Empire trying to take over an alternative European world; standard pulp swords and sorcery; easy read; somewhat good; few interesting points; some interesting characters; some are caricatures; flows well.

MARKETING APPEAL: This story came about in the 60s, I believe, when pulp sci fi magazines were a big thing; I doubt it made a lot of money at first but the Eternal Champion, most notably...more
Johnny Atomic
Moorcock only wrote one "Eternal Champion" book. He just gave it multiple titles and filled in the rest like an anti-hero "Mad Libs". Fortunately for me, I liked the book and can see it all as just variations of some desert I really enjoy.

Here is an overview of "The Book". Feel free to use it for Corum, Erekose, Elric or what-have-you.

A juvenile, self absorbed, doomed, ant-hero archetype sets out to destroy the the "Freaked Out Evil Britain Analogy". Not because he wanted to, but because he had...more
Dana Larose
1960s pulp sword & sorcery by the guy who brought you Elric and Stormbringer (actually I gather Hawkmoon is part of Moorcock's Eternal Champion multiverse). It's about what you can expect from the genre and era, but Moorcock was an important early influence on 70s and 80s fantasy, as well as Dungeons & Dragons.

It's set in a future Europe that has reverted to a medieval level of technology, with some remaining technology plus magic (they talk about sorcerer-scientists). Great Britain (Gra...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Maybe not quite as good as Elric, form a "coldly logical" point of view, but I have a real soft spot for the Hawkmoon novels. This is close to the edition I read first (same cover but I read it in '74). These novels (2 Hawkmoon series) could be called the culmination of the Eternal Champion Cycle.

I stumbled on this book when I had very limited access to books. Someone else had "donated it to the cause" (I was in a situation where we all shared any book that came to anybody). I liked fantasy and...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in March 1999.

The first of Moorcock's Runestaff series really sets the tone of his mature style. Like many of his fantasy novels, it fits in with his ideas about the Eternal Champion, which is a mechanism by which all his heroes are in fact more or less interchangeable aspects of one archetypal hero.

The atmosphere of the book is typical of Moorcock. It is set in a Europe far into the future, in a civilisation recovered after a nuclear holocaust. The Dark Empi...more
David Elsensohn
The back cover copy, in that late-sixties flair, marks this series “destined to rank with the Conan series and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.” It’s a bold but obvious reader-bait claim, stuck betwixt Howard’s vibrant, brawny storytelling and Tolkien’s expansive worlds and languages. Moorcock brings a different angle to speculative fiction, a rebuke to archetypal heroes: cruelly attractive protagonists shrouded in potential evil, and the concept of champions forced to return again and again in an...more
Clive Anthony
For some reason this was on my mind and I searched through my old books, finding the version with this cover. Copyrighted 1967 the price on the back was £0.30 Probably last read in the 70s...
I read it in a few days, it was easy and quick. Not a challenging read and fairly short, the characters were not really developed although their motivations were clear. The plot was not hard to figure and was a little disappointing at times. The cover and blurb makes a lot of the jewel in the skull and yet t...more
Jose Vera
Hablar de Moorcock es hablar del multiverso del campeón eterno, de la eterna lucha entre el Caos y la Ley y de trágicos héroes.

Moorcock creó una serie de sagas en donde todos los personajes al final son el mismo en diferentes aspectos. Son el campeón eterno, peones en la eterna lucha entre Caos y Ley, entre lo estático y el cambio, entre la civilización y la locura.

Tanto la Ley como el Caos tratan de imponer sus paradigmas. En el caso de la Ley hablamos de orden, razón, estabilidad. Pero el pred...more
This one, even more so than last year’s re-reading of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series, was a real trip down Memory Lane for me. I think I must have been about 13-14 years old when I read my first work by Michael Moorcock (an Elric novella in an anthology edited by Lin Carter). I suppose I must have been very susceptible for tragic anti-heroes as a teenager because I was very enthusiastic about the story and immediately began to get and read (it’s hard to imagine for me today, but ba...more
Very, very average book, but I guess that's what you get when you read groundbreaking dark fantasy 43 years late.

Andrea Santucci
Recensione completa qui:

È noto che non sono un grande fan di Michael Moorcock. In questo romanzo ho riscontrato la stessa scrittura pigra che mi aveva negativamente impressionato quando lessi Elric. Tuttavia, la storia un po' pulp di un'Europa futura in cui, dopo un millennio di guerra totale (a base di testate nucleari, sembra intendersi tra le righe)la civiltà è regredita a un medioevo fantasy con lanciafiamme (che di per sé è awesome), ha solleticato l...more
Roddy Williams
In the first of the four volume ‘Runestaff’ series, Moorcock introduces us to Dorian Hawkmoon, another incarnation of the Eternal Champion. Hawkmoon hails from Köln, in a Germany of the far future. The Dark Empire of Granbretan has begun its invasion of Europe and in the way stands the Kamarg, a land of marshes, giant flamingos, white bulls and horned horses. There, in Castle Brass lives Count Brass, scientist and soldier.
Hawkmoon is captured by Baron Meliadus and, having had a sentient and dead...more
Currently reading it. Interesting setting that could become a masterpiece, but the novel happens to be a potboiler. The prose is weak, the characters are flat and the structures is awkward. The Novel begins with Lord Brass, but the protagonist happens to be Hawkmoon who is introduced at page 30 or 40 /i can't remember the exact page/.

Jewell in the skull provides the reader with a cliche story of an Evil Dark Empired ruled by immortal empoeror that aims to conquer the world. It all happens after...more
Daniel Castellanos
Good Old Fantasy.

Bad ass Warrior Hero Archetype, beautiful fair woman archetype, evil handsome villain... well it's all kind of archetype. You know what to expect and it happens. But it's still good.

It goes straight to the point, no idle distractions, Moorcock builds his world as the character discover it. No, most of the times unnecessary, side-stories and secondary characters. Characters are cool, although somewhat week (all kind of archetypes, you guess when someone is bad, or someone is a ba...more
3.5 stars:

It's good to get back to Moorcock's Eternal Champion cycles. This time around it's a new world for me, a post-apocalyptic world of the far future following The Tragic Millenium. The Dark Empire of Granbretan has spread across a version of Europe filled with both magic and clockwork technologies.

This first book felt a bit like a cross between an Elric book and an Erekosë book. Dorian Hawkmoon, our hero, has that typical Moorcock fatalism, but unlike Elric or Erekosë he doesn't really fi...more
Robert Beveridge
Michael Moorcock, The Jewel in the Skull (DAW, 1967)

Dorian Hawkmoon, the last Duke of Koln, is another of Moorcock's instances of the Eternal Champion. Hawkmoon's tales are especially amusing, as the world on which Hawkmoon adventures is the nearest allegory to the world we know in Moorcock's sword-and-sorcery writing.

Count Brass, protector of the south-Provence country of Kamarg, is content to be left in peace in his castle as the Dark Empire sweeps down over Europe from the island nation of Gr...more

Fantasy legend Michael Moorcock won hundreds of thousands of readers with his vast and imaginative multiverse, in which Law and Chaos wage war through endless alternative universes, struggling over the fundamental rules of existence.

Moorcock's heroes of the multiverse have been lauded as some of the most influential characters in fantasy. Among the Eternal Champions,Dorian Hawkmoon is one of the most loved. Inthe far future,Hawkmoonis pulled unwillingly into a war that will eventually pit him

First of a series, this fantasy story is about Count Brass, a man who runs the small kingdom of Kamarg, in what we know as southern France. He wants to spend his remaining years in peace and serenity, so he has no interest in allying with anyone, against anyone. Kamarg is also the last holdout against the forces of Granbretan, the Dark Empire, who have been uniting the many warring factions in Europe.

Baron Meliadus, the right-hand man to the Granbretan king, pays a visit to talk alliance between...more
I read the earlier un-revised version of this book, and I can see why he decided to go back and revise it later. In some ways it was very typical male authored fantasty, male characters doing important things, with very few female characters (though I did like the Princess in the blue plate mail!) There were a little too many fights and battles for my taste and the characters were fairly one dimensional. That said there were quite a lot of things I did like. I really liked the post-apocalyptic f...more
oguz kaan
Bu kitap Elric'in de içinde bulunduğu Multiverse evreninde geçiyor.

Hızlı akan-okunan, derin karakterlere sahip olmayan, sıkıcı diyaloglar taşımayan "Ortaçağ Avrupası" temel alınarak kurulmuş ve kendi dünya haritamız üzerinde geçen, belirsiz bir zaman aralığında geçen -Trajik Binyıl'dan sonra-, büyü-bilim sistemine sahip, yazıldığı tarih bakımıyla oldukça orijinal olacak bir eser okumak istiyorsanız, Kafatasındaki Mücevher (Hawkmoon #1) tam sizlikdir.

Yukarıda neredeyse söylenecek herşeyi söylem...more
Sarah Sammis
By all accounts I should have loved The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock. I normally enjoy his twisted take on things. This one has plot elements I normally enjoy; it's a post apocalyptic fantasy with a mixture of science and magic but the book just left me cold. I put it down after the first sixty pages.

This first volume in the four volume History of the Runestaff series is deceptively short (160 pages or so) but dense. At the same time it's incredibly stupid. It's somewhere between Heart...more
I'm so glad I finally read my first Michael Moorcock. Will definitely read the rest of this 4 book series and later, hopefully, I will read the subsequent trilogy... We'll see... I also want to get to his Elric books. I've heard for a long time about the so-called Moorcockian Multiverse, and I want to read more and get into that!

Seriously, I LOVED this book! It was... amazing; great prose writing, a wonderfully easy-to-read and fast-paced book, brilliant world-building within a 224 pages book, c...more
Una historia de fantasía entretenida, de fácil lectura, pero con personajes demasiado planos y mal manejo del suspenso. En lugar de dosificar elementos y centrarse en los principales, Moorcock utiliza centenares de páginas en describir elementos, personajes y situaciones irrelevantes para la historia principal.

Lo divertido de la historia es que más parece el relato de las aventuras de un PJ de un juego de rol, ya que el protagonista desconoce la sutileza: entre penetrar subrepticiamente a una fo...more
This was pretty good for an introductory story for the Runestaff series. I really like Michael Moorcock's books, Jewel In the Skull was a decent story but it didn't really grab me like The Eternal Champion or Elric of Melnibone did.
This is an old school Euro style capital K-Knight in shiny shiny armor, battling the bad and nasty monsters and evil foreign evil empire. Written at a more simple time (hahaha more like simple mind) it is a tale of good vs bad, corrupt vs just. it takes place in a post apocalyptic collapse of world civilization where magic Reigns supreme.
The story contains fantastical beast, mechanical and humanoid creations both living and dead and cities and castles that never could have existed. I wish The au...more
This book seemed to have a decent plot, but I found that the exposition was really poor. It felt more like I was reading through a long summary of the story rather than the story itself; each element was introduced and then resolved without much emotion in the writing at all. Characters' moods and opinions changed however the story needed them to with little realism or explanation. Problems tended to be resolved very simply and quickly, but rather than seeming to have "Mary Sue" characters, it f...more
Ben Lees
One of the first of Moorcock's early "thin" books I read. A great adventure yarn and a great example of lean and exciting storytelling.
Doug Dandridge
Jun 24, 2012 Doug Dandridge rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of Dark Fantasy
Another Jewel in the Eternal Champion Series.
Michael Moorcock was well known for Elric of Melnibone', a manifestation of
the Eternal Champion. Dorian Hawkmoon, the Duke of Koln is another.
Fighting in an alternate Europe where the evil mages of the Empire of Grand
Britain are overrunning Europe, he faces men in beast masks, Orthnicopter
flying machines, and genetically engineered war beasts. The Jewel is
planted in Dorian's forehead in order to control him, but he breaks free,
and so begins the...more
Otis Campbell
Once was a jewel with fire in my soul
There's two sides of a mirror
One I couldn't break through
Jeremy Sovereign
A good book in the Moorcock catalog. I think it is one of the first in his eternal champion multiverse. It was recently re-released and this is that version. The battling in the middle got a little boring, but that's just me, but there were a lot of great ideas in the book. It was also little weird, having read the Count Brass series, which features many of the same characters and some references to the events in this series. So my interpretation of the characters were probably influenced by tha...more
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Michael John Moorcock is an English writer primarily of science fiction and fantasy who has also published a number of literary novels.
Moorcock has mentioned The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Apple Cart by George Bernard Shaw and The Constable of St. Nicholas by Edward Lester Arnold as the first three books which captured his imagination. He became editor of Tarzan Adventures in 1956,...more
More about Michael Moorcock...
Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1) Stormbringer (Elric, #6) The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4) The Weird of the White Wolf (The Elric Saga, #3) The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric, #2)

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