Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Sailor on the Seas of Fate” as Want to Read:
A Sailor on the Seas of Fate
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Sailor on the Seas of Fate (The Elric Saga #2)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  6,539 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Leaving his cousin Yrkoon sitting as regent upon the Ruby Throne of Melnibone, leaving his cousin Cymoril weeping for him and despairing of his ever returning, Elric sailed from Imrryr, the Dreaming City, and went to seek an unknown goal in the world of the Young Kingdoms where Melniboneans were at best, disliked.

Read by Jeff West. Included is a dramatic introduction over

Paperback, DAW Books No. 220 (UY1270), 160 pages
Published December 21st 1976 by DAW (first published 1976)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Sailor on the Seas of Fate, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Sailor on the Seas of Fate

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

4.0 stars. Aaaaaaaaahhhh!!!.....A wonderful and deeply satisfying dose of that lush, rich Moorcockian prose is delivered directly into the fanboy-center of the brain in this second injection of the Elric of Melnibone series. In this treatment we are introduced to the mythos of the “Eternal Champion” as Elric hooks up with 3 of the EC’s other primary avatars: Corum Jhaelen Irsei, Dorian Hawkmoon and Erekose. The four component badasses agree to undertake a mission to unleash a torrent of Grade A

... and leaving his cousin Yirkoon sitting as Regent upon the Ruby Throne of Melnibone, leaving his cousing Cymoril weeping for him and despairing of his ever returning, Elric sailed from Imrryr, the Dreaming city, and went to seek an unknown goal in the worlds of the Young Kingdoms where Melniboneans were, at best, disliked.


Elric has it all: a rich island kingdom to rule, a beautiful woman's love, friends and enemies to make life interesting, plus a huge library to peruse. Yet he is unsettled
J.G. Keely
Too few fantasy authors ask what 'magic' means, which is a problem, since, with a few notable exceptions, magic is what makes fantasy fantastical. When reading Moorcock, it becomes clear you have found an author who is very interested in exploring what 'magic' is, and who has made very deliberate decisions about what his magic means.

Magic is a conceptual space. It was created, inadvertently, as a representation of the inner reality of human thought, as opposed to the external reality of the phys
Elric, the last Emperor of Melnibone, left his island empire to learn more about the world outside with a hope of finding a way to reverse the decline of his people's civilization. During his travels he was accused of being a spy - his race is not much trusted by outsiders - but was able to flee from his imprisonment. Being closely pursued he had no choice but to board a mysterious ship bound for an unknown destination - unknown to everybody on board except for even more mysterious captain.

Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Michael Moorcock’s Sailor on the Seas of Fate continues the adventures of Elric the albino emperor of Melniboné. While his ambitious cousin Yyrkoon sits as regent, and his consort Cymoril doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive, Elric is in self-exile, exploring other lands so that he can better understand his subjects. He hopes to become a more worthy emperor and, perhaps, to discover why his own race has lost what he calls its “humanity.” For his ancestors ar
Mike (the Paladin)
I looked over some of the reviews and was surprised at the number of negative attitudes toward the Eleric books. To me these (and most of the other Eternal Champion series) hold a special place in the "annals" of Epic fantasy. I reviewed the Omnibus edition of these books but my first experince was with the paperback single editions.

In this volume several "incarnations" of the Champion meet and the book can actually be seen to have several places in the Eternal Champion Multiverse as the histori
Edward Rathke
This is a very interesting book. It begins as a somewhat normal adventuring novel but imbued with a lot of surrealism. But then it blossoms into this internality, this meditation on life and purpose and fate and grief.

Elric is a tragic hero and we really begin to see that here. He begins the novel as the same super powered man he was before but by the end Moorcock's playing with what that means for him and those around him.

A surreal swashbuckling novel that becomes a lamentation, a dirge. Frig
Shannon Appelcline
The Sailor on the Seas of Fate: "Sailing to the Future". On its own an amazing and evocative story of Elric shockingly meeting his other incarnations. In comparison to The Quest for Tanelorn, which is another viewpoint of the same story: a bit more shallow, and largely repetitive [7+/10].

The Sailor on the Seas of Fate: "Sailing to the Present". This is a delightfully spooky story that I've always found haunting. It very nicely bridges the other two shorts in this novel, gives nice insight into M
David Sarkies
Oct 28, 2015 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like their fantasy different
Recommended to David by: A young aldy
Shelves: fantasy
Elric Explores the World
25 April 2013

This is the second of the Elric books, and like the first, is crafted by using a collection of short stories (four I believe). Elric, or at least the early Elric books, because once the Elric saga became a runaway success Moorcock began to simply write, what I consider at least, rubbish simply to capitalise on the fame of his anti-hero. The only problem is that I do not believe (and I have catalogued most of my books) I still have them, and I suspect that I
This is an awesome series, let me just get that out right now. But if I had to pick the book I liked "least", it would be this one.

It's not because it's a bad book - it's not. But it feels like it's sort of an aside to the main story, even though it covers the first real adventuring Elric does (that's worthy of being chronicled at least) once he's left Melnibone. I guess it's because in the grand scheme of things, nothing that happens in this book is immediately connectible to the main direction
The second book in the Elric series.
Elric decides he needs some self improvement, and that he should take a year out from being Emperor and travel the lesser kingdoms. I think his idea is that he could better understand the younger human races by living amongst them, but hatred of melniboneans is so rife that Elric has little luck, and instead ends up wandering despondently on some random lonely shoreline. When up rolls the mist and a mysterious boat! And this boat travels the seas between all
Elisa Massimino
Più vuole fuggire al suo destino più il destino piomba su di lui.Un Elric che non vuole essere un eroe ma che si trova sempre a combattere per la giustizia, un uomo dalle fattezze da demone che ha un gran cuore. Stavolta si troverà ad affrontare molte sfide senza capire se ciò che gli accade è realtà o forse un sogno.. Naviga sui mari del fato che lo porterà in varie dimensioni e in varie epoche.
cercherà di scoprire l origine della sua stirpe e piomberà su di lui ancora più sventura.
Stephen Richter
This is some Old School Grim Sword & Sorcery, The albino Elric of Melnibone, after being stranded on his last adventure, joins a group of kick ass warriors for some treasure hunting that includes reptile men and a blind god. A little humor here or there would have made Moorcock a better read, as his tales are as serious in tone as a sword in the heart, which can happen if you stand too close to Elric and his cursed sword. " Don't blame me, it the sword, " is now my favorite excuse.
La lettura de "sui mari del fato" riconferma le ottime impressioni avute nel primo volume.
Elric incomincia ad assumere i tratti dell'antieroe : onorevole e mosso da dubbi esistenziali, ma pronto ad effettuare azioni disdicevoli pur di raggiungere l'obiettivo prefissatosi.
La struttura del romanzo verte su 3 atti, i quali risultano autonomi l'uno dall'altro.
Tale caratteristica contribuisce in positivo nella ricerca di un'atmosfera straniante e onirica, ma forse il lettore più pretenzioso potrebbe
John Lawson
Abdicating his throne to his looney cousin (in what reality would THAT have made sense?), Elric goes on a cruise to find himself. Getting his groove back ensues.

Much better than the first book. Stormbringer's personality begins to show, as well as its power. However, much of the episodes dealing with his voyages across haunted seas were somewhat anticlimactic, but still, the imagery is amazing. Imagine what Guillermo de Toro could do with this story, or Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Upon this read-through,
Charles Dee Mitchell
Elric has rather unwisely left his decidedly untrustworthy cousin Yyrkoon in charge of things back home in Melinbone, as he goes questing. For what? Not exactly clear on that. Although he has the unreliable aid of a Lord of Chaos, and is on good terms with the elementals who control, well, the elements, he has a vision of world where men may live without these supernatural forces. And he thinks that answers may lie within the Young Kingdoms, although residents of the Young Kingdoms will despise ...more
I finished reading Sailor on the Seas of Fate last night. Book two of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné series. It’s very atmospheric and, in many ways, romantic. As I lay in bed this morning, resisting the necessity of getting ready for work, it suddenly struck me: Sword and Sorcery fantasy is to men what romance-novel fantasies are to women. They are a way of escaping from the real world, where jobs are boring, relationships require effort and we have to eat our vegetables.

These books are
These books are silly in memory, but for a while there I was a huge fan of Mr. Moorcock's, and read everything I could get my hands on back when I was thirteen and fourteen.

Had to seek out British editions of the second Count Brass trilogy and in doing so earned the derisive laughter of the guys in Wahrenbrock's Books in downtown San Diego because I asked after matching editions. I explained why, and Yon shouted out, "Hey, Chuck! The kid wants his SPINES to be UNIFORM!" And then everyone in the
Marko Vasić
Psychedelic, transcendental world, full of wall-moving-towers, worlds within worlds, creatures that transit between the worlds, paradoxical situations and unsolved shapes. Original and keenly.
Alexander Draganov
Weird and fast-paced adventure, second in the Elric series. The thoughtful Emperor of Melnibone decides to learn more about the world outside his Empire and is invited on the board of a strange ship, which can travel between worlds. A cataclismic confrontation with sorcerous beings from a different plane of reality awaits; yet this is only the first of three dangerous journeys. At times the book is so bizzare that it is difficult to read it, as the author was not capable of translating his ideas ...more
Ger Stormchaser
Tercer libro cronológico de la saga de Elric, aunque habría que leerlo en segundo lugar. La narración por momentos va a la deriva, pero la imaginación del autor la convierten en un entretenimiento muy recomendable. Por suerte hacia el final repunta, ofreciendo un fantástico desenlace y dejándonos con ganas de leer más.
Red Siegfried
Proto-Goth Elric and his soul sucking sword Stormslayer are taken on a magical mystery tour in a magic boat to smite evil. As is his wont, Elric summons demons to do this then broods.

As usual, Moorcock has a way of keeping the story short and sweet, typically by sparing us unnecessary dialogue. Normally this wouldn't be the perferred method of "showing, not telling" in a story, but Moorcock's narration is pleasing enough to read that you won't mind, and he always keeps the action moving along.

Eric Fomley
Elric journeys without any sense of direction. He knows not where in the vast world he might be and he certainly doesn’t care where he’s going. Elric is tired, weak, and pursued by enemies. He finds refuge by boarding a mysterious ship, a ship that was already expecting him. Aboard this ship is a crew of desperate men which all were found in similar manner and desperation as Elric. The ship is one that travels between worlds and the dimensional planes of the earth’s existences. Its crew is fille ...more
Carl V.
Elric's adventures continue, with the reader being introduced to the concept of the multiverse and some of the incarnations of the Eternal Champion. I am really enjoying reading Moorcock's work, it is a pleasure to experience what has made these books so beloved by many over the last several decades. I wrote a more detailed review which can be found here if you are interested:
I'm really not sure what to make of these books. This is really a series of three short stories, which happen to have the same main characters. The writing is similar to the first, rather fast paced, and full of rich descriptions.
The first story is the worst of the three, picked up by some strange boat and whisked into strange dimensions to battle strange sorcerors.. All rather strange eh? This had some kind of Fate Has Decided plot, and Elric doesn't really decide anything, but just goes along
Ben Loory
the second book in the elric series... every bit as shitty as the first one was great. embarrassingly overwritten; cobbled together mish-mash of silly named people; characters with no desires wandering through meaningless episodes that make no sense... the last five pages are kind of cool, but by then who really cares.

stopping here for now.
Michael Eging
Back in 1976, this was a 12 year old's first introduction to more adult fantasy. My father bought this book for me, effectively thrusting me into the multiverse populated by the powers of Chaos and Law. Elric had fought to retain his throne of the declining empire of Melnibone. Yet, something deep inside him yearned to understand the rise of the human kingdoms and the the world around his insular realm. So, he places his rival cousin on the throne in a custodial role, and seeks knowledge and und ...more
Sven Mysterioso
I love these covers, by the way. The same off-putting but alluring depiction that somehow Moorcock's words also achieves. It's really stunning to me how well this all flows together.

So here in book two, we come to understand Moorcock's Eternal Champion concept, and that Elric himself is indeed an incarnation thereof. Moody boy Elric takes it in stride, because to him OF COURSE he is doomed to forever wage war without respite. You know, I can appreciate it when a goth gets their comeuppance :)

This is the second book in the Elric saga. Similar to the first book, this is more a collection of 3 stories that are tenuously linked together.

Here, Elric begins his solitary quest to find answers to unknown questions. And he's still very much the brooding, melancholy, unlikely hero.

My review of the first book holds true for this one, as well: this is a "thinking" fantasy/adventure. There is action and magic, but it's not quite the hack-and-slash of a Conan epic. It makes for an interesting rea
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Swords Against Wizardry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #4)
  • Elric: Tales of the White Wolf (Michael Moorcock's Elric)
  • Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone
  • Darkness Weaves
  • Conan of Cimmeria (Conan 2)
  • Elric: Stormbringer
  • Three Hearts and Three Lions
  • Imaro
  • Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn (Thieves' World, #2)
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 about Michael Moorcock...

Other Books in the Series

The Elric Saga (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1)
  • The Weird of the White Wolf (The Elric Saga, #3)
  • The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4)
  • The Bane of the Black Sword (The Elric Saga, #5)
  • Stormbringer (Elric, #6)
  • Elric at the End of Time (Elric, #7)
  • The Fortress of the Pearl (Elric #8)
  • The Revenge of the Rose (Elric, #9)
  • The Dreamthief's Daughter
  • The Skrayling Tree: The Albino in America (Elric & Oona Von Bek, #2)

Share This Book

“I know not which I prefer the look of—those who attack us or that which defends us!” 9 likes
More quotes…