Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  7,611 Ratings  ·  209 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.
Mass Market Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 15th 1985 by Berkley (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 The Sailor on the Seas of Fate, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The 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)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mark Lawrence
Holy crap! I, Mark Lawrence, have read an entire book in 4 hours!

Admittedly I picked it up after discovering that it was only 24,000 words long, or 1/2oth of a George Martin epic.

Still, the copy I have is a hardback, 40 years old, and at 169 pages, not an exceptionally slim novel. Admittedly the font is HUGE!

I gave this a 3* from memory and now I'm revising it down to a 2*. It's OK. There are good things in it, and bad things.

The 33 Moorcock books on my fantasy shelf speak to the love I had for

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
May 11, 2015 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

... 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
Absolutely amazing.

No amount of words can explain just how great these two books are for either the world of Fantasy or of even regular Literature. This is the template of which all other fantasies are but mere illusions or drawn-out caricatures.

Heavy words, no? Seriously. Let me explain.

This is drawn in the traditional sword and sorcery style, yes, but that is just a platform on which to leap out and explore wild imaginings and deep world-building, all of which is done so smoothly that it put
Bill  Kerwin
May 18, 2007 Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 20th-c-brit

n this second volume of the series, Emperor Elric of Melnibone takes leave of his kingdom to discover the nature of the upstart human world that lies beyond his ancient Dragon Isle. But instead the Lords of Chaos offer him a less common odyssey: a journey upon the “seas of fate” that border other planes, other times and wash up on the shores of his own particular destiny.

Elric has three distinct adventures: 1) “Sailing to the Future,” in which—together with three other incarnations of the Eterna
Jul 17, 2013 Evgeny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.

Jan 28, 2017 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific book. In only 160 pages, Michael Moorcock can create complex worlds and memorable characters. On to Book 3 in the series.
Kat  Hooper
Jun 06, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Giota Bourha
I am under the impression that The Sailor on the Seas of Fate is a composition of short stories initially published as standalone stories and it shows. The The Sailor on the Seas of Fate feels disjointed, its structure forced.

The book is divided into three parts (Sailing to the Past, Sailing to the Present and Sailing to the Future), which constitute three loosely connected stories from Elric’s life, each with a very different feel to it. My favorite part was ‘Sailing to the Future’ and my le
Shannon Appelcline
Jul 01, 2014 Shannon Appelcline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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
Negar Bolboli
"Man may trust man, Prince Elric, but perhaps we’ll never have a truly sane world until men learn to trust mankind. That would mean the death of magic, I think"
David Sarkies
Apr 25, 2013 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  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
Apr 10, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a reader who actively looks for series or sequels. But there are many talented writers who extend their vision out beyond the end of one book and contribute entertaining and engrossing novels after establishing a world building or a charismatic protagonist. These later novels, while not always as strong as the original, deserve notice and frequently praise.

Some writers establish the foundation of a series and then, as is too often the case, merely dole out a carbon copy, with each succe
Apr 17, 2012 Kascha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 06, 2016 Jos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Inconsistencies and Moorcock overextending his writing skills got me thinking about dismissing this cycle. Luckily, the book was rescued in the last third when it became obvious why this cycle had such an impact on the fantasy genre.

Inconsistencies: Elric just escaped from prison. Without any explanation, he's still in the possession of Stormbringer, his armor and his needed drugs. While I can accept the various improbable encounters with ships as a sign of a higher fate, I have difficulties wit
Jan 28, 2011 Sath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 20, 2015 Carmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Navighiamo sui mari del fato...Cosa ci aspetterà domani?

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 stranian
Feb 21, 2016 Uve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tercer título de la saga de Elric de Melniboné, publicado por primera vez en 1976. Dividido en tres libros, narra tres aventuras en las que Elric navega por distintos barcos, continuando su aventura tras dejar atrás la Isla del Dragón.

En el primer libro, "Navegando hacia el futuro", Elric embarca en la Nave Oscura, un barco que siempre navega entre bancos de niebla, como si fuera éste quien la genere a su paso. Durante el viaje conoce a grandes guerreros de otros reinos y mundos que, pronto desc
Edward Rathke
Jun 09, 2015 Edward Rathke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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.
Ignacio Senao f
Mar 29, 2016 Ignacio Senao f rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy pulp. No para la acción con todo tipo de monstruos, situaciones y escenarios.

Perfecto para relajar el cerebro.
Sep 20, 2016 Alihan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
İlk kitaptan çok daha keyifliydi. Özellikle şu kısım beni epey etkiledi:

Kader Denizlerindeki Denizci
Charles Dee Mitchell
May 04, 2013 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Ben Goodridge
Jan 24, 2017 Ben Goodridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"And then things got weird" is probably the best way to describe this trilogy of short stories compiled into the second book.

I read this one via the audiobook route. Oddly enough, despite my devotion to reducing the pile of Unread volumes cluttering up my life, I don't seem to own this one. I bought a six-book boxed set of the Elric saga out of a bargain bin some time ago, but when it came time to inventory the unread, two of the six were missing.

Well, missing or not, it had to be read, or it wo
Aug 08, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't been able to settle on a book recently. While I usually have two or three on the go at any one time, I've been at six or seven the last few weeks. So, in exasperation, I decided to try "one from the vaults", and landed on Elric!

It's been thirty-odd years since I last read this one, and I'm pleased to say that it didn't disappoint. I'd initially given it a provisional three-star rating, which I've happily upped to four stars. So...

A collection of three episodic adventures for the self-e
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 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
  • Darkness Weaves
  • Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone
  • Elric: Stormbringer
  • Three Hearts and Three Lions
  • Conan of Cimmeria (Conan 2)
  • Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn (Thieves' World, #2)
  • Elak of Atlantis
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 17 books)
  • Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories (Elric Chronological Order, #1)
  • 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 (The Elric Saga #7)
  • The Fortress of the Pearl (Elric #8)
  • The Revenge of the Rose (Elric, #9)
  • The Dreamthief's Daughter

Share This Book

“I know not which I prefer the look of—those who attack us or that which defends us!” 9 likes
“Death is the promise we're all born with, sir. A good
death is better than a poor one.”
More quotes…