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The Vanishing Tower (Elric of Melniboné, #4)
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The Vanishing Tower (The Elric Saga #4)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  6,189 ratings  ·  47 reviews
This is the DAW 5th printing.
Cover Artist: Michael Whelan
Mass Market Paperback, Daw No. 245 (UE1693), 175 pages
Published June 1st 1977 by DAW (first published 1971)
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Getting hard each time to write reviews for these. So much happened in this book that it would be impossible to sum it up properly, so it's easier just to think of what the highlights were for me.

Mostly I was happy to finally see the fabled city of Tanelorn. I loved the idea all along that there was a city that exists in every world and lasts for all time. I was glad it turned out to be more than just a myth.

Not many fantasy novels use the somewhat sci-fi device of alternate realities, but Moor
Further adventures of Elric and his sidekick Moonglum consist of three interconnecting stories which is a usual structure of Elric books (sometimes there are four of them). It starts with some unfinished business from the previous book, proceeds to the city of beggars and ends in the incarnations of the Eternal Champion (Elric, Corum, and Erikose) working together.

Once again expect wild larger-than-life magic, meddling gods (they only meddle in the worst possible moments and never show up when
So, three novellas, structurally identical, wherein each the same lame antagonist threatens something that Elric wants preserved simply because he hates the antagonist, who returns from prior installments with new armies (one for each novella here) and new versions of the Fell Sorcery, only to be--surprise!--countered by Elric & Co., when they very luckily accidentally find a useful numinous object or when they very originally and unintuitively invoke the aid of some divine patron or other, ...more
Randolph Carter
You always get the feeling that most of the shorter Eternal Champion novels were written on the run, kind of like Anthony Trollope sitting down for so many hours to write so many pages per day. The Deus ex machina is always too much a part of this sort of Moorcock's sloppier slap-dash fantasy writing.

A pretty good start rambles about in typical Moorcock fashion into various travels, adventures, and perils involving a powerful sorcerer with much fantastical mayhem and swashbuckling. The best thi
Some very brief thoughts here. The episodic quality of these stories seems to put some people off, and that is a matter of taste. I enjoy the meandering quality of the books. So many fantasy works have a tightly focused quest that it's refreshing to have a break from that, more like the wanderings of Conan. I have never found the "transgressive" agenda of the books to be fully successful. Moorcock has discussed these works as an anti-Tolkien experience, but they still seem deeply enmeshed inn th ...more
Rey Mysterioso
Another in the saga of the albino incarnation of the Eternal Champion, Elric of Lost Melnibone. Which he himself pulled down to ashes in the first book.

Now he is a mercenary adrift. Hated and stereotyped by the people of the world. His features and lack of color certainly making him an easily recognizable demon of a man.

And stalwart Moonglum, who seems impervious to the curse the Elric apparently is for everyone else.

In this book we get more than a taste of the Eternal Champion mythos, as two ot
The saga of Elric the Emo continues. Seriously, I've not read any other 'hero' who whines so much about his own life and fate (except maybe Luke Skywalker), but nevertheless this is an entertaining tale.

The more I read, the more it seems the Elric is actually his own worst enemy. He manages to inspire the people he meets into ever more insane levels of revenge and plotting evil deeds, and seems to get out of trouble only to put himself each time into even worse situations. It's almost comedic :
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
David Sarkies
Sep 24, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like fantasy with a difference
Recommended to David by: Alice
Shelves: fantasy
Elric travels to Tanelorn
29 June 2013

I can't really remember much of this book because it has been a long time since I actually read it, though I believe that I did end up making my way through pretty much all of the Elric series. I am not sure either if I still have them, and I suspect that I don't because I ended up purging a lot of my books when I was somewhat younger to try to reduce the amount of clutter in my room. In a way I wanted, at the time, to not be burdened down by stuff so that I
Charles Dee Mitchell
I am not very well-versed in the tropes of heroic fantasy, but Elric , the albino emperor of Melnibone, seems an unusually morose protagonist for such a genre. Not that he is without reasons for feeling down. He is, more properly speaking, the ex-emperor of Melnibone, and he saw to its destruction himself. Stormbringer, his mighty runesword that seems to have a mind and appetite of its own, has taken the life of his one true love, and he has lost other lovers and companions along the way. As thi ...more
Robert Beveridge
Michael Moorcock, The Vanishing Tower (DAW, 1970)

Some wag is bound to notice the odd release dates on the DAW definitive editions of the six "classic" Elric novels and ask "what's up?" It only starts making sense when you pair the books with the events therein; Moorcock makes mention of the events in The Vanishing Tower, for example, in The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (q.v.). Those events hadn't yet taken place in Elric's time, as Elric notes in The Sailor on the Seas of Fate; however, they had a
The Vanishing Tower (Elric 4) &
The Bane of the Black Sword (Elric 5)
both by: Michael Moorcock

I haven’t even finished Bane yet, but I’m confident enough to write the review ahead of time.

Here’s how it goes: Elric is chasing some guy that wronged him a book or two ago, and in the process has various adventures – almost all of which are resolved rather abruptly by one deux ex machina or another. It’s very bizarre. I’m like, “Is there a story here?” Half the time it feels like a loosely padded o
There are certain places in fiction that seems to have a life of their own, that seem to exist outside of ink and paper, Rick’s Café, Yoknapatawpha County, Lankhmar, The House of the Last Lamp, or Tanelorn where weary heroes go to find peace.

Elric of Melniboné is not the average sword & sorcery hero. He springs from an ancient pre-human race, steeped in black sorcery and evil. Elric is an albino, preternaturally weak except for two things. He is allied with the foulest of all the foul deitie
Vladimir Ivanov
Очень неплохой, ровный сборник. Три красивые истории про путешествия Элрика и его вечное противостояние с обезумевшим от ревности Телебом Каарна. Финал несколько испорчен героями других книг Муркока, которые навязчиво лезут в мир Элрика (впрочем, нам не впервой).
Siskoid Albert
Again, Moorcock writes three interconnected novellas, that connection being Elric's confrontations with the evil wizard Theleb K'aarna. In the first, Elric consorts with a Goddess of Order. In the next, he is captured in the City of Beggars (an intriguing and original location). And in the third, he meets up with a couple other incarnations of the Eternal Champion to get his hands on a deus ex machina to save his friends. While the Eternal Champion concept is an interesting one, I feel like its ...more
Rex Hughes
While it possesses many of the trappings that have made the Elric saga so strangely alluring up until now, the fourth volume was too erratic for my tastes. I understand that the stories were published separately, lending a different atmosphere to the three separate novellas; however, the only common thread running through all of them was a desperate quest for vengeance against a mad sorcerer. Suffice it to say, the story ran itself into the ground after repeating the same cat and mouse game over ...more
Rereading the Elric series. What an epic series, told in a voice that is not seen in other books. The books vary in quality.

This particular book is my favorite so far. The imagery, the motivations, and the pain of Elric make this book magic.

It appears this one is the first one to have been written.... which kinda makes sense.

my reread order:

Elric of Melniboné (1972) -> done
The Fortress of the Pearl (1989) -> done
The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (1976) ->done
The Weird of the White Wolf (19
Good stuff. They're all pretty similar, but I'm enjoying them. There's just enough depth and new stuff being introduced to keep the books from being totally one dimensional.
See my review for "Elric of Melnibone" the first in this series. Though, after reading four in a row I need a break.
Eric Orchard
A very epic feeling collection in a pretty slim volume. Feels like a new phase of life for Elric with the Dreaming City destroyed and his old life in ruins. Rambling adventures of a nomadic Elric and Moonglum. Loads of fun to read.
This book is also sometimes titled 'The Sleeping Sorceress'
Technically book 4 of the Elric saga
This one took longer to read than the others primarily because I read it on the heels of the others and so felt a little oversaturated on the deeds of Elric. However upon stepping back from it at the end I can say this is one of the better books of the series. You truly get a glimpse of the terrible purpose that drives Elric and you're offered a glimpse of fair Tanelorn. With this book Elric becomes more than just a servant of Chaos although he still serves a bleak fate.
La suite des aventures d’Elric. Le format est ici similaire aux tomes précédents : ce sont des collections de nouvelles ayant un fil conducteur commun. Elric tente ici de se venger du sorcier de Pan Tang Theleb Kharna. Il va faire la connaissance d’un personnage-clé de son univers.
Les thèmes abordés sont dans la droite ligne de ce qui fait Elric, et plus généralement l’œuvre de Moorcock. Une profonde angoisse de l’homme face au silence du monde qui l’entoure.
Frank Dedge
The best book so far. The combination of Theleb + Myshella + Nadsokor + Urish + Tanelorn + the Eternal Champions + the Elenoin in one small novel proved irresistible to me. After the deception of the previous book, the Weird of the White Wolf, this one was read in a breeze. Funny though that this novel was actually written the first three as it provides the seed for countless possible adventures.
Michael Hanscom
I ended up enjoying these -- not the _best_ fantasy I've ever read (though, admittedly, I'm more of an SF person), but far from the worst, and Elric's struggles make for a more interesting lead character than most heroes. Someday I'll have to track down the final two books in the series (the used bookstore where I found these only had the first four).
Víctor Blanco
Bastante flojo en comparación con los demás, aunque como siempre con Moorcock presenta ideas interesantes y pasajes memorables.
Sep 05, 2007 Tom rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy and Dark fiction fans
Shelves: fantasy
The fourth book in the Elric saga serves more as an primer to Michael Moorcock's Multiverse and the Eternal Champion yet also moves the plot along towards its inevitable conclusion.

After more mundane adventures, Elric joins other versions of the Eternal Champion to destroy the Vanishing Tower that threatens the entire world.
[Re-read] These stories showcase some of the worst elements of the Elric series: pulpy writing; plotting around coincidences that would make only Edgar Rice Burroughs proud; and silly infodumps on Eternal Champion metaphysics. Of course, the worst Elric stories are generally still OK.
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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 about Michael Moorcock...

Other Books in the Series

The Elric Saga (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1)
  • The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric, #2)
  • The Weird of the White Wolf (The Elric Saga, #3)
  • 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 (The Elric Saga, #8)
  • The Revenge of the Rose (Elric, #9)
  • The Dreamthief's Daughter: A Tale of the Albino (Elric & Oona Von Bek, #1)
  • The Skrayling Tree: The Albino in America (Elric & Oona Von Bek, #2)
Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1) Stormbringer (Elric, #6) The Weird of the White Wolf (The Elric Saga, #3) The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric, #2) The Bane of the Black Sword (The Elric Saga, #5)

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