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Stormbringer (The Elric Saga #6)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  6,347 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Sword and Swordsman... But which is master?

Stormbringer, the mighty runesword, hangs far away in the city's armoury. Elric, haunted albino warrior-king, has sworn never again to touch the enchanted blade.

But now he needs it as never before. Evil supernatural beings have abducted Zarozinia, his lovely wife. He would sacrifice the world itself to rescue her. But will Stormbr
...more
Paperback, 189 pages
Published December 1974 by Granada Publishing Limited (first published 1965)
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J.G. Keely
"I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I'd rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas." -Michael Moorcock

With this simple sentence, Moorcock reveals something troubling and endemic to the fantasy genre: that not enough fantasy authors start out with fantastical ideas. There are a lot of big writers out there (with really big books) who don't have very big ideas. But perhaps that shouldn't surprise us, since their ur-inspiration, Tolkien, has a remarkably vast amount of skill
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Evgeny
The conclusion of Elric saga is here. The book starts with events mentioned in the epilogue of the last book: Elric's wife is kidnapped by forces of Chaos. Elric's patron god Arioch also happens to belong to Chaos, so the poor albino has to fight his own patron. This kidnapping also happened to be a minor detail of the all-out war between Law and Chaos in which Elric becomes involved in spite of himself.

This is a good conclusion to the series. My only question is: I thought this was the final b
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Manny
When I was a student at Cambridge during the late 70s, the Cambridge University Science Fiction Society had an evening every week at one of the local pubs. They were sufficiently well-known there that they had managed to persuade the bartenders to add a few SF-themed cocktails to their repertoire.

The favourite was the Elric of Melnibone, which, I recall correctly, consisted of vodka and milk, with two maraschino cherries floating in it. Now what the I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream? I'm pretty
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David Sarkies
I just browsed through another review of this book and I think that the writer of that review pretty much describes Moorcock's style perfectly. He is an ordinary writer with big vision and is able to tell a story in a short book that can be pretty much read in a day. In fact I am tempted to go down to Northcote and actually try to get my hands on some of the Moorcock books again because of the fact that they tend to be a very short and quick read.
Compare them to say 'Wheel of Time' where the b
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William King
It's hard for me to write objectively about this book. It blew me away when I first read it as a teenager and the memory of reading and re-reading it stays with me still. It's a doomy, angst-ridden tale with a bleak ending and some very haunting scenes. To this day, fourty years later, I can remember the mighty skyscraper sized Chaos fleet sailing across land and sea with its crew of the damned. I'm not sure it would have such impact if I read it for the first time now. Don't care. My angst-ridd ...more
Neal Romanek
I've delayed reading any of Moorcock's fantasy novels until now. Shame. This book was everything I was looking for as a fantasy obsessed D&D playing teenager - no surprise, because Moorcock's work is the source material - as much or more than LOTR - for all those D&D fantasy worlds I inhabited in my high school years.

Stormbringer is dark and tragic and painted in bold, psychedelic strokes. Like a lot of my favorite fantasy fiction, it doesn't pretend to realism or character subtleties. I
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Tom
The glum anti-hero Elric's saga comes to an end, or does it, in the sixth volume of doomed rightful ruler of Melnibone.

In this volume we get the long anticipated final battle of Elric at the Doom Time when his age is destined to end. It is a satisfying conclusion to a decidedly gloomy series and anyone tired of a happy-happy-joy-joy world will be glad they read the entire series.
Derek
If you look at the order of publication (see the website of Moorcock's Miscallany for details), this is the second collection of Elric stories, preceded in the U.S. by The Stealer of Souls, and this is the first one to tell a cohesive, novel-length story. Taking these two as the essential body, you have something different than the flabby construction adorning several large collected volumes today.

The situation has shifted from the first set of stories. They had smaller scope and focused on the
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Michael
I have heard or read many good things about Moorcocks Elric series, and, one evening, when I fancied a piece of quick science-fantasy action, I picked up STORMBRINGER.

Now, a little way into reading it, I did some research and discovered that STORMBRINGER is actually the last in the Elric series, although it was the second written, originally comprising four linked novellas or novelettes, now worked more into a single narrative. The entire Elric series has a complicated history; the internal chro
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7thTrooper
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian
A very satisfying conclusion to the Elric Saga. Of course there are still more books, so I don't know what that means. Either way, I really liked this one.
Rey Mysterioso
The crescendo to the Elric mythos. Our fabled spell-slinging doom-driven over-hyphenated swordsman plunges onward into an Apocalypse that he is at least in-part to blame for. Stolid, sable Moonglum returns bearing tidings of the creeping evil on the move, and Chaos itself comes to the world with murder on its mind.

Mighty fell-blade Stormbringer in hand, the final Lord of Melnibone has a destiny to keep. The world will change, and will hold its breath waiting. Elric will complete his misguided qu
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Kafka
A poorly written novel, redeemed by it's frantic pace and inventiveness. Moorcock can do loads better. It's a little hard to see how this became a classic. The imagery stays with you long after you've laid the book down, of course, but the language is cringe worthy, and whenever there's trouble, there's always a deus ex machina handy in the form of Elric's sorcery, or Stormbringer acting all by itself. Perhaps what stuck with me the most was the image of the tragic addict who gives up his allegi ...more
Roddy Williams
‘Sword and Swordsman… but which was master?

STORMBRINGER, the might runesword, hung far away in the city’s armoury. ELRIC, haunted albino warrior-king, had sworn never again to touch the enchanted blade. But now he needed it as never before. Evil supernatural beings had abducted his lovely wife Zarozinia. he would sacrifice the world itself to rescue her. But would STORMBRINGER, seemingly endowed with a mind of its own, allow it?

He was fated to ride out again over spectral landscapes, with the se
...more
Vanessa
Reading this felt like reading classic literature. This series is so foundational to the rest of fantasy literature and gaming, and I kept being reminded of that as I read. Unfortunately, like a lot of classics, it just doesn't hold up to modern standards for a dark fantasy epic.

Perhaps because this book began as a series of novellas, the plot moves along briskly, with plot twists begun and ended in the span of a chapter and potential conflicts resolved too easily with quasi-deus-ex-machina den
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Jorge
(Este comentario abarca tres libros que leí en una compilación en francés, Elric le nécromancien, y que en inglés abarca al menos los libros The Weird of the White Wolf, The Bane of the Black Sword y Stormbringer. Así, este comentario se repite en los citados libros)

¿Qué se puede decir de la saga de Elric que no se haya dicho ya? La llaman “fantasía épica oscura”, es una gran tragedia, una cosmogonía que narra hechos ocurridos, supuestamente, mucho antes de los registros geológicos de la Tierra.
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Πέτρος
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
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sologdin
Four novellas, cobbled together as a quasi-novel. Each novella begins with the premise of Fate's charioteers handing a mission to Elric. Elric then completes the mission, but in each case the hands of the doomsday clock nevertheless tick closer to the zero-hour. It's not to say that Elric's local successes actually make the world a worse place, but that simultaneous to his missions, the antagonists are consolidating entire continents, killing everything else off, reducing the landscapes to fluid ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
This final volume in the Elric saga opens with the kidnapping of his wife Zarozinia by fiends from the realm of chaos. What can Elric do but don his runesword Stormbringer and set off after her? This brings him into contact with Jagreen Lern, a human who has made an alliance with the Lords of Chaos and plans to conquer all of the known world.

The uncontrolled spread of Chaos is bad news for everyone. Although Elric and Stormbringer are both by lineage aligned with Chaos, Elric at least understan
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Robert Beveridge
Michael Moorcock, Stormbringer (DAW, 1977)

Moorcock, in his acknowledgements, calls Stormbringer the first novel he ever wrote. (Much of what has come before in this series, in truth, is collections of shorter works.) It makes sense, in that Stormbringer, the last of the classic Elric novels, is a more coherent piece of work than those that have come before it, and is thus an easier read despite its being forty to seventy pages long than the other books in the series.

As the novel opens, Elric, Mo
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Siskoid Albert
This week, I finished the Elric Saga with Book 6, Stormbringer (the first Elric story of all, but expanded from the novella). It's a fairly strong finish, very much in the mold of Shakespearean tragedy, with a similar "voice" and lots of death indeed. It may be the most apocalyptic novel I've ever read (and that's saying something). The story is told against the background of erupting Chaos, represented by war, natural disaster, and evil magics. Elric's world dies, but it is inferred our world m ...more
J.G. Keely
"I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I'd rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas." -Michael Moorcock

With this simple sentence, Moorcock reveals something troubling and endemic to the fantasy genre: that not enough fantasy authors start out with fantastical ideas. There are a lot of big writers out there (with really big books) who don't have very big ideas. But perhaps that shouldn't surprise us, since their ur-inspiration, Tolkien, has a remarkably vast amount of skill
...more
Dave B
First read the Elric series in college (round about 1978). Fantastic stories, wild high adventure, different & unique anti-hero in Elric. Lead to reading all of the Corum stories then Hawkmoon.

Stormbringer , IMO, is the best of the early Elric sagas. Moorcock gives incredible scenes such as Elric, last Lord of Melnibone' riding the battle dragons out one last time to save the world!

I thoroughly enjoyed these stories then & still reread them now. Highly recommended.
J Austill
This is THE Elric book to read. I had opted to read the older six books (which Goodreads is kind enough to number 1-6) in their internal chronological order rather than the published order, and I spent the whole time not really getting why this are so highly regarded.

Well: it's this book. This is the one that is great and the others are simply supplemental. it was published first, it established the world/hero/story, and then all of the books built upon it's established good will.

This is my con
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Gareth
I haven't read the rest of this series, and was going to give this one 3 stars. It seemed a bit episodic, made up as they went along, with Elric lurching resignedly from one arbitrary task to the next. He seemed to have little agency or choice. It was entertaining enough to keep me going. The last chapter though blew me away. It was inevitable, in hindsight, and made me realise that the book isn't about Elric. I mean, the clue is there in the bloody title - I'm a bit slow sometimes. Makes me wan ...more
Christopher
[Re-read] The apocalypse has arrived in the Young Kingdoms, and Elric is bound by fate to play a role in it. In fact, an emissary of fate drops in occasionally to tell him what he’s going to have to do next, and each time, he does it. That’s the story engine, and it’s as lifeless and boring as it sounds, even while Elric is summoning a million Stormbringers, attacking evil trees, cutting up his friends and loved ones, and running up the side of a tentacled god to stab it in the face. OK, some of ...more
Andy
I gotta review in response to Roberts review. I understand his "meh" response. But I have to give it a good review, myself.

Maybe it is because the time I started reading the Elric books, I was younger and more impressionable, but I love the tragic anti-hero, Elric.
His misery is his own fault and he knows it. He is moody and glum for it, but is still an unstoppable killing machine, playing a part bigger than himself. I could and still can relate to that. I find Moorecock's writing style to be spa
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Chris
Moorcock's novels always seem to be very much of their time. Original enough and competent enough to wow people when they were written but today the ideas are so suffused into our culture and have been better articulated, Moorcock's iterations are a struggle. Many of the ideas in Stormbringer had been already been used (by Tolkein and Anderson among others) and would become standard narrative tools over the next decades.
Moorcock style is palatable but not great. He also has a strange trend towar
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Robert
"Stormbringer" is an example of a book I might well have loved as a younger reader, but picking it up now, after becoming exposed to such fantastic fantasy writers as Michael Shea and Brian McNaughton, its rather hard for me to fall under its spell. Don't get me wrong. I love Moorcock's ideas. I love his use of magic and demons. But at the heart of this novel is a whiny goth who bemoans his existence a bit too much for my taste and, as a writer, Moorcock doesn't paint with vibrant enough a brush ...more
V.
Probably the finest single volume of swords and sorcery fantasy ever written. Manages to capture epic scope in both time and space in a fraction of the length most bloated Tolkein-imitators attempt (and fail). One of the few fantasy books that captures the modern, cynical and sarcastic view of honour and duty.

Relentlessly exciting and imaginative, vividly written and endlessly entertaining. The final scene is at once glorious and damning.

There are only three truly timeless, original series in
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16939
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,
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More about Michael Moorcock...

Other Books in the Series

The Elric Saga (1 - 10 of 24 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 Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4)
  • The Bane of the Black Sword (The Elric Saga, #5)
  • 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: 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) The Weird of the White Wolf (The Elric Saga, #3) The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4) The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric, #2) The Bane of the Black Sword (The Elric Saga, #5)

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