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The Mad God's Amulet (The History of the Runestaff #2)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,622 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
In Michael Moorcock's vast and imaginative multiverse, Law and Chaos wage war in a never-ending struggling over the fundamental rules of existence. Here in this universe, Dorian Hawkmoon traverses a world of antique cities, scientific sorcery, and crystalline machines as he pulled unwillingly into a war that pits him against the ruthless and dominating armies of Granbretan ...more
Mass Market Paperback, DAW No. 238 (UY1289): First Printing, 160 pages
Published April 19th 1977 by DAW (first published 1968)
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Alex Sarll
In the pub on Saturday, there were shelves of books - not just for decoration, like some pubs have, but in the hope that somebody might find something to read, for this was a good pub. And among them, this, in the old paperback edition with the ludicrous prog rock cover whose sheer unapologetic silliness doesn't really come across in this thumbnail. There was some mockery among my friends, about how they'd love to read it, except it was the second volume so they'd missed the beginning!
"Oh, I hav
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 06, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
While the Hawkmoon books may not be quite so well known as the Elric novels and may not be quite as developed (though I'm not sure I agree with the last myself) they are probably my favorite part of Moorcock's Eternal Champion Cycle. I have the omnibus volumes but my first read of them were the paperback individual books. This one is actually a bit later than the volume I read I believe, but same cover.

I love these books, and I have read them over, and over....over the years.

Through an odd set
Francesco Manno

The amulet of the mad god is the second volume of the saga of Rune Magic published on the British market in 1968 by Lancer Books under the title "Sorcerer's Amulet"; while in Italy it was published only in 1978 by the publisher Longanesi.
This novel (like the above) presents the typical elements of sword and sorcery, the science fantasy and clockpunk, while some commentators today do not hesitate to call grimdark fantasy.
Take it with pliers these classifica
Simon Mcleish
Apr 21, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in May 1999.

The second of the four Runestaff books begins with the hero, Dorian Hawkmoon, in Persia where he has travelled to rid himself of the Black Jewel which betrays his every move to the Dark Empire of Granbretan. He now has to fight his way back to the Kamarg, through a Europe which has fallen to the ever-expanding Empire, hoping that his family are still holding out.

The dangerous return journey is the subject of this book. The Empire is not the only e
Laura Walton Allen
The more I read of Moorcock, the more I realize how silly those theories about talent and innate genius really are. Some of Moorcock's works are sublime, subtle, and quite literary; others are real stinkers. This one, coming as early in his career and in the "Eternal Champion" cycle as it did, contains very little of his mature qualities; it's trite, shallow, and ridiculously full of two-page blow-by-blow accounts of sword fights.

It's practically a caricature of all that is distasteful about th
Oct 05, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, kindle
Another good read.

This is the second of the Hawkmoon: History of the Runestaff saga and follows directly on from the first (The Jewel in the Skull).

Hawkmoon has travelled to a far-off city to seek a sorcerer who can rid the Black Jewel of its powers. Said sorcerer only agrees to assist him after Hawkmoon (and his allies) save the city from an attack by the Dark Empire of Granbretan. Hawkmoon then makes his way back across the continent towards Kamarg, stopping off en-route to rescue his beloved
The second volume in Michael Moorcock’s History of the Runestaff tetralogy. After we followed our hero Dorian Hawkmoon of Köln from the Camargue to Persia (or rather, this series’ twisted versions of those places) in The Jewel in the Skull, The Mad God’s Amulet, in a neat bit of symmetry, takes us from Persia back to the Camargue, thus making the first half of the tetralogy a closed circle.

In fact, The Mad God’s Amulet does read more like the second half of The Jewel in the Skull than a novel by
Timothy Boyd
May 10, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it
Another Eternal Champion incarnation from Moorcock. After Elric and Corum Hawkmoon is great. Of course as usual the Eternal Champion is a long suffering tragic hero. I am sure that Moorcock has some Greek in him somewhere. Good read and story. Very recommended.
Andrea Santucci
Recensione completa qui:

In cui il nostro eroe Dorian Hawkmoon recupera un magico artefatto, trova un alleato inaspettato, va al salvataggio della sua promessa sposa, affronta un potente avversario, e affronta l'Impero Nero impegnato nell'assalto decisivo contro la Kamarg e il conte Brass.

Ho deciso che la serie della Bacchetta Magica è un guilty pleasure coi controfiocchi. Perché altrimenti non so spiegarmi come una serie di libri scritta così male possa a
Jul 25, 2010 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I like the Runestaff books the best of Moorcock's series, if you consider the Count Brass books to be part of that. There's a more brutal turn to the stories here than with Elric.
Mar 07, 2014 Chad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I thought the second book in this series was much better than the first one. The setting is pretty gonzo and has really grown on me.
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert Beveridge
Michael Moorcock, The Mad God's Amulet (DAW, 1968)

The adventures of Dorian Hawmoon, last duke of Koln, continue in The Mad God's Amulet, the second novel in the Chronicle of the Runestaff. Hawkmoon, with the immediate dangers of the first novel neutralized, wants nothing more than to return to the Kamarg and his friends. Of course, this is fantasy literature, where nothing is simple. He gets sidetracked a couple of times, we spend some more time in the company of the mysterious Warrior in Jet an
Roy Szweda
Aug 22, 2015 Roy Szweda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Book two of the series left me with questions which no doubt will be resolved in the next. Another fine trek through the imagination of Mr M with his usual mix of violence, skulduggery and mysterious goings on. My those boys are put through it to rescue the maiden fair and save the Kamarg. It is hardly original but draws you in relentlessly with its twists and turns replete with weirdness and humour.
Dec 13, 2012 Traummachine rated it really liked it
I really dug this volume in the Eternal Champion saga, and yet I felt like something was missing the whole time I was reading it. I just now realized what it was -- my favorite character from the first Hawkmoon volume! Count Brass makes a very brief appearance in this book, and without this hyperbole of a HERO, Mad God's Amulet took on a much more serous tone than Jewel in the Skull. Hawkmoon's mood lightened up from the first book, but not enough to compensate.

Regardless, I really enjoyed this
Stephen Thomas
Swaggering swordsmanship

Hawkmoon’s second outing follows much the same paradigm as that established in the first in the series. It’s a rip-roaring yarn that eschews character depth and profundity in favour of action and adventure. And on that level it succeeds a little better than the first in that the story here is a tad more satisfying. Once again The Duke of Köln battles it out with the dastardly empire of Granbretan in the far-flung future where science and sorcery have melded and strange cr
Jesse Callaghan
May 03, 2015 Jesse Callaghan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very succinct at only 141.2 pages. Rereading these books, I am surprised at how much the key events in each book are covered in such a small number of pages despite considerable build up. Still, each book moves along at a considerable pace and is a joy to read so no complaints.
May 11, 2015 Jeremy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Schlock. I had to look up the definition of this word because it is the first time I've used it, but it accurately describes the quality of these books (History of Runestaff).

Read it only if you really enjoy Sword & Sorcery.
Aug 03, 2013 Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moorcocks's inventiveness never ceases to amaze. The number of incidents, characters, places, bits of kit that he comes up is unceasing. And so, this book: trust is the watchword, and we are placed in situation where Dorian fails to trust important characters (some with good reason!), but the ending has been foreshadowed in earlier places. I am left wondering what will occur to end this series of books: if Dorian is allowed to get his beloved homeland back, will Yisselda join him, or will they b ...more
Sep 16, 2009 Jorge rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Para una visión general, remitirse a mi opinión del libro anterior (The Jewel in the Skull).

Aquí se introducen elementos interesantes, como el culto al "Dios Loco". Sin embargo, Hawkmoon queda como un perfecto egoísta a quien le importa un pepino los inocentes, ya que, en una escena clave, los manda a enfrentarse con un ejército mucho más numeroso sólo para poder salvar su asqueroso pellejo.

Se introduce un personaje interesante: Huillan D'Averc, un caballero hipocondríaco redimido (antes pertene
Nov 22, 2014 AndrewP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Book #2 of The Runestaff
Ottery StCatchpole
I liked this book, it was a bit weaker than its predecessor which was awesome, but just the same it was good. The ending though was not so much foreshadowed as clearly obvious a few chapters before the end of the book which is my only real gripe, that and the lack of anything new in the way of technology or concepts like in the first novel but it in no way keeps this from being a great story, better than most fantasy fiction out now. Moorcock truly is a master of the genre and yes, I'm starting ...more
Jun 30, 2013 Kenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the tale of how Hawkmoon returned from the east to his adopted home of kamarg, and his adventures in the lands between.

Just as much heroics, betrayal, strange science-sorcery as the last, but a little too much 'coincidence explained by plans' of a supernatural power... (Dropped from 5 to 4 stars for me)

I love the apparent speed of the narrative - only enough of the scene is described to let you know what is there, and recognise things, but not so much it slows down these of the action. L
Michael Moorcock is a strange phenomenon. His writing style is oddly unpolished and helpless, his characters pale and unfinished, his stories uninspired and foreseeable. Yet, somehow he manages to compel and pull the reader into his sketched worlds and his purple prose.

I'm sure nobody could actually like Hawkmoon, the Duke of Köln (whatever “Köln” might be in Moorcock's imagination). However, this is an easy and enjoyable read – even though when it's over, you will never think of it again.
Jan 19, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was perfect to read on a cold day with not much else to do. It served the purpose of being easy, fast entertainment without my needing to extend much effort at all. So, I had it at 2 stars but bumped it up to 3 just because it was a nice dose of fantasy. Would I go out of my way to recommend it to anyone, nah, but it was a fine ride.
Jan 10, 2008 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In a decaying society, a hero's fate is bound to a mysterious magical artifact which encompasses his success and his doom. In other words, exactly like every other Michael Moorcock book.

I liked this the best of the Runestaff books, primarily because of the introduction of his sometime ally, sometime betrayer Huilliam D'Avrec.
Mar 06, 2015 P.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Loved it.
Aug 04, 2009 Jimbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
part 2 in the story of the runestaff. the bad guys have taken control of most of the world, castle brass is surrounded and in fear of being destroyed. hawkmoon is the hero and he does what is needed with some help from other forces. very typical moorcock read, fun to read and some good twists
Shannon Appelcline
Very much Hawkmoon's The Odyssey. The story is a little less scattered than the previous one, and the macguffin that Hawkmoon is questing for is a little more interesting, and D'Averc is a great addition to the cast. So, a little better than it's predecessor, but still a fairly average book.
Al Tarancón
Apr 10, 2009 Al Tarancón rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasia
My edition seems to be from a different editor, Mayflower, but it's not listed, and these seems the closer one, in cover and age.

Mi edicion parece ser de otro editor, Mayflower, pero no aparece listada, y esta parece la mas sililar, en portada y epoca.
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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 History of the Runestaff (4 books)
  • The Jewel in the Skull (History of the Runestaff, #1)
  • The Sword of the Dawn (History of the Runestaff, #3)
  • The Runestaff (History of the Runestaff, #4)

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