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The Dreamthief's Daughter (The Dreamquest Trilogy #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  761 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In the elaborate fictional cosmos Michael Moorcock has created, Elric and the various vonBeks are all aspects of the Eternal Champion who fights for the Balance, preventing both Law and Chaos from dominating the universe and trapping it in either barren sterility or pointless fecundity. Elric, the albino sorcerer and last prince of the inhuman empire of Melnibone, was the ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2001)
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Jun 17, 2013 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone

As I wrote elsewhere, I read the Elric stories first many years ago and have done a couple of re-reads since. But that is only the “classic” tales all of which predate the 21st Century. While searching out copies for a recent re-read (my own volumes are stored away), much to my surprise I found that there were additional tales crafted only a decade or so ago. The Dreamthief’s Daughter is the first in a trilogy.

Note: My reviews of the older books are hideously late, except for the first volume.
The premise for this book is bizarre. Elric fighting Nazis? Pathways to other dimensions? I was prepared to go "what?!" at the end of every chapter. Instead, I only went "what?!" after the occasional long and probably too philosophical for me explanations of how all this was technically possible. Oh, and at the civilization living under the earth. In terms of the main storyline, it's surprisingly enjoyable. As the story is told from the point of view of Elric's 'avatar', Ulric von Bek, the langu ...more
Just had a discussion about this book over dinner and realised I hadn't rated it yet. I read it when it was fresh out, hesitantly so because I could never have imagined that it would work. As a die hard Elric fan I couldn't see how the saga could be transported to 1940s Nazi Germany. But it worked. It hurts to admit it but it is actually better crafted than the original series.

The Dreamthief's Daughter

by Michael Moorcock

Earthlight, 342 pages, hardback, 2001

In pre-WWII Germany, with the Nazis on the ascendant, Count
Ulric von Bek is one of the many who look upon developments with
dismay but a largely passive dismay, for fear of the
bully-boys. He is not allowed to continue thus, however, for the
Nazis, in the person of his cousin Prince Gaynor von Minct, seek
the ancestral sword of the von Bek family, Ravenbrand, as well as
the Holy Grail, also entrusted to the family but r
Aug 07, 2011 Paula rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of hist-fic/fantasy
Shelves: fantasy, 2011
Official Rating: 4.5 stars

This book is so well written. There is nothing lacking. The pacing is perfect, with the exception that I had a hard time getting into the book (the first couple of chapters) for one main reason. This was the first eternal champion novel I had read, and this is the tenth in the saga, so I was a bit lost. It picked up quickly though and never slowed down to where it got boring. Which leads me to Moorcock's usage of words. Brilliant! He's just so poetic, Even in parts of t
Moorcock starts with a really good historical fiction, telling the story from the viewpoint of a German nobleman who was born at the beginning of the twentieth century. The novel follows the man's experiences in World War I, his quiet life of reading and swordsmanship, and his horror at the rising tide of Nazism.

Moorcock makes a number of insightful comments about what could be called the influence of decrepit, rigid law in a society. His best observation is that the health of a nation can be de
This late trilogy of Moorcock's Elric books almost seems like an all-star extravaganza series, pulling in stars and references from throughout his multiverse/Eternal Champion canon. Some might find it a bit vain and trite, but I rather enjoyed this way of explicitly tying everything in his multiverse together. The use of the Nazis as a representation of pure evil was a bit cliche, and the tone of his musings about the Nazis was a bit self-righteous. But I rather like the overall story arch, the ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Steve marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
The Eternal Champion (ala Elric of Melnibone/Ulric von Bek) fights Nazis in the Center of the Earth. Fantastic.
Bridget Neview
This book reads a bit like a huge inside-joke for Moorcock/Elric fans. Of course, it is kind of intentional! The surreal settings and bizarre creatures keep in line with Moorcock's style and the eternal conflict takes on a whole new visage. I am a romanticist so this book satisfied that little part of me that always wished for more for Elric. There are some touching scenes and the conclusion to this first of the trilogy is very satisfying. Oh, and I can't forget that there's some major Nazi ass- ...more
Gene Sullivan
If have read Michael Moorcock, and enjoyed them, then I suppose you'll enjoy this, or at least you won't hate it. I read the main Elric books 15 or 20 years ago, and I picked this up on a whim. I don't think I enjoyed it as much as those. I don't know if that's because it's not as good or because I'm 15-20 years older. Maybe both.

I'm having a hard time mustering any strong feelings about it. I read it, now it's over. I'm not rushing out to buy the next one.
Silvio Curtis
The main character is an early twentieth century rural German aristocrat named Ulric von Bek. His Nazi cousin begins to insist that he hand over his family heirloom, a sword, and when he refuses he ends up in a concentration camp. The sword displays mysterious powers which help him break out of the camp, mysterious characters guide him into a sort of underground fairyland, and things just get more bizarre from there. Unfortunately, the flat prose completely fails to engage my emotions or give me ...more
The Count Ulric von Bek meets a figure known to him only in dreams--Elrick of Melnibon, the wandering Prince of Ruins. Somehow the same person, yet separate, their very beings fuse spectacularly. Now the never-ending struggle between Law and Chaos must be fought in both their universes.
The Count Ulric von Bek meets a figure known to him only in dreams--Elrick of Melnibon, the wandering Prince of Ruins. Somehow the same person, yet separate, their very beings fuse spectacularly. Now the never-ending struggle between Law and Chaos must be fought in both their universes.
I didn't get very far in this novel. It sounded promising and I couldn't wait to get back into fantasy, but I just felt so bombarded with historical facts! I understand that it was set in Germany in the early 20th century and all but it felt like an unnecessary history lesson a lot of the time, as if the author was trying to show off his knowledge and fill up more pages or something. This is only my opinion. I guess historical fiction is not my thing after all. If anyone can explain to me why I ...more
WW2 dystopia, Elric & the story behind Gaynor the Damned, argueably the most interesting villain in Moorcock's stories. Sounds interesting. Meh. Nothing goes very well here. The ww2 part is decent but small and not enough, Elric is the guy who pulls aces out of his magical sleeves every time things get difficult, Gaynor used to be far more ambiguous and interesting than the nutjob he's here, and of course, the conventions of fantasy may work fine when in Tanelorn and Imrryr, but seem out of ...more
I first picked up this book as a teenager. I’d never read Moorcock before and the thing that drew me in was the cover art. I’m a sucker for good cover.

In rereading this, I began to wonder what captured me so hard as a teen. I remember thinking at the time that this book might be a little beyond me but still, I liked it a lot. At the time, I had a thing for World War II and Nazis and the history of that time. Plus, there were dragons in the book. I’m also a sucker for dragons.

See my entire review
Mr X
Loved this one. Can't wait to read more from Moorcock. My first Albino tale!
Elric fights the Nazis.
What more do you need to know?

Okay, Moorcock starts out writing a great historical story about one young german noble getting a harsh dose of reality when the nazis come to power. Then the book takes a sharp turn into a wonderful fantasy adventure, featuring guest appearances from numerous folk from across the multiverse and then in the grand finale blends the fantasy / historical stories in a scene that is almost too cool for words.

Plus, there's a nice love story mixed in
Fin du cycle des Bek. Cette fois on est vraiment en plein dans le multivers ! Elric fait même son apparition, et on retrouve la cité Tanelorn, le duc du chaos Arioch... Un vaste patchwork qui rend l' ensemble difficile à appréhender. On est loin du premier volume... Les habitués de Moorcock s' y retrouveront (peut-être), pour les autres, cela restera un manuscrit abscon. Personellement, j' ai lu les von Bek avant de lire Elric, c' était pas une bonne idée, surtout pour ce dernier volume.
Hezekiah James
It was fun to revisit the Fantasy Genre. The Elric series was my favorite as a kid. I'm glad he picked up the Character again. It was a fun read. I am very glad that I have read so much about WWII and found his combination of the history and the fantastic to be deeply entertaining.
Absolutely brilliant! Micheal Moorcock writes fantasy, but it's so beyond most others in the genre, it's incredibly refreshing. Elric is a great anti-hero, and it was interesting to see him compared with the more human Ulric. Very well written, I couldn't put it down!
Jul 14, 2007 Ray rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elric, Moorcock & fantasy fans
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoy the old Elric / Eternal Champion books, they have a dreamlike quality. Elric is a half-mad, manic/ least in the old stories. That aspect has been missing from the recent books...until this one, that is! The albino's back in full force.
Mark Hensel
A little heavy on the exposition (this trilogy is Moorcock doing some canon welding) and I didn't get all the references to other series because I haven't read them, but I really enjoyed this Elric adventure filtered through a 20th century perspective.
One of the later tales of Elric. Much harder than to read than the sword and sorcery novels of Elric that I read many years ago. Not bad and appears to be an isolated story and not one connected to any of the others.
Joseph Panno
Another trilogy of the VonBek family who I suppose is the iteration of Elric in our world. I've read and enjoyed these already but am revisiting the series while I wait on my Alan Garner book to be shipped.
Arax Miltiadous
ξεφεύγει περίτεχνα απο το φανταστικό και χρωματίζει με μαγεία τον δικό μας Χωροχρόνο.
μου αρεσε.
και επιπλέον.. επιτελούς κάποια θα έπρεπε να κερδίσει και τον Αλμπινο αντιήρωα μου! :)
Starts out in pre-WWII Germany and expands the conflict until it encompasses multiple worlds and realities. It's basically a madcap sword-and-sorcery romp plus Nazis.
Seth Tomkogcsuedu
For a review of Dreamthief's Daughter, see my article at
Mildly good. The idea of Elric verses the Nazis was entertaining, but for the most part I wouldn't say it's Moorcock's best.
First of the latest (and best) Elric trilogy. Von Bek tries to keep the black sword from falling into the hands of the Nazis.
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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 Dreamquest Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Skrayling Tree: The Albino in America (Elric & Oona Von Bek, #2)
  • The White Wolf's Son: The Albino Underground (Elric & Oona Von Bek, #3)
Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1) Stormbringer (Elric, #6) The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4) The Weird of the White Wolf (The Elric Saga, #3) The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric, #2)

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