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Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1)
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Elric of Melniboné (The Elric Saga #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  13,832 ratings  ·  418 reviews
It is the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair that flows below his shoulders is milk-white. From the tapering, beautiful head stare two slanting eyes, crimson and moody....He is Elric, Emperor of Melnibone, cursed with a keen and cynical intelligence, schooled in the art of sorcery -- the hero of Michael Moorcock's remarkable epic of conflict and adven ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 181 pages
Published July 15th 1987 by Ace Books (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

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Stephen
After reading and having my hair blown back by The Swords Trilogy (The Knight of the Swords,The Queen of the Swords and The King of the Swords), I decided to dive into the adventures of Moorcock's most famous avatar of the Eternal Champion, Elric of Melnibone.

This first installment serves as a nice introduction to the contemplative albino sorcerer, who rules the ancient, powerful land of Melnibone. It was a nice surprise to learn that in the never ending, multi-dimensional cosmic dust up between
...more
Keely
I have spent a long time searching for a modern fantastical epic which is worth reading. It seems like there should be one, out there, somewhere. I have so enjoyed the battlefields of Troy, the dank cavern of Grendel's dam, Dido's lament, Ovid's hundred wild-spun tales, perfidious Odysseus, the madness of Orlando, Satan's twisted rhetoric, and Gilgamesh's sea-voyage to the forgotten lands of death. And so I seek some modern author to reinvent these tales with some sense of scholarship, poetry, c ...more
StoryTellerShannon
This is THE classic sword and sorcery tale that came about in the early 1960s. Note that I am referencing when Elric first appeared which was in Moorcock’s novella, "The Dreaming City" (Science Fantasy #47, June 1961 (Wiki).

Note that this is one of my early reviews so the format is different.



CONCEPT: Very interesting. This one was done in the 60s before there were a lot of Sci fi/Fantasy writers. Moorcock is definitely one of the older writers and his works range in quality though fortunately
...more
Callum
As a self-professed Tolkien separatist, Michael Moorcock never appealed to me. Because so, I was rather sceptical (perhaps even pessimistic) about Elric of Melniboné. At a young age, I was obsessed with Middle-Earth's vast legendarium, and I thought his works to be impeachable. I know now that they aren't and yet, that still doesn't change my reverence toward Tolkien and his works.

With Moorcock however, I learned not to be too haste in judging the man behind the work. Though I found his Epic Po
...more
Nathan
Fantasy Review Barn

In the style of an oral storyteller, bringing to mind the Greek classics in its deeds, I admit I was quite surprised by how good Elric of Melniboné was. It is not a question of an old book holding up in this case, rather Elric is obviously a pace setter that countless that follow can only hope to keep up with. If anything I have proven to myself that some of the classics of the genre are considered so for a reason; I will drop a minor heresy in that given a choice I would rer
...more
Evgeny
This is the first book of a classic fantasy series with an iconic anti-hero. From what I understand the author tried to create something different from The Lord of the Rings; at the time this book was published the majority of fantasy genre consisted of The Lord of the Rings clones. Considering that the series now has a status of genre classics, the author succeeded.

The main hero Elric is an albino who happened to be the Emperor of Melniboné and who must use potions to maintain his strength. He
...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Elric, emperor of Melniboné, is not your typical fantasy hero. He’s an albino with white skin, long white hair, and slanting red eyes. He’s weak and has to take drugs every few hours just to maintain the strength of a normal man. He’s a brooding and contemplative scholar, which makes him dull at parties.

Some people think Elric is a demon — he sure looks like one — and many of his subjects would prefer to have the throne of Melniboné occupied by Elric’s cha
...more
Swankivy
This book and I . . . disagreed. I tend to dislike fantasy books whose language is flowery, whose characters are coarse and papery, and whose plots are obviously constructions of the authors to be used with appropriately puppet-like characters. But my friend liked this story, so I said I'd read it. :) I don't understand how this stuff got popular. Not at all. I read some of it out loud to a discerning friend of mine, sometimes in disbelief and unable to stop from laughing, and to this day we mak ...more
Alex
You know, I kept seeing Moorcock's Elric stories referred to by authors I enjoyed greatly as being totally inspirational and important to the beginnings of "New Weird" fiction (which is what people who write Urban Fantasy but want to be taken seriously call their work). So I'm going on vacation and I think to myself "This'll be the perfect thing to read on the beach or in transit; fun, surprisingly good, etc etc etc".

As it turns out I'm just not seeing it. I know that issue may be that I'm read
...more
jackalope Mack
Jul 31, 2007 jackalope Mack rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People disappointed with Harry Potter
Shelves: sciencefiction
I'll never forget the first time I heard about Elric. It was at the high school graduation party of my friend, Denyse Byrd. Denyse was an intriguing figure to me. I never had the courage to ask her out. While she did not look like Morticia Addams, she had a certain dark allure about her, like Morticia. If she ever reads this, I hope she takes this in a good way.

Anyway, at the party, Denyse mentioned that she'd read Elric and found something in the books that she never got out of "The Lord of the
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I read this one years ago. When I ran across this audio version I picked it up. Having not read any of the Eternal Champion volumes for a long time it sort of "reminded me" how much I liked many of them.

This short book serves as a sort of "intro" to the entire Elric saga and we get a look at much of the character Mr. Moorcock was building for Elric (and I'd forgotten how annoying Elric could be).

This (these actually as it applies to the Elric series) is a book I'd recommend for anyone who likes
...more
Zach
In which Elric fights off his cousin's usurpation, first strikes a deal with Arioch and other higher powers, meets Rackhir the Red Archer, acquires the sword Stormbringer, and makes a lot of terrible choices in the name of defying Fate and the Powers That Be.

Overwrought and amateurish, and yet still a classic of fantastic literature: wonderfully dry (you can almost picture him writing these books with one eyebrow continuously cocked at his typewriter), compelling, a quick read, and full of the g
...more
Lee Broderick
Michael Moorcock wrote of his obsession, and later friendship, with Mervyn Peake in his introduction to my edition of The Gormenghast Trilogy . That influence is clear here - his sentences are not as long and his language not quite as beautiful but it echoes Peake's; not quite imitative but clearly inspired. The writing, then, is wonderful.

Unlike Peake's classic though, this is essentially an adventure story and so is short and punchy in the way of swords and sorcery yarns. Moorcock's hero, thou
...more
Nate
This was a very charming book in its own morbid way. Elric is the singularly badass Emperor of Melniboné--a debauched, weird island nation that used to be a sprawling, powerful empire. Apparently it's considered completely uncool to be anything but self-possessed, icy and callous on Melniboné but Elric seems to be of a different stock than most of his pale kin--a bit more introspective and even moralistic. This alone presents him with several problems, and compounding things is his cousin Yyrkoo ...more
Apatt

I have this feeling that my luck is none too good. This sword here at my side don’t act the way it should. Keeps calling me it’s master, but I feel like it’s slave.
Hauling me faster and faster to an early, early grave.
And it howls! It howls like hell!





"Black Blade" by Blue Öyster Cult, lyrics by Michael Moorcock

How many authors do you know who gets to write lyrics for a song based on his book to be record by a legendary metal band? Elric has to be just about the coolest most bad ass mofo in the
...more
Jim
A very interesting and well written set of books with the central character being Elric of Melnibone. Elric is an Albino king who is very sickly and weak until he discovers "stormbringer" a 'rune sword' of incredible power. With it, he is able to restore himself to the throne and many other things but it is bittersweet. The sword Stormbringer exacts its own price.

The whole "Elric" series is well written, a fast read, and full of twists and changes.

Kevin Xu
this is how great fantasy should be done
sologdin
Dying empire presented with two means of resuscitation: irredentist aggression or contemplative isolationism, each represented, somewhat reductively, by the principal antagonist and protagonist. Their agon includes a series of coups and counter-coups, and results in a bizarre duel with sentient nuclear-swords on the wrong side of the last sphincter in hell's colon.

The protagonist has the repuation of being an anti-hero, and he lives up to it, as "his desire was not to reform Melnibone but to re
...more
Tom
Sep 05, 2007 Tom rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy and Dark fiction fans
Shelves: fantasy
Michael Moorcock created a new kind of hero in Elric of Melnibone. Elric first appeared in several novelettes in the early 1960's (later collected as sequels to this volume).

Here, the brooding wizard prince of the ancient and powerful kingdom fights his male cousin, Yrkoon, for a seat on the Ruby Throne, and the love of his female cousin, Cymoril.

As a physically frail, well educated, wizard Elric is the opposite of the traditional warrior hero. This book stands the test of time and remains a exc
...more
Lannister
3.5 stars

I read an article in the New Yorker recently that described Michael Moorcock as the anti-Tolkien. The article asserts that Tolkien supported "a conservative vision of the status quo", whereas Moorcock's Elric stories are "about law and chaos, and how, sometimes, choosing one over the other is no more or less just." You could also make a case that Moorcock's writing style is the antithesis of Tolkien's too.

Elric of Melnibone was published in 1972 (though its roots go back to the 1960s),
...more
Kascha
My brothers were really heavily into D&D and the swords and sorcery thing when we were growing up and I ended up getting into this series and author after weirdly enough looking at Elric on the cover of this book and thinking he was the most interesting looking guy I had ever seen, haha.

Anyways, this is a great start to what ended up being an awesome series. It was easy to fall right into the decadence and politics of Melnibone and to feel right at home in this world. Almost like I was a mem
...more
Sath
Yet another classic I've been meaning to read for a long time, and was glad I got around to!

The Melniboneans are an Ancient race of humans, characterised by their self importance, hedonistic ways, and distinct lack of compassion for others. Very similar to the traditional fantasy dark elves, although of course their appearance is human.
Elric is the last in a long line of Melnibonean kings, he's a sickly albino that has managed to sustain his health and keep up appearances by the heavy use of dr
...more
Vincent Stoessel
I've read this book about 3 times and I've enjoyed it each time. If this is pulp, it's the epitome of the art form.
Moorcock brings a darkness to his fantasy that we don't really see as much anymore. It's scary, it's heroic, it's tragic and it's good.


Note: This is the first of the original Elric Saga and it's a complete novel. I say that because subsequent books are more akin to collections of short stories and novellas. The notable exception being Stormbringer, the final novel in the original s
...more
lynx/nema
Lynx V. Laurent.

Esse livro só não é a encarnação do tédio em forma de história porque é curto demais.

Ele simplesmente... Não faz sentido.

Nada em Elric de Melniboné faz sentido.

Sabe, acho que clássicos da fantasia simplesmente não são pra mim. Sim, eu sei que O Senhor dos Anéis é um clássico (e Nárnia também), e acho que a essa altura do campeonato todo mundo aqui já sabe que eu adoro O Senhor dos Anéis e coisa e tal, mas acho que o resto dos clássicos não funciona comigo. Mago, A Espada de Shan
...more
Carl V.
"And now opens the tragedy which will close many years from now and precipitate the destruction of this world."

In the land of Melnibone, the Dragon Isle, a man sits on the Ruby Throne contemplating the people before him. This powerful kingdom, after ten thousand years of rule, has for the last half century been in decline from its once lofty place. In the hands of the right man Melnibone might return to its former might; in the hands of a cruel ruler bent upon domination Melnibone might rise ag
...more
Patrick
First off, can I just say how glad I am to have finally found this book? Elric of Melnibone has been on my to-read list for years and by the time I've wanted to read it, I couldn't find it anywhere! The only Elric books I could find were the ones in the Last Emperor of Melnibone series. I read the first book in that series, which was simply a collection of short Elric stories. While it was fun, I enjoyed a full-length novel much more. The original Elric series is nigh impossible to track down. I ...more
Ramón Pérez
Hay que leer a Michael Moorcock, porque puede hacer rock con las palabras. Una novela de Moorcock es como un disco de Deep Purple en palabras.

Las novelas de fantasía de Moorcock tienen dos rasgos que a mi modo de ver las hacen excepcionales: una de ellas es la desbordante imaginación que derrochan. La otra es la velocidad.

Las novelas de Moorcock son frenéticas. En 175 páginas de Elric de Melniboné pasan más cosas que en 600 de Juego de Tronos. Y es sólo la primera novela. El protagonista pierde
...more
Vanessa Wu
This is very good. The first time I read it I didn't appreciate it. It seemed too simplistic. The characterisation seemed too stark. He was going for the easy options, I thought. The big themes. Hyperbole. Hyperdrama.

Then I read a whole lot of fantasy and science fiction novels.

In the meantime Michael Moorcock's prose has improved. His insights have deepened. His characterisation has become more subtle. His descriptive powers have been strengthened and his tastes have become more refined.

When I
...more
Julie Decker
Elric is an emperor of Melniboné, an island nation that celebrates debauchery and torture. Physically weak and dependent on herbal remedies to keep his health, Elric is an odd choice for emperor, and he is also albino and red-eyed. Melniboné ruled the world for thousands of years and has only recently fallen from grace, and Elric would like to change that, but his morals and ideas--still horrid by human standards, but kinder than most of his race--are considered bizarre by others. His cousin Yyr ...more
Annie Smidt
I loved this when I read the whple series as a kid and I wanted to reread and recapture that. Unfortunately, as an adult I found this book almost unbearable. It was a bore to finish, despite being short.

The plot itself didn't interest me, and neither did the meta level of philosophy and mythology. The writing is one of the worst examples of tell don't show I've encountered in a long time, making the action, the characters, and the entire world feel distant, indistinct, and hard to sink into emp
...more
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As compared to Wheel of Time? 4 50 Feb 07, 2014 05:05AM  
  • Swords and Deviltry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1)
  • Darkness Weaves
  • The Broken Sword
  • Elric: Tales of the White Wolf (Michael Moorcock's Elric)
  • Suldrun's Garden (Lyonesse, #1)
  • Thieves' World (Thieves' World, #1)
  • The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian, #1)
  • Imaro
  • Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone
  • Jirel of Joiry
  • Elric: Stormbringer
  • The Worm Ouroboros
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,
...more
More about Michael Moorcock...

Other Books in the Series

The Elric Saga (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Law and Chaos
  • Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer
  • 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)
  • 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)
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) The Bane of the Black Sword (The Elric Saga, #5)

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