The Elric Saga Part I (Elric Saga, #1-3)
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The Elric Saga Part I (The Elric Saga #1-3 omnibus)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  2,800 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Includes first 3 volumes in the series: Elric of Melnibone, The Sailor on the Seas of Fate and The Weird of the White Wolf.
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published September 1983 by Doubleday Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicolo Yu
Elric of Melnibone is an interesting character. Michael Moorcock’s antihero is a different sort of literary character, truly unlike any traditional fantasy hero I’ve encountered so far. He is a study of a contradictory character. He behaves in ways that sets him apart from the ordinary and it is his intent to always go against the grain. He is a physically weak albino who needs drugs to sustain him, yet he rules a nation without peer. He elects to show mercy to a traitor, if only to go against h...more
This is "anti-fiction" (bad term, but oh well). Michael Moorcock wrote this series to be a reversal to cliches of the genre inspired by Tolkien and the like. Main character Elric is written as a direct antithesis to Conan the barbarian. This makes The Elric Saga... wait for it... good!
That being said, it is also kind of creepy. Elric is a "tragic hero" who losses everything, gradually. In this unstable world, Moorcock's characters seek some semblance of order. They rarley find it, but that is wh...more
This book includes the first three of the old six book Elric series that Moorcock put out. I was seriously into Moorcocks Elric stuff as a teenager and now after rereading it after all these years I still consider this to be a classic in the fantasy genre. Elric is far from being a typical or cliched fantasy hero, in fact I would label him as an anti-hero. Instead of being a strong chivalric hero Elric is a foppish weakling albino who is kept alive only through the use of drugs and sorcery. He s...more
Paul Dyer
A dark, lush, broodingly-beautiful fairytale of a book that is allegedly Moorcock’s anarchic answer to the religious and royalist myths of Tolkien, and the chauvinism, whether latent or blatant, of the Conan the Barbarian books and their numerous imitators. Elric is an unwilling adventurer, driven by kingship and cultural conditioning in an otherwise meaningless world. In a fantasy, such traits can be disconcerting, because they ask you to accept the challenges of the book’s hero as essentially...more
Elric of Melniboné is the later written introduction to the series. It is followed by a series of loosely related short stories until the Elric story line reaches it's large scale conclusion.

We see Elric as King, regarded by some as ineffectual, the decadent civilisation of his people and his awkward relationship with his cousins, one to be his wife the other his enemy.

At the end of the novel Elric possesses the black sword, has sworn himself to the service of Arioch and is set upon the life of...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is actually three books in one, two of which are in turn 3-4 four shorter stories collected together. If you are unaware that these stories were published individually before, then you may begin to tire of how each new section re-introduces who the main character is, like you have no idea who the last 200 pages have been about.
As for the content itself, I found it to be somewhat hit and miss with the success of the stories. The first novel, "Elric of Melnibone," was probably the best. It ma...more
I took it into my head to reread a bit of Moorcock lately. The stories are fine, short and yummy.

And, oddly, not very dark at all, when you compare them to almost anything Neil Gaiman has written. Honestly, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is quite a bit more disturbing. Funny about that. In THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, one boy is at risk of being killed. In the Elric books, the hero lays waste to lives and souls, serving the evil lord of Chaos, Arioch. A couple of times, the existence of all Earth is up for grabs. Bu...more
Chris Oeffinger
Ahhhhh. The Anti Hero. I didn't know what that was until I read this as a teen. Elric was and is one of the greatest characters ever written. A drug dependent sickly albino who iz in love with his cousin who hates his own people. The owner of a daemonic soul swallowing sword that sustains him as he kills! Wow. One fucked up in the head guy. No wonder these story's were so influential on my early life. These story's inspired me as an artist, gamer, and musician. Enjoy all Moorcocks work. He is a...more
João Batista
Fast-paced. Essa é uma boa definição para a Saga de Elric. Ação, aventura e os dilemas filosóficos do Imperador Albino permeiam a obra de Moorcock, lembrando bastante as obras de Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, ou até mesmo Lovecraft, nos momentos de medo e descrições de lugares insólitos ao longo dos 3 livros dessa coletânea.
Palavras como gloom, glum, melancholy, além de várias sinônimas a essas fazem parte do caráter de Elric e são usadas livremente quanto aos pensamentos dele, ou até...more
I enjoyed this book, once I got past the first 12 pages (AKA chapter 1), I really enjoyed it. It appears that in chapter 1 Moorcock didn't know how to write narrative using good prose, it was so annoying. BUT, after I got past phrases like "it is the colour of bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair which flows below his shoulders is milk-white," I really enjoyed the book.

Chapter 2 and beyond were well written, inventive, and enjoyable. I liked th story overall and I could see the influence...more
Mike (the Paladin)
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It has good points. I like the potential of the faustian bargain story arc set in a sword-and-sorcery fantasy. It opens with a great hook in the initial depiction of Elric as a philosophically torn emperor, uneasy with the traditions of his cruel totalitarian empire and therefore ambivalent about its fate. This puts him in a situation morally gray enough that you sympathize with him and believe his motives for making the faustian bargain with his demon god. Unfortunately this collection only inc...more
I was not ready for how good this collection of novels about Elric, 428th Emperor of Melniboné, was going to be. Michael Moorcock's Elric stories have been around for almost fifty years, but that sword-swinging albino still packs a punch.

The word that kept coming to mind was "original". While epic fantasy was one of my first loves, after you've read Tolkien everything else gets stale fast. Elric's quests are certainly epic, full of monsters and sorcery and sea battles, but each tale put a (usual...more
Ross Lockhart
I attempted, but never made it through, this series as a kid, inspired its pantheon’s inclusion in the original Dungeons and Dragons Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia (the Melniboné mythos, along with H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu Mythos, were removed from subsequent printings - and my sister's ex-husband swiped my copy from a box in my parents' garage, the rat!). Now, mid-way through the first six books (the series has, over the last twenty years, grown to nine, er, eleven books – no wonder I’m series-...more
After finishing the first third of this book, which is my first exposure to Elric, I decided to put it down. It is possible that I'll go back and read the other two stories at some point, but right now, all I can say is, for some reason I'm just not into immersing myself in the story of a character who just keeps falling into a more and more hopeless mess, losing more and more of the things he cares about, etc.

I concede, the writing is rich and wonderful and the tone is compelling overall. And I...more
This is an exciting story, it is a sad story and it is a horrifying story of mankind and just how far they can fall. There is no redemption, there is no happy ending. There is just a harsh and epic story that cannot be forgotten.
My roommate complains that this series gets a little strange. I think that it is fairly genius.
So much of the themes of this story shaped my young mind. I spent hours daydreaming about the albino price and his adventures. These books inspired me to start writing as a ch...more
Mar 02, 2014 Christine is currently reading it
I can't believe I hadn't heard of this author and these rich fantasy stories before now! I would especially have appreciated them when I was younger and craving stories such as this author has created!
Thom Foolery
Nov 26, 2009 Thom Foolery rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fantasy readers
I remember playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends when I was nine or so. The DM, an older kid, had the original edition of the Deities and Demigods handbook, the one with the Melnibone and Cthulhu mythos chapters. That was my brief introduction to the tragic albino emperor-turned-swordsman and his demon blade Stormbringer (and I distinctly remember the older kid mispronouncing it Elric of "Mel-ni-BONE").

I also remember having a copy of this book in college--because even then I wanted to...more
Kelly Martin
An interesting and complex world surrounding an interesting and complex character. Moorcock does a good job of tantalizing the reader with small tidbits of the universe in which the story is set. One definitely gets the feeling that there is more behind the curtain than what is immediately revealed. I like my fantasy worlds to be complex while at the same time having structure and reason, and not merely just ad hoc to serve the story line of the moment, and this world fits that bill. The evoluti...more
Marco Gooding
I saw this book at a flea market and I immediately felt drawn to it. I love those books that look so thick you read through them and it takes about say a few months to a year (at least for me these days), and then you think, 'Oh, I'm such a slow reader. Waaaah.' I had a look closer and discovered I had read not one, but THREE BOOKS!!! Now that's accomplishment. The Elric saga was a great book, although very somber in tone, it's consistent and multi-layered, just like I like my sci-fi. I await th...more
Moorcock gives the fantasy epic a twist, by giving us a hero who is mopey and contemplative, rather than manly and noble.
Along the way he gives us a great pantheon of gods, a very cool ship that sails on land and sea and the hero pretty much selling his soul and any chance at happiness to complete his quest.
Basically, Elric is emo before it was cool.

A nice mix of the usual fantasy quest story given a tweak by Moorcock's clever, if odd imagination and his playing around with the cliches of the g...more
Andrew Myers
I just didn't like this book. Poorly written and not very exciting. Also very hard to like any of the characters.
What can you say. A fantasy classic that should be on the "must read" list of all fantasy fans.
Very "fantastic" as far as fantasy goes, and the second book, Sailor on the seas of fate, would probably make more sense if you have read more of Moorcock's work, as he brings in a lot of characters that are evidently from other series and books. Not entirely my cup of tea, insofar as Moorcock can be rather heavy-handed making his philosophical pronouncements. Think Robert E. Howard with a more 60's sensibility and you're not far off.

As an important part of the modern fantasy canon, at least the...more
Jun 21, 2012 Dru rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
From the Science Fiction and Fantasy Book club...still have this set on my shelves.

I remember being introduced to Elric through D&D, and so when I got to read the
books I was hooked. The mythology, mixed with the intriguing anti-hero of
Elric made this books really worthwhile.

I only remember one regret, and that is that the civilization of Melnibone itself
only appears in the first book. After that it's all about Elric the outcast. And
while Elric is interesting, the country he hails from had su...more
Mickey Schulz
I got this collection and the next, as part of my intro thing to joining the SF/F book club when I was 18. I think I also got a nifty tote bag. And I'm glad I chose these books. I adore Moorcock's Eternal Champion stuff, and I've got all the Elric stories, and many of the others, as well as the graphic novel depictions of a few. Many people credit Elric with being the first SF/F anti-hero. I don't know if he was the first, but he's one of the best
Andy Doyle
This is a fantastic classic sci-fi / fantasy book. The hero of the book is Elric of Melniborne. Elric is the emperor of a race that in habits the world as man is starting to try to rule the planet. He isn't a "do-good" type of hero. This book is actually the first three books in the series, and serve as a pretty good introduction to Elric. I highly recommend this to fans of fantasy books that pose moral questions to the reader.
Alan Phelps
Pretty good. I'm not sure if I completely understand the hype, but I can see how this was an innovative work when its components were initially published. I felt the plotting was a bit shallow, as others have said on here, but I grew to really like Elric and how his character became defined slowly, over time and multiple story arcs rather than being blatantly in my face with the whole "I am the Antihero" thing. Thusly, 4 stars.
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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
More about Michael Moorcock...
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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“And now, Elric had told three lies. The first concerned his cousin Yyrkoon. The second concerned the Black Sword. The third concerned Cymoril. And upon those three lies was Elric's destiny to be built, for it is only about things which concern us most profoundly that we lie clearly and with profound conviction.” 10 likes
“Elric knew that everything that existed had its opposite. In danger he might find peace. And yet, of course, in peace there was danger. Being an imperfect creature in an imperfect world he would always know paradox. And that was why in paradox there was always a kind of truth. That was why philosophers and soothsayers flourished. In a perfect world there would be no place for them. In an imperfect world the mysteries were always without solution and that was why there was always a great choice of solutions.” 7 likes
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