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The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (The Elric Saga #2)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  6,205 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Book two in Michael Moorcock's celebrated sword and sorcery series set in the stagnating island civilization of Melnibone. A remarkable epic of conflict and adventure at the dawn of human history.
Audio CD
Published October 27th 2009 by Audio Realms (first published 1976)
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4.0 stars. Aaaaaaaaahhhh!!!.....A wonderful and deeply satisfying dose of that lush, rich Moorcockian prose is delivered directly into the fanboy-center of the brain in this second injection of the Elric of Melnibone series. In this treatment we are introduced to the mythos of the “Eternal Champion” as Elric hooks up with 3 of the EC’s other primary avatars: Corum Jhaelen Irsei, Dorian Hawkmoon and Erekose. The four component badasses agree to undertake a mission to unleash a torrent of Grade A

... and leaving his cousin Yirkoon sitting as Regent upon the Ruby Throne of Melnibone, leaving his cousing Cymoril weeping for him and despairing of his ever returning, Elric sailed from Imrryr, the Dreaming city, and went to seek an unknown goal in the worlds of the Young Kingdoms where Melniboneans were, at best, disliked.


Elric has it all: a rich island kingdom to rule, a beautiful woman's love, friends and enemies to make life interesting, plus a huge library to peruse. Yet he is unsettled
J.G. Keely
Too few fantasy authors ask what 'magic' means, which is a problem, since, with a few notable exceptions, magic is what makes fantasy fantastical. When reading Moorcock, it becomes clear you have found an author who is very interested in exploring what 'magic' is, and who has made very deliberate decisions about what his magic means.

Magic is a conceptual space. It was created, inadvertently, as a representation of the inner reality of human thought, as opposed to the external reality of the phys
Elric, the last Emperor of Melnibone, left his island empire to learn more about the world outside with a hope of finding a way to reverse the decline of his people's civilization. During his travels he was accused of being a spy - his race is not much trusted by outsiders - but was able to flee from his imprisonment. Being closely pursued he had no choice but to board a mysterious ship bound for an unknown destination - unknown to everybody on board except for even more mysterious captain.

Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Michael Moorcock’s Sailor on the Seas of Fate continues the adventures of Elric the albino emperor of Melniboné. While his ambitious cousin Yyrkoon sits as regent, and his consort Cymoril doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive, Elric is in self-exile, exploring other lands so that he can better understand his subjects. He hopes to become a more worthy emperor and, perhaps, to discover why his own race has lost what he calls its “humanity.” For his ancestors ar
Edward Rathke
This is a very interesting book. It begins as a somewhat normal adventuring novel but imbued with a lot of surrealism. But then it blossoms into this internality, this meditation on life and purpose and fate and grief.

Elric is a tragic hero and we really begin to see that here. He begins the novel as the same super powered man he was before but by the end Moorcock's playing with what that means for him and those around him.

A surreal swashbuckling novel that becomes a lamentation, a dirge. Frig
David Sarkies
This is the second of the Elric books, and like the first, is crafted by using a collection of short stories (four I believe). Elric, or at least the early Elric books, because once the Elric saga became a runaway success Moorcock began to simply write, what I consider at least, rubbish stories simply to capitalise on the fame of his anti-hero. The only problem is that I do not believe (and I have catalogued most of my books) I still have them, and I suspect that I got rid of them back in the e ...more
This is an awesome series, let me just get that out right now. But if I had to pick the book I liked "least", it would be this one.

It's not because it's a bad book - it's not. But it feels like it's sort of an aside to the main story, even though it covers the first real adventuring Elric does (that's worthy of being chronicled at least) once he's left Melnibone. I guess it's because in the grand scheme of things, nothing that happens in this book is immediately connectible to the main direction
The second book in the Elric series.
Elric decides he needs some self improvement, and that he should take a year out from being Emperor and travel the lesser kingdoms. I think his idea is that he could better understand the younger human races by living amongst them, but hatred of melniboneans is so rife that Elric has little luck, and instead ends up wandering despondently on some random lonely shoreline. When up rolls the mist and a mysterious boat! And this boat travels the seas between all
Mike (the Paladin)
I looked over some of the reviews and was surprised at the number of negative attitudes toward the Eleric books. To me these (and most of the other Eternal Champion series) hold a special place in the "annals" of Epic fantasy. I reviewed the Omnibus edition of these books but my first experince was with the paperback single editions.

In this volume several "incarnations" of the Champion meet and the book can actually be seen to have several places in the Eternal Champion Multiverse as the histori
John Lawson
Abdicating his throne to his looney cousin (in what reality would THAT have made sense?), Elric goes on a cruise to find himself. Getting his groove back ensues.

Much better than the first book. Stormbringer's personality begins to show, as well as its power. However, much of the episodes dealing with his voyages across haunted seas were somewhat anticlimactic, but still, the imagery is amazing. Imagine what Guillermo de Toro could do with this story, or Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Upon this read-through,
Charles Dee Mitchell
Elric has rather unwisely left his decidedly untrustworthy cousin Yyrkoon in charge of things back home in Melinbone, as he goes questing. For what? Not exactly clear on that. Although he has the unreliable aid of a Lord of Chaos, and is on good terms with the elementals who control, well, the elements, he has a vision of world where men may live without these supernatural forces. And he thinks that answers may lie within the Young Kingdoms, although residents of the Young Kingdoms will despise ...more
I finished reading Sailor on the Seas of Fate last night. Book two of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné series. It’s very atmospheric and, in many ways, romantic. As I lay in bed this morning, resisting the necessity of getting ready for work, it suddenly struck me: Sword and Sorcery fantasy is to men what romance-novel fantasies are to women. They are a way of escaping from the real world, where jobs are boring, relationships require effort and we have to eat our vegetables.

These books are
These books are silly in memory, but for a while there I was a huge fan of Mr. Moorcock's, and read everything I could get my hands on back when I was thirteen and fourteen.

Had to seek out British editions of the second Count Brass trilogy and in doing so earned the derisive laughter of the guys in Wahrenbrock's Books in downtown San Diego because I asked after matching editions. I explained why, and Yon shouted out, "Hey, Chuck! The kid wants his SPINES to be UNIFORM!" And then everyone in the
Alexander Draganov
Weird and fast-paced adventure, second in the Elric series. The thoughtful Emperor of Melnibone decides to learn more about the world outside his Empire and is invited on the board of a strange ship, which can travel between worlds. A cataclismic confrontation with sorcerous beings from a different plane of reality awaits; yet this is only the first of three dangerous journeys. At times the book is so bizzare that it is difficult to read it, as the author was not capable of translating his ideas ...more
Red Siegfried
Proto-Goth Elric and his soul sucking sword Stormslayer are taken on a magical mystery tour in a magic boat to smite evil. As is his wont, Elric summons demons to do this then broods.

As usual, Moorcock has a way of keeping the story short and sweet, typically by sparing us unnecessary dialogue. Normally this wouldn't be the perferred method of "showing, not telling" in a story, but Moorcock's narration is pleasing enough to read that you won't mind, and he always keeps the action moving along.

Eric S. Fomley
Elric journeys without any sense of direction. He knows not where in the vast world he might be and he certainly doesn’t care where he’s going. Elric is tired, weak, and pursued by enemies. He finds refuge by boarding a mysterious ship, a ship that was already expecting him. Aboard this ship is a crew of desperate men which all were found in similar manner and desperation as Elric. The ship is one that travels between worlds and the dimensional planes of the earth’s existences. Its crew is fille ...more
Carl V.
Elric's adventures continue, with the reader being introduced to the concept of the multiverse and some of the incarnations of the Eternal Champion. I am really enjoying reading Moorcock's work, it is a pleasure to experience what has made these books so beloved by many over the last several decades. I wrote a more detailed review which can be found here if you are interested:
I'm really not sure what to make of these books. This is really a series of three short stories, which happen to have the same main characters. The writing is similar to the first, rather fast paced, and full of rich descriptions.
The first story is the worst of the three, picked up by some strange boat and whisked into strange dimensions to battle strange sorcerors.. All rather strange eh? This had some kind of Fate Has Decided plot, and Elric doesn't really decide anything, but just goes along
Ben Loory
the second book in the elric series... every bit as shitty as the first one was great. embarrassingly overwritten; cobbled together mish-mash of silly named people; characters with no desires wandering through meaningless episodes that make no sense... the last five pages are kind of cool, but by then who really cares.

stopping here for now.
Michael Eging
Back in 1976, this was a 12 year old's first introduction to more adult fantasy. My father bought this book for me, effectively thrusting me into the multiverse populated by the powers of Chaos and Law. Elric had fought to retain his throne of the declining empire of Melnibone. Yet, something deep inside him yearned to understand the rise of the human kingdoms and the the world around his insular realm. So, he places his rival cousin on the throne in a custodial role, and seeks knowledge and und ...more
Rey Mysterioso
I love these covers, by the way. The same off-putting but alluring depiction that somehow Moorcock's words also achieves. It's really stunning to me how well this all flows together.

So here in book two, we come to understand Moorcock's Eternal Champion concept, and that Elric himself is indeed an incarnation thereof. Moody boy Elric takes it in stride, because to him OF COURSE he is doomed to forever wage war without respite. You know, I can appreciate it when a goth gets their comeuppance :)

This is the second book in the Elric saga. Similar to the first book, this is more a collection of 3 stories that are tenuously linked together.

Here, Elric begins his solitary quest to find answers to unknown questions. And he's still very much the brooding, melancholy, unlikely hero.

My review of the first book holds true for this one, as well: this is a "thinking" fantasy/adventure. There is action and magic, but it's not quite the hack-and-slash of a Conan epic. It makes for an interesting rea
East Bay J
The Sailor On The Seas Of Fate finds Elric still optimistic, hopeful and somewhat naive. He continues to explore the Young Kingdoms in an effort to find a way to change his own kingdom so he can rule it as he sees fit. He finds joy in the camaraderie of others and is eager to join in quests and support causes not entirely his own. And he hasn't quite realized the extent of his relationship with the rune sword, Stormbringer.

This volume, then, has a lighter feel to it than later books, more like t
This was the first weird book I ever read. I must have been about seven or eight and my dad and younger sister were lying on the bed and we were looking at his fairly small collection of old mass market paperbacks. Most of them were westerns but he had a few fantasy and sci-fi ones that he had gotten from a friend. For some reason (I've never asked him why. I doubt he'd remember the moment) he picked out this one and said we should take turns reading it.

We read a few pages between us and I remem
In the second volume of the Elric saga, we are introduced to the greater multiverse, and are given the first plot-arc that involves the Cosmic Balance and the Champion Eternal. Or Champions Eternal, as the case may be - the aspects thereof. Elric continues, here, to be the flawed anti-hero, though we see different dimensions to his character. I am always struck by the tenderness he tries to show one of his companions after the fight with the inter-dimensional sorcerers. Elric’s companion’s mind ...more
Este, foi o primeiro livro que li da saga e posso afirmar que todas as informações necessárias à compreensão da história nos são fornecidas ao longo da narrativa, sem a necessidade de recorrer aos livros anteriores. Contudo, penso que seria mais interessante seguir a ordem de publicação: Elric – O Principe dos Dragões, Elric – A Fortaleza da Pérola e por fim, Elric – Os Mares do Destino.

Presenciamos uma narrativa repleta de perigos e aventuras, mitos e lendas, magia e batalhas em que as disputas
More excitement from the world of Elric and company. This time it is three tales/adventures. I really enjoyed that after each adventure, Elric cannot remember what happened, so he can run into the same people over and over again and not recognize them (there is a real Doctor Who moment in which a character Elric has not yet met remembers Elric from a bloody battle that they fought together). One does question whether or not he is learning anything that way....So we have the appearance of another ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Feb 14, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Heroice Fiction
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: A Reader's Guide to Fantasy: Seven-League Shelf
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, novels
This is the second book in the "Elric Saga" and to date I'm underwhelmed. These are supposed to be among the greatest works of fantasy ever published. I can't say I think this matches Lord of the Ring or Game of Thrones or Once and Future King or The Gormenghast Trilogy in terms of prose, characters or imagination. This installment in the series split into three parts that are really three tenuously connected novellas--and at least the stories do get stronger as you go along. "Sailing to the Fut ...more
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  • Swords Against Wizardry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #4)
  • Elric: Tales of the White Wolf (Michael Moorcock's Elric)
  • Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone
  • Darkness Weaves
  • Conan the Adventurer (Conan 5)
  • Elric: Stormbringer
  • Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn (Thieves' World, #2)
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 Elric Saga (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1)
  • 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 (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) Stormbringer (Elric, #6) 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)

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