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Elric: Song of the Black Sword (Eternal Champion, #5)
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Elric: Song of the Black Sword (Eternal Champion #5)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  1,194 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The founders of modern literary fancy deserve their own place in the light. The Borealis Legends line is a tribute to the creators of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres as we know them today.
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by White Wolf Publishing,U.S. (first published October 1st 1995)
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Randolph Carter
Jan 18, 2013 Randolph Carter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
As much as I like the Lord of the Rings the unrelieved black and white of good and evil can become tiresome. The Orcs are always evil. Mordor is always evil. Aragorn is always good. The elves are always good, to a person. The real word isn't like this. I know this is fiction but the best fiction draws something to the world with it, good, or bad, or indifferent. I think the best that can be said beyond bloody good entertainment is that LoTR shows the value of loyalty, love, honesty, courage, and ...more
Dan Choquette
Jun 14, 2008 Dan Choquette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the more recent re-releases of the adventures of Moorcock's classic brooding anti-hero. This volume collects the first three Elric books (Elric of Melnibone, the Sailor on the Seas of Fate, and the Weird of the White Wolf) as well as the Fortress of the Pearl, written in the early 90's. The Elric saga is just as influential on modern fantasy as Tolkien was, bringing a darker, edgier and more realistic kind of hero. When I was a teen, I devoured these books. When I read them again ...more
Jeremy Preacher
Aug 10, 2011 Jeremy Preacher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It's a classic for a reason. Moorcock's wild inventiveness and somewhat scattershot approach to storytelling all cohere into a compelling universe with interesting characters. Elric's weakness and introspection give him more actual weight as a hero than most of the strapping swordsmen of the genre, and his moral quandaries are genuinely affecting.

There are some downsides - Moorcock is... not exactly a feminist writer, and his female characters are basically quest objectives. That's probably more
John Devlin
The evil, doom-shrouded hero. A nice break from all those upbeat fantasy books. Tragedy stalks Elric's life, and when you have a sword that sucks people's souls, sometimes your friends souls, you can see why.
I.A. Ashcroft
Oct 01, 2015 I.A. Ashcroft rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older, darker fantasy fans
This omnibus was my first exposure to both Michael Moorcock's writing and his character Elric, which a friend has talked about for years. I looked forward to reading it very much. It actually was easy to jump into, despite it not being book #1 in the Eternal Champion story set.

TL;DR: A real mixed bag for me. I'd happily read Moorcock's other writing - there is certainly skill here, and wonderful world-building - but these tales haven't aged well in some areas. Still, there are some real fantasy
Jared Millet
Omnibus time! I bought this entire set of "Eternal Champion" hardbacks when they were published, but it's been over a decade since I made a stab at reading them. Picking up where I left off with the first Elric volume - since this will take me a while, I'll review each section as I get to it.

Elric of Melniboné
Wayyy back when I read the SF Book Club's "Elric Saga" editions, I had no clue that I was starting with the prequel. Knowing that now explains why the character and world of Elric are so
Jan 06, 2009 Collin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah Elric. He's the biggest rock star in swords-and-sorcery fantasy, a genre that is at its most comfortable on the cover of a Heavy Metal album. I have to give this Thin White Duke the devil-horns and say, "Rock on, Elric, you Silver Stallion!"

I think to some extent the idea of this character is much better than the actual stories about him. He conjures up such vivid images -- all morose and haunted, slinging a black sword as big as he is over his back, tossing back drugs and black magic to deal
Joel Mitchell
Elric, the drug-dependant albino sorceror-emperor of a decadent amoral empire in decline and wielder of the black soul-sucking sword Stormbringer, is probably Michael Moorcock's best known hero/anti-hero. The novels and short stories that make up this volume are fairly typical offerings from Moorcock: slightly trippy swords and sorcery mixed with a lot of philosophizing and soul-searching.

Unlike the rest of his race, Elric has some concept of morality and conscience. This leads to a few interest
Mar 02, 2010 Tamcamry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
• I remember reading this book about eight years ago, and I think I liked it better the first time I read it. Elric seems a little too sulky. He seems to brood an unrealistic amount of time. This book, much like Hawkmoon, makes only passing reference to the Eternal Champion. Some of the later stories also seem to end a bit abruptly. I understand that they are short stories, but it would be nice to flesh out some of the smaller characters. Overall, this isn’t the worst of the first five books in ...more
Justin Achilli
I'm torn on this one. It's a classic, sure, but it's not one that I particularly enjoyed. The sequencing is simple: Elric goes to a place and fights a dude or thing. Then he does it again. Then he does it again. Then he pouts a while then goes and kills another fruity thing. Parts of the tale are quite resonant, as with how he deals with his treacherous cousin Yrkoon and his wife-to-be Cymoril, but then it dips back into the ersatz picaresque that reminds me of D&D games with an unprincipled ...more
Christian Herro
Apr 13, 2013 Christian Herro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read this, and it still holds up. Elric turns fantasy on its head...he is neither the anti-hero he is frequently alluded to in lazy genre shorthand, but neither is he truly a hero. More a disillusioned protagonist, he is sometimes charming, sometimes grating & whiny, and always entertaining. By playing with the genre conventions (such as they were at the time), Moorcock carves out his own niche in the fantasy landscape that has yet to be matched.
Richard Houchin
Jun 08, 2008 Richard Houchin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Very cool. Written back before moody elves with soul-drinking swords were cliched. Moorcock is the first, and last, person to make this character-type cool ^^

I'd compare it to the Odyssey or Iliad, updated for modern fantasy aesthetics.
Heather Carter
Feb 22, 2012 Heather Carter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely cannot finish this book. I've started it three times and I keep re-shelving it. I find the writing stale and the characters all too whiny or otherwise annoying to bother putting up with them for more than a few chapters.
Feb 22, 2009 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Santana
May 13, 2013 Ben Santana rated it it was amazing
Moorcock at his best. The White Wolf Moorcock Collection is one of the best ever.
Jan 08, 2013 Squire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: michael-moorcock
The Elric saga part 1. Great. A cornerstone of dark fantasy.
Patrik Sahlstrøm
While the individual stories are good, this epic tale really shines when read together. Not for those looking for rainbows and unicorns in their fantasy ;-)
Steve Williams
More 3.5 stars. Great prose, colourful description and imaginative setting. And yet. And yet something was missing that was evident in the Hawkmoon / End of time sagas.

John Page
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Mark Hansen
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Nov 25, 2016
John Towle
John Towle rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2016
Greg Trosclair
Greg Trosclair rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2012
Michael rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2013
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Jul 21, 2011
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Feb 04, 2015
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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

Eternal Champion (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Eternal Champion (Eternal Champion, #1)
  • Von Bek (Eternal Champion, #2)
  • Hawkmoon (Eternal Champion, #3)
  • A Nomad of the Time Streams (Eternal Champion, #4)
  • The Roads Between the Worlds (Eternal Champion, #6)
  • Corum: The Coming of Chaos (Eternal Champion, #7)
  • Sailing to Utopia (Eternal Champion, #8)
  • Kane of Old Mars (Eternal Champion, #9)
  • The Dancers at the End of Time (Dancers at the End of Time, #1-3)
  • Elric: The Stealer of Souls (Eternal Champion, #11)

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