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The Bane of the Black Sword (The Elric Saga #5)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  5,922 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Elric returns to Yishana, and finds peace at last. Meanwhile, at the world's rim, dragging red horror in its wake, a horde unimaginable moves on the fabled, gentle, impossible city Tanelorn.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 10th 1987 by Panther/Grafton (first published 1977)
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Nov 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Michael Whelan is as usual amazing when it comes to cover art


The Bane of the Black Sword is the fifth out of six original installments in the saga of Elric, the albino sorcerer who acts like an agent of Chaos and wields a terrible, soul-eating magical sword. Like it's predecessors, the book is actually a collection of novellas that are ordered chronologically in the continuing struggle of Elric against predestination and malevolent, indifferent deities. As such, it makes sense for the re
Bill  Kerwin
May 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This slim fifth volume of the Elric saga contains four separate novellas, the first three starring our princely albino hero and the fourth featuring one of his old companions, Rachir the Red Archer, now Defender of Tanelorn.

The three Elric tales are all fine adventurers, and rather sunny by Elric standards (which of course are more than usually dark): “Stealer of Souls” features Elric’s final battle with the evil wizard Theleb Ka’arna, in which Elric is assisted by a few Melniboneon dragons unde
J.G. Keely
There is an unusual tonal conflict central to almost all of the Elric series between the complex, metaphysical, magical world and the rather straightforward, formulaic characters. Elric, himself shows some complexity and nuanced introspection in the very first story, but then the focus changes and we embark upon a sequence of adventures where a recognizable pattern emerges.

Again and again we see Elric battling against difficult odds, his terrible sword at first ably defending him, but soon its s
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 5th and penultimate in the Elric series, like the previous books it's divided into 3 short stories.
In the first The stealer of souls, Elric has another run in with the sorceror Theleba K'aarna, who is still insanely mad at Elric for 'making' Yishana fall in love with him. But of course it's not Elric's fault, he's just naturally good with the ladies, and he doesn't even want Yishana.
Then Kings in Darkness, where Elric finds and falls in love with Zarozinia. It must be love this time, as Elr
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The fifth Elric book contains four interconnecting stories. It starts right where the previous book left: with a confrontation between the albino and his old enemy. Elric finally gets to live a quiet life - for a while. No Eternal Champion ever enjoys his life for long.

The book is notable for its epilog. It talks about (yet another) attack on Tanelorn. The city of piece sure gets into trouble way too often. What is unusual is that it is completely unrelated to Elric, or the rest of the series.
Here we are. Back to ass-kicking Elric with Hellsword in hand: "The Eastern warriors spread out in a half circle as they rode down on the companions, yelling wild war-shouts. Elric reared his mount to a savage standstill and met the first rider with Stormbringer's point full in the man's throat. There was a stink like brimstone as it pierced flesh and the warrior drew a ghastly choking breath as he died, his eyes staring out in full realization of his terrible fate - that Stormbringer drank soul ...more
Negar Bolboli
Arc I: Elric seeks the help of a few remaining fellow Melniboneans led by his old friend and cousin Dyvim Tvar. Despite Elric's successful attempt at destroying the Dreaming City a few years back, Melniboneans agree to help their former emperor. it's interesting that even though Elric says that it is in the Melnibonean nature to pursue self-interest and give no regard to petty human feelings such as grudge when it is in the way of some form of profit or pleasure, Dyvim Tvar acts in a way that re ...more
Robert Beveridge
Michael Moorcock, The Bane of the Black Sword (DAW, 1977)

The fifth of the six classic Elric novels picks up, as is usual with these books, where the fourth leaves off. Moorcock sets the last pieces of the puzzle into place (and here, we get a chance to see how everything that has come before is building to the climactic novel, Stormbringer), introducing us to Zarozinia, the love of Elric's life (and most of his motivation for continuing on the path upon which he was set in The Vanishing Tower).
Brent Hayward
1) Elric abandons friends and/or lovers, due to his lame cultural background, seeking trouble.
2) Elric slaughters everyone: return to number one. If not:
3) Elric calls upon an angry god to resolve the problem: return to number one. If not:
4) Elric is rendered unconscious but will wake up with sword neglectfully placed by the enemy very nearby: return to number one...

I have decided to read only the first six books, as opposed to the cagillion out there. This whole Elric saga is starting to take i
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sword-sorcery
I enjoyed some of the language in this installment, especially descriptions of sound. Elric is trying a bit harder to break his addiction to Stormbringer and this makes for some great moments when he relapses and experiences "an awful ecstasy." There's a new girlfriend, too, and he does the whole addict "I'm bad news, baby" warning thing except it comes out something like this: "My destiny is no destiny at all. It is doom." I guess it is all the gloom and doom that really attracts me to these. G ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
La maledizione dei salami in testa

Siamo tutti d'accordo nell'attribuire a Moorcock il merito di aver sfumato la morale dell'eroe principale: Elric di Melnibonè acquista i tratti peculiari dell'antieroe e funge da apripista per altri personaggi icona del genere (Drizzt e Rand Al'Thor, tanto per fare due nomi).
Riconosciuto questo all'autore, rimane comunque difficile prendere seriamente un'opera ove le reazioni umane, oltre a non essere minimamente realistiche, risultano addirittura responsabili
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as enjoyable as the previous books in the series.
East Bay J
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
While reading Bane Of The Black Sword and looking at the cover of this edition, I'm reminded of how much Moorcock has influenced and been involved in music. This cover was used by Cirith Ungol for their second album, King Of The Dead, while the cover of Sailor On The Seas Of Fate was used for their third album, One Foot In Hell and the cover of Stormbringer was used on their first album, Frost And Fire. There are two Diamond Head LPs with Elric themed art, though not by Michael Whelan. Not to me ...more
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Finally, a book that lives up to the promise of the first book of the Elric series.

This one starts out in the familiar way - broken up into a series of short stories. The first one shows us ELric dealing with the leftover troubles from the last book - this time our good friend the Sorcerer Theleb finally gets the death he richly deserves. This particular story was one of my favorites, where Elric teams up with his old friend the Dragon-Keeper from Melnibone and his band of surviving warriors - t
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Book Five. Every time I finish one of the books in this series I think, I'll read something else before the next one...but end up slavering for another one of these cookies instead. Though the writing in these books lacks polish—a red pen in the hands of an editor these days might leave it looking like one of the gory slaughterfests the author so graphically describes—I'm not that concerned.

Elric is the ultimate tortured soul. Not a good man, he is steeped in ten thousand years of sorcerous ance
Edward Rathke
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this one. I do think it's probably best not to binge with these books since the structure is fairly similar throughout each individual novel and even in the novellas that make up the novels.

Still, this was good. We've found a sense of possible redemption or salvation for Elric, or at least a way to move past his endless tragedy. Curious to get to the last volume, though I don't have a copy yet. But I like the current trajectory of the story, though I imagine it's all gloom and doom from
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This one managed to encapsulate part of what makes Elric and all his people different than humans AND revealed a deeper truth about fair Tanelorn! Well done by the author.
Ignacio Senao f
Varios relatos en que Elric ya no es Rey ni bobadas, es un mercenario al que se le pide ayuda. Y ahora él hará lo que le venga en gana.
Nov 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Notice: I have made a review for every book of this series and they need to be read in order since they are supposed to feel like an on-going impression. So if you read the second without reading the first will feel rather off.

I am mostly focusing on the style of storytelling and a lot less on if it reads well or something sophisticated like that. For the same reason I tend to have lots of SPOILERS which means that if you read this text you will know THE OVERALL PLOT and how much I DIDN’T like
Why have these not been made into movies?
Fassbender would make a great elric or corum, and the kid from new star trek a great hawkmoon.

The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4)
by Michael Moorcock
U 50x66
Jackvanc3gmail.Com's review
Sep 11, 2016 · edit

it was amazing
Read in January, 1988

beware voilodion ghagnasdiak!

you have stuumbled upon one of the great works of written art

some of best stuff ever written in fighting fantasy

would be 10movie series and best box office if made into film without social justice
Brian Turner
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A collection of short stories. Elric and Moonglum come up against Theleb Kaarna again.
Elric finds a degree of peace after he gets married, but has to take up Stormbringer once again.
Finishes with a Rackhir the Red Archer story as Tanelorn comes under threat from Chaos.

The stories are well written and move along at a good pace. Elric seems less tortured than usual, so there's less of the philosophical discussions.
Felipe Guerrero
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me ha gustado bastante este libro.

Esta vez Elric es un poco distinto al Elric del libro anterior, mucho mas agresivo, mucho mas de mi agrado.

Se hecha en falta Arioch, aunque si ayuda a Elric no se materializa propiamente en el mismo plano.
Dony Grayman
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: decto, ed-arg
Edición argentina que aparentemente replica el contenido de la española. Tomo 7 o 5 según cómo se vea.
Aug 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Este comentario abarca tres libros que leí en una compilación en francés, Elric le nécromancien, y que en inglés abarca al menos los libros The Weird of the White Wolf, The Bane of the Black Sword y Stormbringer. Así, este comentario se repite en los citados libros)

¿Qué se puede decir de la saga de Elric que no se haya dicho ya? La llaman “fantasía épica oscura”, es una gran tragedia, una cosmogonía que narra hechos ocurridos, supuestamente, mucho antes de los registros geológicos de la Tierra.
Four more Elric stories. These stories are really the model for collectible card games: one player summons some undeads; the other counters with air elementals; the first pulls out a quaolnargn card; then the other ripostes with a kyrenee or dragonriders, next plays his floating ships of Xerlerenes or fire-things--and so on, until someone is deadmeats.

First story puts paid to the antagonist from volume IV. Only item of interest therein is that Elric gets to the antagonist because a merchant grou
David Sarkies
May 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who like something different in their fantasy
Recommended to David by: A girl at high school
Shelves: fantasy
Is this a way cool sword or what
10 May 2013

I wonder whether one can consider Elric's sword Stormbringer to actually be a character in itself. Okay, the sword doesn't speak, but it does seem to have a will of its own, which is probably why I had the sword turn on Elric in the short story that I wrote for year 12 English. Well, I think to suggest that the sword is a character is a little misleading since it is not actually the sword that is the character but rather the demon that has been impriso
En general la saga de Elric me ha parecido de regular a buena pero este capítulo me dejo muy mal sabor de boca.

Algo que siempre me ha sacado de onda es la personalidad bipolar del personaje; algunas veces está de buenas, otras quiere matar a todo mundo, y no puede faltar sus días de melancolía. El problema es que en esta historia se siente un Elric totalmente diferente y genérico.

La historia es la típica de relleno que puedes encontrar en videojuegos u otros libros donde la meta es solo ir del p
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: español
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The fifth volume is about the vain attempts of a junkie to get rid of his addiction. In the course of action, Elric finally succeeds to slay his enemy Theleb K'aarna in a castle siege, accidentally killing a wealthy merchant with Stormbringer who had Elric's promise to be spared. This incident adds to Elric's determination to resolve his fatal affair with his sword.

While the second story superficially has Elric facing a haunted forest, some ghuls and a zombie king, it really is about meeting hi
Rex Hughes
The magic returns with the fifth volume of the Elric saga. The first part infuses the antihero with a striking reality and a wry personality, demonstrating Moorcock's strong sense of maddened sorcery in some of his earlier work ("The Stealer of Souls" trio belonged to the original cycle of stories within Science Fantasy magazine, making the accepted chronology and the date of writing an interesting aspect of the saga's evolution). Many of the scenes in "Stealer of Souls" put me in mind of "The T ...more
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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 Elric Saga (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories (Elric Chronological Order, #1)
  • Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1)
  • The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric, #2)
  • The Weird of the White Wolf (The Elric Saga, #3)
  • The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4)
  • Stormbringer (Elric, #6)
  • Elric at the End of Time (The Elric Saga #7)
  • The Fortress of the Pearl (Elric #8)
  • The Revenge of the Rose (Elric, #9)
  • The Dreamthief's Daughter

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