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(The Elric Saga #3-7)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,940 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Elric of Melniboné is the haunted, treacherous and doomed albino sorcerer-prince. An introspective weakling in thrall to his black-bladed, soul-eating sword, Stormbringer, he is yet a hero whose bloody adventures and wanderings through brooding, desolate lands leads inexorably to his decisive intervention in the war between the forces of Law and Chaos. This volume brings t ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Orion Publishing Group
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,940 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Hate to say it, but this bored me.

I know, I know, the Elric series is supposed to be one of those classics of modern fantasy, but I got about twenty pages in and all I could think was, "Jesus, this guy is emo." If he were living in the real world right now he'd be cutting himself and listening to Modest Mouse. He'd be wearing black eyeliner and getting beat up by the football team. He'd have a fantastically horrible MySpace page.

You get the idea.

I mean, I understand that the character was a majo
Oct 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
Occasionally imaginative, otherwise this work is totally without merit. Truly awful. If you want passable character dimensionality, stakes, plot construction, internal consistency, suspense, worldbuilding - look elsewhere.
Big Pete
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Don't start sledging me.
I wanted to like this book.
Michael Moorcock is a legend in the SF&F community, and his influence is enormous. One does not simply get commendations from both J.G. Ballard and Tad Williams. Ballard's quote promised greatness, but that greatness was not evident to me.
Elric is a throwback to those days when it was cool for heroes to be emo. He's a physically inaccurate albino who has the choice of either being hated and frail, a hated junkie who isn't frail, or a hated
Elric might not have been so original idea when he was created but he is a fascinating character.

I might have some problems with how Moorcock writes his dialouge in these stories but not how he writes Elric himself.
Ben Johnson
Dec 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Elric, the collected first stories of Michael Moorcock’s titular protagonist, is the powerful cycle of a dark hero confronting both unfathomable terrors and his own cruelty. Once you get familiarized with the deceptively simplistic writing, this challenge to Tolkein’s formula takes on mythic force and serves as a foundational text for contemporary fantasy.

Elric is composed of stories about the titular hero, an albino with a semi-sentient soul-drinking sword named Stormbringer and a mastery of bl
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Michael Moorcock is an excellent writer of heroic fantasy. His storytelling language is excellent to read, and to read aloud. Elric of Melnibone is both hero and anti-hero, not exactly what you'd expect as an aspect of The Eternal Champion. In a milieu where characters are aligned to either Law or Chaos, Elric the albino sorcerer frequently calls upon his patron deity, Arioch, a Duke of Chaos. Each story is a portrayal of his unholy symbiosis with the sentient demon sword Stormbringer. It either ...more
Γιώργος Μπελαούρης
the beginning of a love story
between a pale prince and me
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
What a great guy is our Elric, the albino wanderer who, I think, just needs friends and hobbies other than wandering around looking for trouble. While Elric is probably a decent guy under all the emo brooding, sadly his sword isn't a great guy - it has a mind and power of its own, which comes in handy when fighting off nasty demon creatures, but it's a bit of a problem when it goes after friends and lovers.

I came to Elric through my own new year quest to read (and review) much and randomly. I fe
Ian Banks
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-need-a-gin, fantasy
These are the earliest collected stories in the Elric series and, fittingly, given Moorcock's cavalier attitude to series order, they also conclude the series.
It's pretty grim stuff: Elric is not the cheeriest or least sensitive of protagonists so it's not unexpected that his path through the story is littered with the bodies of enemies and loved ones alike.

The stories in this volume cover Elric's adventures from the time of him returning to Imrryr to take vengeance on Yyrkoon who has stolen his
Izzy Corbo
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a compilation of Moorcock's brooding warrior novellas from the 1960's. Never heard of this anti-hero before and after researching how much influence this series has had to dark fantasy literature and Dungeons and Dragon, I gave it a whirl. I was very impressed! At first I thought it was a bit confusing as you are thrown in the thick of the adventure in which for what ever reason Elric is combating his family/heritage, a sorcery/conjure supreme, an albino with a very weak constitution wit ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
The one word who sums up this book the most is "dated": the book starts with what is now a very stereotypical anti-hero going to absurd extents to do things out of spite, often failing in his plans and having to make up solutions as he goes, caring little for the well-being of his companions and focusing only on his own interests.
As you reach further into the later works, the writing gets better and the asides that the main character sometimes has become actually something to look forward to.
Martin Christopher
"Meaning, Elric? Do not seek that, for madness lies in such a course."

Only in the last three pages does the book finally have something clever to say.

A prime example of telling over showing and bad use of omniscient point of view. Who actually writes a sentence starting with "As you know..."? Characters are one-dimensional if they are even there and the plots are irrelevant, and overall it' just pretty bad amateur writing. The only good thing about the book, and the only reason to read it, are t
Michael Eging
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that for me started my love affair with fantasy, particularly anti-hero or flawed hero fantasy. On a family trip to Florida, we had stopped for gas at a roadside station, and my father saw the book rack near the cash register. With a spin of the rack, he came to this book, grabbed it and thrust it into my 11 year old hands. I read the covers off this book during that trip, totally enthralled by the journey of Elric and his unlikely travel companions. While this book isn’t the en ...more
Good old skool fantasy adventuring. If you like Conan and that sort of episodic dark fantasy, this is for you. Like Conan though, Elric's stories do coagulate into a more ambitious narrative story with a definite conclusion and I think that aspect will turn people away or convince them it's great. I am personally a fan of how mental Moorcock's stuff gets so I enjoy the interdimensional silliness. But it does lose a bit of the grounded charm the early stories have. Also, unlike his other stuff, i ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
high fantasy. swords,sourcery and philosophy. very good
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Michael Moorcock’s fiction is tied together in a multiverse where Law and Chaos are engaged in a constant struggle to overturn the Balance. My favorite Moorcock character is Dorian Hawkmoon who serves the Balance. Ultimately, he serves “Good” but to do so he must preserve the Balance and that means working both sides, Law and Order. Elric, on the other hand, was destined to be the last monarch of Melníbone when his restless nature demanded that he explore other options that serving the historic ...more
Ville Halonen
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully ambiguous in its morality and emotion, lametably inconsistent in quality. These are the first written Elric stories, but they take place in the most dramatic moments of his life, including the end of his saga culminating in the fix-up novel, "Stormbringer".

Moorcock has a wild imagination, a terrific penchant for metaphysical musings, and he is able to conjure fantastic, often nightmarish images. Therefore, he is at his best, one of the top writers of his genre; beneath the outlandish
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
It's a very fun and easy to read book.
Its actually a collection of stories about the character Elric.
From the beginning, to his famous adventures till his last big story (the others are short stories, the last is like a novella).
Moorcock is an intelligent writer and he guides the stories to its endings while at the same time weaving the greater saga of Elric and his people.
Most of the short stories are very fast, with little time spent on description, moved only by action and the characters inte
Hmm, old-school heroic fantasy just isn't my cup of tea, I'm afraid. There's some powerful and some vivid imagery here, but overall the prose is (horribly) dated and the characterisation is paper-thin (especially for the few female characters *shudder*). The concept itself is still an interesting one (the last king of an ancient and cruel folk is a frail albino with a cursed, soul-drinking sword), but we get endless scenes of the emo antihero angsting shallowly and not much else, despite all the ...more
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some folk might not like this book, but as one of the 'grand daddies' of fantasy you need to read this. Something that speaks not only from sword and maic based western mythology but also has the Greek and Hindu cycles of birth and rebirth, and not just men, demons and Gods doing battle, but also an idea of a Brahman or overbid, the hand that holds the Cosmic Balance. If you like you fantasy dark, with self doubt, real characters, betrayal, epic scale, despair, hope, love, loss and ambiguous pro ...more
Oct 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Elric is filled with the key characteristics of a fantasy book: powerful magical swords, a somewhat romantic/tragic male hero with a stunning outer appearance, epic adventures, revenge to be sought. It does have an interesting overall plot arch, yet if you expect a modern way of story telling, this is not for you. Elric is more written like the old legends, like an Odyssee of a tragic hero whose full plight is only slowly revealed to the reader and who we never get really close to. It reminds me ...more
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]This is the Fantasy Masterworks edition which brings together The Stealer of Souls and Stormbringer, which I think are the first two Elric books published though apparently several more were subsequently inserted into the internal continuity.[return][return]I found the stories a quick and undemanding read. Elric's tortured relationship with his soul-drinking sword and his own family heritage makes him an unusually compolex hero. Moorcock' ...more
Nov 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
A very tedious book: the first five short stories set the scene and set the pace: it is glacial.

The writing style is appalling, the sentences are not well constructed or thought-out. The plots start out as family clashes between Elric and his clan and end up as a battle between other-worldly beings. It escalates, but the characters in the book are so badly written that it is hard to care. Elric spends too much time belying his fate instead of getting on with the action.

The only positive is tha
Sam Graham
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a pioneer of the Dark-Fantasy, the entire genre owes something to Elric of Melnibone. This collection, while it may not be the entirety of the Elric saga, is the core text of the character.
It's folly to say that he is cliche really, because when he was written, he was not. He created those tropes that are now considered cliche.
I grew up being a huge fan of the Legacy of Kain video games, because of its brooding, dark-fantasy atmosphere and doomed, but ever hopeful main character (Kain was cur
Kunal Lal
Sep 29, 2015 rated it liked it
The book that spawned a thousand copycats. Moorcock's work was more revolutionary when he wrote it in the 60s than it appears now. The lead character is a brooding introspective aristocrat turned reluctant adventurer living in a cruel chaos dominated world. This was Moorcock's reply to Tolkein's little England landscape of the shire and Howard's uncouth, happy-go-lucky but honorable Conan the Barbarian.
The problem with reading this book today is that its very hard to take it seriously when one h
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would give one star to reflect the times I rolled my eyes reading the emo, weepy prose and encountering yet another "he [verbed] sardonically".

But...but I wanted to like this book so much! It's supposed to be a classic and I tried my hardest to love it.
Ben Turner
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good collection of stories, shorter then later developing into a longer style. Moorcock seems to do more with one chapter than some fantasy novels do in the entire book, in so far that the story moves in leaps and bounds between settings, events and development. This rapid pace was quite refreshing in the aftermath of extended edition fantasy epics, and the characters were all interestingly damaged enough to create quite a unique feel to the stories.

Glad to have upped my classic fantasy books
Oh god. So many very, very, very bad fantasy cliches everywhere. It was all steeds, breeks and plot holes. This kind of book makes you realise why fantasy was so villified during the 60's and 70's, but the really painful thing is that Moorcock was one of the more eminent writers during this period. I really was expecting to enjoy this more, especially as I seem to remember enjoying Gloriana rather a lot.
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-read
The original anti-hero epic

An original story but no longer the best out there, this epic is grand in scale and very readable, but has been superseded recently by the likes of Joe Abercrombie with tales which the reader can relate to more, Elric is a excellent creation though and this book is still a fine addition to any fantasy fans collection
Sep 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
What a joke. Poor structure. Lame and rather unoriginal story. Oh.. and.. every time I want to use my magic as "one of the most powerful magicians on the planet - I have to pray to my fickle god." Such an irritating read. Seriously weak. If you're an angsty teenager who just couldn't get into twilight, this is certainly ten steps up.
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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,

Other books in the series

The Elric Saga (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories (Elric Chronological Order, #1)
  • Elric of Melniboné (The Elric Saga, #1)
  • The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (The Elric Saga, #2)
  • The Weird of the White Wolf (The Elric Saga, #3)
  • The Vanishing Tower (The Elric Saga, #4)
  • The Bane of the Black Sword (The Elric Saga, #5)
  • Stormbringer (The Elric Saga, #6)
  • Elric at the End of Time (The Elric Saga #7)
  • The Fortress of the Pearl (The Elric Saga, #8)
  • The Revenge of the Rose (The Elric Saga, #9)

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