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Epic Fantasy > Michael Moorcock's The Eternal Champion

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message 1: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I picked up The Eternal Champion quite a few years ago. I happened upon it and it looked interesting.

I read it at least twice but each time left me feeling a little clueless and unsatisfied. I never picked up the rest of the series and gave the book to my mom. She tried to read it a few times, gave up and stuck it on a shelf.

Recently I read Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery and there was an Elric story in it. I thought it was pretty good so when I visited my mom this weekend and saw The Eternal Champion on one of her bookshelves, I grabbed it. I just thumbed through it. I'm not feeling encouraged.

Has anyone else read this book? What are your thoughts?


message 2: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) I have a copy of that one, along with most of the Eternal Champion series.

I enjoyed the omnibus, but in particular the title story and "Phoenix in Obsidian". The other stories, not as much.

These two were enjoyable, but certainly not very dense or layered. They were quick "sword & sorcery" adventures that were entertaining, but not really life-changing.

I enjoyed the Elric stories much more:
Elric: Song of the Black Sword
Elric: The Stealer of Souls

These two have the essential Elric stories.

Really, I haven't read any Moorcock since the early 80s that I've cared for very much. Where his stories used to be full of hack and slash (and fun!), now they are pretty much expressions of his favorable impressions of his own intellect.


message 3: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments The stories - by themselves - were ok. What bothered me was how each story connected to each other. I didn't understand the arc that pulled him from place to place. I didn't quite grasp the multiverse - or rather Moorcock's take on the multiverse.

With a spotty memory of The Eternal Champion and fresher memory of Red Pearls from Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery, I can't understand why the character in The Eternal Champion was switching, either.


message 4: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) That does get pretty confusing. Wait until you find one of the stories where the aspects of the Champion hang out together.


message 5: by Brett (new)

Brett (battlinjack) | 114 comments Moorcock is a great writer! The thing about the Eternal Champion series is that if you want to read and enjoy it, you have to dedicate yourself to reading ALL of them, or as many as you can. I read them as they came out and the wait between books was miserable, so I would end rereading the previous book when the next one came out. I wound up with a good idea of how his 'Multiverse' was supposed to work.
Of course I don't remember much right now. If I were to read a couple or skim through, I would pick it back up soon enough. But I digress.

The Multiverse consists of several universes, dimensions, worlds and spheres of influence. In which there is a constant battle being waged between the forces of Law and Chaos.

There are several characters that make up the Eternal Champion and their separate stories do affect the others in minor or major ways.

The Eternal Champion exists in ALL the universes, dimensions and such. The role of the champion is to fight for 'Balance' between Law and Chaos, many times not knowing who he is or what his role is.

Makes it hard to fight the good fight!

There is always a "Companion' to the champions as well. The trick is for them to figure it out and find each other!

They really are fun books! Writing this has gotten excited to read them again...for the 7th or 8th time!

While the books are basically a sword and sorcery story, there is a LOT of depth there if the reader cares to really get into it.


message 6: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I love sword & sorcery and typically this would be right up my alley. I just hate not getting what is going on. It makes it hard for me to get satisfaction from the novel.

I'll try again at some point (my TBR list is out of control) and see if I can get somewhere.


message 7: by Brett (new)

Brett (battlinjack) | 114 comments I know what you mean. If the story doesn't click for me, I get frustrated. Then reading becomes a chore instead of fun and/or escapism.

Have you ever read the Amber series by Roger Zelazny? THAT is a GREAT series. It's more modern but is still a sword & sorcery story.

The series Fafhrd & The Gray Mouser by Fritz Leiber is pure fantasy with humor and is thoroughly enjoyable.

The Dragon and the George series (9 books) by Gordon R Dickson. Over 4,000 pages of coolness!

The Tears of Artamon trilogy by Sarah Ash. Pure fantasy!

The Banned and the Banished series (5 books) by James Clemens. An intense series centered on the growth in power and knowledge of the 'Wit'ch' Elena. VERY good.


message 8: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Oooh, I HATED The Great Book of Amber. It was just...not there for me. Maybe my issue is that I read it straight through.


message 9: by Roger (new)

Roger (rogerbixby) | 17 comments ah, Corwin is one of my favorite characters in fantasy. His son, Merlyn, less so.


message 10: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Corwin? He was the "main" character, right? I liked him, I just got lost in (what felt to me) the convoluted but unnecessary plot.


message 11: by Brett (new)

Brett (battlinjack) | 114 comments That's what I liked, at least one of the things. I like puzzles and multiple plot lines. It's probably one of the reasons I tend to read multiple books at the same time. I can usually keep 5-6 books going and understand at the same time. I like to challenge myself. -grin-


message 12: by Legsoffury (new)

Legsoffury Dito on Corwin. A very satisfying cynic to read. Not whiny or pathetic. Thoughtful, masculine, self effacing. I don't know, he was authentically raw to me. Some say modern characters are more raw then those of the older fantasy books. Well, then Nine Princes in Amber is definitely the exception to that rule. I love how well Zelazny builds up your first impression of several characters, only to dash those impressions to pieces later on.

I liked him much better then Merlyn. What if Merlyn came first...I just don't know...


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments I loved the FIRST Amber series...I tolerated the second.

As for the Eternal Champion Cycle, most I really liked. Moorcock can run so hot and cold. The Primary "lines, incarnations or aspects" of the Eternal Champion appear in a few series (either epic fantasy, high fantasy or sword and sorcery sort of depending which series you're talking about and who's reading it). I like Elric immensely, I the first series of Prince Corum pretty well, the second not quite as well. Then there are the John Daker/Erekose series or books, again pretty good. My favorite series would be the two concerning Dorian Hawkmoon. Then there are dozens of others that touch peripherally. Some of those I like some I detest. Like I said, I think he runs hot and cold. Just my opinion of course.


message 14: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3204 comments I have the Elric series. I've heard many great things about it and I'm looking forward to reading it.


message 15: by Jea0126 (new)

Jea0126 | 203 comments Brett wrote: "I know what you mean. If the story doesn't click for me, I get frustrated. Then reading becomes a chore instead of fun and/or escapism.

Have you ever read the Amber series by Roger Zelazny? THAT i..."


I agree on the Dragon and George books after only reading the first one. (I have the others in my possession but they're currently on my TBR pile).

As for Banned and Banished, I loved them. They were a lot of fun. I also really enjoyed some of the other character especially the two introduced in book 2. :)


message 16: by Jea0126 (new)

Jea0126 | 203 comments Brett wrote: "I know what you mean. If the story doesn't click for me, I get frustrated. Then reading becomes a chore instead of fun and/or escapism.

Have you ever read the Amber series by Roger Zelazny? THAT i..."


Have you read the Wizard in Rhyme series or the Bazil Broketail series?


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments Hi Jea0126 I've read most of Stasheff Wizard in Rhyme books they are good. Have you read any of the Warlock In Spite of Himself books? I didn't think they were as good as the Wizard in Rhyme, but they were placed in the same world and came first.


message 18: by Jon (new)

Jon Sprunk | 49 comments I'm a big fan of the Elric series, more so than the rest of the Eternal Champion cycle. It just felt more grounded and more... wicked.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments I like the Hawkmoon Cycles best (the Castle Brass books and the Rune Staff History). That's the thing about the Eternal Champion books. Some are far better than others and mostly people can't agree on which is which. LOL


message 20: by Jon (new)

Jon Sprunk | 49 comments I'd say you're right, Mike. Moorcock is a frigging genius.


message 21: by Stuart (new)

Stuart (asfus) | 98 comments I read a lot of Moorcock as a teenager; I need to reread his books.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments His books literally do run the gamut for me from 5 star reads to 1 star reads. He has a lot of range and can write books that appeal to many different types of people and audiences.


message 23: by Kevin (last edited Oct 18, 2011 05:44PM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) What I love about him is that he tries to get away from the whole Tolkien like quest, and did his own thing.


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