Book Review: The Elric Saga: Part 1 by Michael Moorcock

elric

Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Elric Saga
Author Info: http://www.multiverse.org

The Elric Saga is one of the classics of the fantasy genre.I think it’s underrated despite inspiring big shot authors like R.A. Salvatore, Neil Gaiman and Margaret Weiss, and some milestone characters of the fantasy genre such as Drizzt Do’urden and Raistlin Majere. It is rather sad that only the hardcore fantasy geeks have read this incredibly original piece of work.

This book is a combination of the first three books of the series (around 100 pages or less), which are rather short compared to the typical fantasy books. Elric is the ultimate antihero, he is not your typical heroic warrior-king. Even though he is the emperor of Melnibone, he is a weakling barely kept alive by sorcery and potions. He betrays everyone he cares about, but you can’t really get mad at him. He has no purpose, no solid mission, no aim. He has an incredibly powerful megical weapon but whether Elric wields the weapon or the weapon wields Elric is quite unclear.

Moorcock has written this series to move the fantasy genre away from the Tolkienesque cliches everyone has been using, and he did an excellent job of that. This is definitely not your typical fantasy story. The mood and athmosphere of the whole series is dark and melancholy, but without graphic violence and gore.

If you are a lover of fantasy genre and still haven’t read the Elric Saga due to its underrated status, I highly recommend you to read it. Especially if you are an indie author: If it inspired R.A. Salvatore to write Drizzt and Margaret Weis to write Raistlin, it could work wonders for you too.

Although the character and the story are very original and inspired a lot of other great works in the genre, the only complex character here is Elric and all other characters seem quite flat and dull next to him, thus the 4 Roman Solidus rating. (I am a history buff and a huge fan of Roman & Byzantine empires, so I use Roman currency rather than the usual stars.)

Rating: 4/5 Roman Solidus

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Elric Saga: Part 1 by Michael Moorcock

  1. I love your coins! That’s awesome!

    So when I read book reviews, I swear I never know the authors that people refer to to compare a book with (you used Margaret Weiss and Neil Gaiman, for example) although I do know Gaiman. Anyway, I mostly say that just because that’s why I love book reviews. They always help me expand my reading influence. 🙂

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    • Margaret Weis is the author of Dragonlance, R.A. Salvatore is more well known in the gaming circles, but his Icewind Dale Trilogy and Dark Elf Trilogy were NYT best sellers. Both are quite awesome authors. Dragonlance is much like a fairy tale kind of setting, I think it falls in the YA category so you’d definitely enjoy reading the series. I was surprised when Elric inspired even Neil Gaiman 🙂

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  2. Reblogged this on Wyrdwend and commented:
    I too liked the Elric series. A great deal. I think that the basic mythology of the series, which was much more akin to the darker Faery works of Celtic mythology than Tolkien’s basically Nordic mythology was very well developed and highly allusional. If you knew what you were looking at.
    Elric is tactical fantasy and myth, rather than cosmic and sweeping like Tolkien. It concentrates tightly upon character and psychology and personal experience, rather than culture and Cosmos. It is interested in personal Fate and Wyrd rather than world Destiny.
    Plus Moorcock made Elric very much a reflection of the pessimistic, jaded, self-absorbed, self-medicated modern man.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the reblog! I didn’t think of Elric that way (representing the self medicated, self absorbed, pessimistic modern man) but it makes a lot of sense when you compare it with the real world. I am yet to read the rest of the series, soon I hope. Elric is indeed a fascinating character, even Blind Guardian made several songs after him and Stormbringer.

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