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Elric of Melniboné (1972)

by Michael Moorcock

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Elric Saga (1), Elric (1), The Eternal Champion (Elric novel 1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,138515,245 (3.67)75
It is the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair that flows below his shoulders is milk-white. From the tapering, beautiful head stare two slanting eyes, crimson and moody. He is Elric, Emperor of Melnibon, cursed with a keen and cynical intelligence, schooled in the art of sorcery -- the hero of Michael Moorcock's remarkable epic of conflict and adventure at the dawn of human history. Included is a dramatic introduction read by Michael Moorcock over 10 mins in length.… (more)
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  3. 10
    Jirel of Joiry by C. L. Moore (thesmellofbooks)
    thesmellofbooks: Two unusual heroes. Elric, an albino, Jirel, a woman. Lively and exciting tales of sword and sorcery.
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    The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (artturnerjr)
  5. 10
    The Complete Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen (MyriadBooks)
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    Night's Master by Tanith Lee (andomck)
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    Rocannon's World by Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
    andomck: Sword and sorcery meets sword and planet.
  8. 00
    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
    andomck: Brooding,introspective sci fi/fantasy
  9. 11
    A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (artturnerjr)
  10. 01
    The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Spinrad takes the deliberately exaggerated phallic symbolism of the Elric stories to extremes that Moorcock never dreamed of.
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» See also 75 mentions

English (46)  French (2)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
This is some epic awesomeness.

I'm an absolute sucker for the grand sweeping personal quests to gain more and yet more magical power in the service of rescuing your one true love, casting aside morals, the greater good, your own health, and possibly your own sanity.

This tale holds up perfectly after all this time. All the best aspects of modern fantasy are encapsulated and written with such spartan clarity and diamond sharpness within Moorcock's classic. I only needed this one taste and I'm now a lifelong fan. It's that easy.

This is easily one of the classics of all Sword and Sorcery and I knew that people swore by it before I read it, but I was hesitant. Why? Hell if I know. It was such a brilliant, fantastic, imaginative world, but even better than that were the characters. Elric, of course, is the ultimate Nietzsche Super-Man, fully beyond good and evil, but he, like all super-villains, considers himself the ultimate hero of his story, and I have to agree with him. I love the story.

It's really cool that I've finally read something, after all this time, that evokes the same feeling as I get from the classic Star Wars films. When they faced each other with the two uber-powerful runic swords, I got chills. Seriously. I usually don't get suckered in this easy. I've read a LOT of fantasy and a LOT of really great fantasy, but this one was so diamond-hard that it left me speechless. :)

I was even more impressed by the author's command of sheer storytelling. The whole thing actually evoked awe and wonder. Each new mastery of magic came at a cost, and there was so much magic. Like the Ouroboros, Elric kept feeding on himself to gain more and more power, and the cycle repeated and repeated, with future sacrifice for power, now. Is it the ultimate faustian tale? I don't know, yet, but I'll be reading more. As it is here, we've got a meteoric rise from the simple mastery of the kingdom of Melniboné to the mastery of chaos magic, the elementals, and the godlike black sword.

Do you want a character so awfully OP that nothing, absolutely nothing, can stand in his way? Hell yeah. I'm a gamer. Do you want to have a story that manages to take him and never make him boring? Hell yeah! Here you go!

I'm seriously ashamed that I never got into this earlier. I knew it was out there. I know the author is recognized as one of the greats of fantasy. And now I know why, and I'm hooked. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
That was a helluva lot of fun. "Elric" is considered Moorcock's most famous avatar of his "Eternal Champion" theme. I can't really explain it without sounding insane - just read the Wikipedia article if you're curious (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Champion). To say Moorcock was prolific is putting it mildly. I was in a massive used bookstore today and he took up almost two rows himself in the fantasy paperbacks. Apparently the universes he spins in different novels and trilogies layer in on themselves and...yeah I've been nerding out today.

All that to say, "Elric" is damn fun - Moorcock's prose is lyrical, imaginative and it moves fast. The narrative is strong and it takes you to weird places but you're cool with it. Groom, the Earth King? Sure. The Ship That Moves Over Land And Water? I can dig it. The black rune-swords Stormbringer and Mournblade? Hell yeah. It hits the right spots to satisfy without overdoing it. I'll read the rest. ( )
  Cail_Judy | Apr 21, 2020 |
I felt like this book had a lot of interesting content, but it just "was." It didn't move anywhere, didn't really compel me. The words just sat on the page. ( )
  schufman | Jul 20, 2019 |
signed limited #58 of 300
  bookstopshere | Feb 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Moorcock, MichaelAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gould, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hurtig, LouiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabaté, HernánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Poul Anderson for "The Broken Sword" and "Three Hearts and Three Lions". To the late Fletcher Pratt for "The Well of the Unicorn". To the late Bertolt Brecht for "The Threepenny Opera" which, for obscure reasons, I link with the other books as being one of the chief influences on the first Elric series.
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It is the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair which flows below his shoulders is milk-white.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This "Elric of Melniboné" contains one novel (of that title), do NOT combine with the omnibus titled "Elric of Melniboné" which has been published under the ISBNs 1857980379, 1565041801, 156504195X and 1857983343, as those also includes other novels ("The Fortress of the Pearl" and "The Sailor on the Seas of Fate").
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Wikipedia in English (2)

It is the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair that flows below his shoulders is milk-white. From the tapering, beautiful head stare two slanting eyes, crimson and moody. He is Elric, Emperor of Melnibon, cursed with a keen and cynical intelligence, schooled in the art of sorcery -- the hero of Michael Moorcock's remarkable epic of conflict and adventure at the dawn of human history. Included is a dramatic introduction read by Michael Moorcock over 10 mins in length.

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Book description
The first book in the Elric sequence (by its internal chronology). (Not to be confused with the Millennium omnibus of the same name!)
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