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The Revenge of the Rose (1991)

by Michael Moorcock

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Elric (novel 5), The Eternal Champion (Elric novel 5)

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5941032,212 (3.42)7

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» See also 7 mentions

English (8)  French (2)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
signed, number 58
  bookstopshere | Nov 15, 2020 |
So baroque and decadent in places, this book felt more like a sequel or sidequel to Gloriana than an Elric book, and indeed a character from Gloriana is a major part of the story; Ernest Wheldrake may even get more "screen" time than Elric. Ditto the book's many awesome female characters, especially the titular The Rose (she is never referred to as simply "Rose"). In the climactic battle (mild spoiler here) (very mild), Elric is the only male among the good guys who ride out, to give you some idea. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
This was my second time though this book, and I'm still not really sure how I felt about it. At times, I was mesmerized and awed by the scope of Moorcock's descriptive style, and at others I wanted to pitch it into an open flame.

If a good editor got ahold of this book and weeded out all the extra adjectives and rambling style of weaving philosophy into a narrative, we could have this thing cut down to about a third of its length and it would make a pretty damn good novella.

As it is, we have a philosophical discussion or twelve between the characters in a narrative that switches from past tense to present and back without any apparent rhyme or reason. And while I admit that Moorcock has used his fifty-plus years of being a published writer to neatly perfect his vocabulary and sentence building, is it completely necessary to hit the readers constantly with the Faulker effect? This being the ability to craft a sentence that winds on and on and fills up half a page, stating quite a bit of information, yet leaving the reader exhausted and going 'the hell?' well after coming up for air again. A period looks like this, Michael: "." It creates a pause in the narrative.

Whatever happened to the good old fashioned early pulp style mayhem and blood and guts Elric stories? Influenced heavily by Robert E. Howard, full of blood and dragonfire and a soul devouring runesword?

Well, those things are here, if you can weed through everything else. Moorcock does have some cool supporting characters in this. I enjoyed Wheldrake for awhile, but eventually wished Moonglum was back. I did like The Rose, Clarion Phatt, the three sisters, Ebsen Snare the werewolf, the big toad, Elric's father's lingering spirit, and Gaynor the Prince of the Damned.

Elric himself was pretty cool, in that we get a glimpse into his humanity. The thing is, he was too likable in this book. He's eternally damned, and needs to act like it. We don't get any scenes like in previous books where he holds back and allows innocents to be devoured by Chaos in order to keep on the task at hand. In here, he's the anti-anti-hero.

But I will say that I loved the whole part involving the Gypsy Nation. That was such a cool and sinister plot element, that I am giving this book a bump of a single star just for including it. No spoilers in the review, but it rocks.

So now it's back to the omnibus containing this book, where next up are the stories from The Bane of the Black Sword. First up: "The Stealer of Souls". Now, it's time for some good old fun! ( )
  Texas_Reaver | Mar 31, 2013 |
For me, the most memorable part of this volume is the we finally get to meet Wheldrake, the poet that was quoted so often in the Dancers' books. Here he makes his appearance, and he seems to be another Moonglum-type - adrift in the multiverse; aware of his role and his uniqueness and miserable because of it.

So the real story here is that Elric is approached by his father, Sadric, who tells him that his soul is trapped in box. Unless Elric recovers his soul, one of three things could happen: 1) Arioch gets the soul and Sadric is eternally Arioch's playtoy; 2) Mashabak gets Sadric's soul and is eternally Mashabak's playtoy; 3) Sadric's essence comes to inhabit Elric's body along with Elric's essence, and Elric gets to spend a millenia constantly tormented by his father's hateful spirit. His father, you see, still blames Elric for Elric's mother's death. She died during childbirth. Loving family, that.

At any rate, Elric meets up with Wheldrake and a female traveller of the multiverse who calls herself the Rose. The Rose seems to be on a quest that aligns with Elric so they travel together. Also encountered is Gaynor the damned who is ALSO on a similarly aligned quest. Long story short: Elric and Rose defeat Gaynor who gets take by Arioch as a playtoy. Mashabak becomes a tool for the Rose to use to restore some of the damage the Chaos lord did. Elric finds the box, but his father's soul isn't there. Fortunately, the Rose knows where his father's soul is and gives it to Elric. Elric returns his father's soul to its rightful owner, whereupon Sadric forgives Elric for killing his mother and all is right in the world again. ( )
  helver | Oct 11, 2012 |
Another of the recent Elric adventures. This was written well after the original Elric short novels. This is more contemplative, more drawn out, less 'Melnibonean', as it were. I enjoyed it, but it just doesn't have the same fantastic feel as the original Elric novels. ( )
  Karlstar | Feb 9, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Moorcockprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gould, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Christopher Lee--Arioch awaits thee!
For Johnny and Edgar Winter.
For Anthony Skene, in gratitude.
For Christopher Lee - Arioch awaits thee!  For Johnny and Edgar Winter.  For Anthony Skene, in gratitude.
First words
From the unlikely peace of Tanelorn, out of Bas'lk and Nishvalni-Oss, from Valederia, ever eastward runs the White Wolf of Melniboné, howling his red and hideous song, to relish the sweetness of a bloodletting.
Perhaps he lacked the refinements of language required to adapt and modify his sentiments and yet he understood, better than anyone, how language itself was the perfect and perhaps the only honourable way of earning his right to respect among those denizens of the natural world whom he, in turn, respected. Yet it was stil through actions, rather than words, that he tried to accomplish his unvoiced ambitions.
For this was the other thing that Elric knew: that to compromise with Tyranny is always to be destroyed by it. The sanest and most logical choice lay always in resistance.
"I am familiar with these creations, half animal, half vegetable, which are usually the first growths Chaos achieves on any world. The are essentially the detritus of unskilled sorceries and no self-respecting Emperor of Melniboné would have wasted time on such stuff. But Chaos, as you no doubt have already learned, has very little taste -- whereas Law, or course, has rather too much."
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This, the novel "The Revenge of the Rose", should NOT be combined with the omnibus "Elric: The Revenge of the Rose".
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