Elric of Melnibone is one of the most powerful characters to come out of fantasy literature post-Tolkien, and although the tale turns much of the conventions of high fantasy on its ear, the end result is a tale of power, loss and beauty.
Elric, lord of Melnibone, struggles with something his countrymen have never bothered with before -- a conscience.
Though he is tormented by his own brooding meditations, Elric's weak, albino body cannot survive without the aid of sorcery and strange drugs. He is the antithesis of the traditional fantasy character, from the weakness of his body to the nature of the enchanted blade he eventually comes to carry, a deliberate reversal of the praeternaturally strong barbarian warrior found in Robert Howard's Conan stories and other popular fictions.
Elric rests uneasily upon the Ruby Throne of his ancient kingdom, and there are many who say that his presence portends a cursed and dark time ahead. Such statements are correct, but perhaps not for the reasons the speakers might believe.
Powerfully written with beautiful, yet straightforward, prose, Moorecock's story is well-presented here with expert, emotive narration and a tremendous backing soundtrack that adds a real air of majesty, mystery, tragedy and terror to the proceedings.
It's well worth your money or your credits, especially if you're a fan of fantasy fiction.
A note for fans: Even if you've read this first book of Elric's saga before, or many times before, check out the audio version. You're likely to not be disappointed, and Elric's tragic first adventure is a tale well told via the medium of spoken word.
Report Inappropriate Content