Elric: The Stealer of Souls (Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melnibone, Voume I) by Michael Moorcock

It is impossible for me to write an objective review of any book that concerns the character Elric. This book is a collection of short stories or novellas that Moorcock wrote about Elric and had published in various SciFi/Fantasy magazines in the 1960s. I grew up reading these books, and I still have the original short (SF/F wasn’t nearly so bloated in those days) books published by Moorcock. They are tattered and spattered and torn and bent and I love them with a deep and abiding love that will never stop.

Yes, Moorcock and Elric and Moorcock’s world of the Eternal Champion is just that good.

The book also includes artwork of Elric, that seems fairly well done, and then letters concerning what Moorcock was writing and how he wrote and what his influences were while creating the Elric books. It’s a fascinating look at 1960s SF/F, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Elric is the last king of Melnibone, and a member of the race that came before man. It’s a fading crumbling culture, one which Elric helps to destroy even as he weeps for its loss. There is a great battle between Law and Chaos occurring throughout all planes and all worlds, and Elric, whose forefathers were children of Chaos and whose patron god is Arioch, Duke of Hell, finds himself on the side of Law, bringing about a defeat to Chaos in order to keep the balance from tipping too far to one side or the other. That’s the brief version of Elric. I suggest you go find the stories and read them for yourself, to discover all the juicy details that I’ve left out.

Wendy Pini of ElfQuest fame did a book of drawings of Elric, called Law and Chaos. It’s worth looking at, too.

I intend to read more of the Eternal Champion books once I can find them.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/10/25/elric-the-stealer-of-souls-chronicles-of-the-last-emperor-of-melnibone-voume-i-by-michael-moorcock/


    • Al Singh on December 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm
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    Just read your review of the Elric book…very impressive. I was never a huge fan of the series, but I still have fond memories of reading it and all of the other “research” that I did as a young D&D player. Arioch on the side of Law, really? The last thing I remember him saying is, “You *will* serve Chaos, Elric!” Reading your review makes me long for my misspent youth, before I turned into a boring reader of history. Maybe I need to reacquaint myself with Moorcock.

  1. No, Arioch wasn’t on the side of Law; Elric was, unwillingly.

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