Sunday, June 14, 2009

Review: Elric of Melniboné

Elric is the ruler of the kingdom Melniboné. He has red-eyes, pale skin and milky white hair. Because of a complicated birth, he was born weak of body and sustains himself with arcane drugs which he must take periodically to survive. Melniboné is a kingdom thick on tradition, which includes being ruthless and feasting on the flesh of others. However Elric like his father before him does not conform to tradition. Because of this there are those that think that Elric is not fit to rule, that his actions will anger the gods and put Melniboné in danger, both in trade and war. So when Elric meets treachery that he cannot deny he shows everyone that he is a capable ruler of Melniboné. He orders his enemies to eat the flesh of their own servants, so they may serve them forever!

Cover taken from the RuneQuest Game.

This is the first Michael Moorcock book I have read and I am disappointed that I didn't read some of his works earlier. Moorcock tells us the story of Elric who is an anti-hero. Elric has to make hard decisions that go against his beliefs, that perhaps go against what the world calls moral to make sure that his loved ones and Melniboné are unharmed, even if he has to bargain with the devil...and he does.

The thing I didn't like about this book was the names that he came up with. Elric is fine but almost every other name was a bit hard to pronounce and I am sure a conversation with someone about this book could be met with confusion.
The book is also quite light, but I know that it is the first of many so I look forward to reading the consequent novels. If you like anti-hero's, like characters that have to make hard decisions, like a bit of dark sorcery, then Elric of Melniboné is the book for you!


Dragana said...

Nice job, straight to the point. I like that. I got here from Bestfantasybooks site wanting to read your outtake on Storm Front.
One of my goals this year is to read some of the older stuff, frankly didn't dare to venture in fear of boredom. I actually read and like "old" books and don't mind "boredom", but when I read fantasy I want something more then going to the ball and drink tea whole day (if you know what I mean). You convinced me. It really sounds good.
By the way I'm "kraden" (bestfantasybooks)

Enchanté said...

Cheers mate. I wish I had time to write more reviews but I try when I can. I think Stormfront is around here somewhere =)