Review: The Vanishing Tower — Michael Moorcock

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To Go: 7

Book List:
91. The Sailor on the Seas of Fate — Michael Moorcock
92. The Weird of the White Wolf — Michael Moorcock
93. The Vanishing Tower — Michael Moorcock


Elric of Melnibone, proud prince of ruins, last lord of a dying race, wanders the land of the Young Kingdoms in search of the evil sorcerer Theleb K’aarna. His object is revenge. But to achieve this, he must first brave such horrors as: the Creatures of Chaos, the freezing wilderness of the World’s Edge, King Urish the Seven-fingered, the Burning God, the Sighing Desert, and the terrible stone-age men of Pio.

Although Elric holds within him a destiny greater than he could ever know, and controls the hellsword Stormbringer, stealer of souls, his task looks hopeless — until he encounters Myshella, Empress of the Dawn, the sleeping sorceress.

It’s actually been a couple of hours since I finished The Vanishing Tower, but I had a pounding headache all night and I needed to let it wear off before I wrote something here. Thankfully, I’m feeling a little bit better now.

What I found sort of odd about The Vanishing Tower — and, by extension, the previous book in the series, The Weird of the White Wolf — was that the characters and storyline it dealt with were directly related to the prologue that was in the previous book. In the same vein, the previous story contained no mention of the characters in its prologue. So I almost felt like Moorcock chose the wrong book to include the prologue in — he set up an important storyline and the corresponding characters, and then completely dropped it until a book later.

Aside from that, the story in this book was pretty interesting (but my favourite book is still the third). I like how Elric’s tragic hero status is playing out, in his thoughts and actions, as well as his relation to others. And there’s a bit of a time and space element that Moorcock plays with more in The Vanishing Tower, which added a really interesting dimension to the book. (Hah, punny.)

Next book: either the next Moorcock book, or something…else.

– Kelsey


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