Review: The Bane of the Black Sword — Michael Moorcock

Read: 94
To Go: 6

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
94. The Bane of the Black Sword — Michael Moorcock


High in the wintry sky climbed the dragons as Elric urged his charges westwards. Thoughts of love, of peace, of vengeance even were lost in that reckless sweeping across the glowering skies which hung over that ancient Age of the Young Kingdoms. Elric, proud and disdainful in his knowledge that even his deficient blood was the blood of the Sorcerer Kings of Melnibone, became detached.

He had no loyalties then, no friends, and if evil possessed him, then it was a pure brilliant evil, untainted by human drivings.

High soared the dragons until below them was the heaving black mass, marring the landscape, the fear-driven horde of barbarians who, in their ignorance, had sought to conquer the lands beloved of Elric of Melnibone.

As you can clearly see, this is not a book description. But it was the only thing on the back of the book, and try as I might I could not find a sufficient one online. I guess this is the price I pay for reading an old, semi-obscure fantasy series.

On the topic of this old, semi-obscure fantasy series, the fifth book was the shortest thus far, and so I’m inclined to like it a lot more. The content of it wasn’t bad, either, but I could’ve done without the 30-page epilogue, which lost my interest entirely and included precisely one mention of the title character.

I was also totally baffled by the way Moorcock introduced a young woman into the second part of the book — Zarozinia. She sought Elric and Moonglum’s help, and then about five pages later declared she was marrying Elric. I don’t mind her as a character, but I’m just confused as to why that happened so suddenly. There was plenty of room in the story for relationship development; all Moorcock had to do was take out his totally pointless epilogue, and put those wasted 30 pages to good use!

Next book: FINALLY, the conclusion of this series! And then onto books I’m actually interested in!

– Kelsey


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