“ Author: Michael Moorcock „
I have a young son who is a keen reader and is currently reading through the Harry Potter series of books, ( probably for the third or fourth time). I have read the first two of them myself and do find them an engaging and clever read. However, they are aimed at a young audience and I would hope that his taste for magical 'sword and sorcery' will eventually lead him into reading the books of the great science fantasy writer Michael Moorcock. Moorcock has written prodigously, he has constructed entire worlds in which the protaganists are strange people of other worlds, and yet are, wonderfully, quite believable when the book is being read. Moorcock has managed, through developing a complex series of books, many of which are subsets featuring a hero, ( or anti hero), which battle against enormous forces of evil, often aided by magical and mystical sources of good. The fascination lies in the way all the books inter-relate, one to the other, in subtle and yet stunningly clever ways that never seem contrived. Some of the characters that weave their way through enthralling tales of mystery and magic are Elric of Melnibone, a dark rennaissance prince with a tragic past and a black sword that drinks souls, Corum, another of royal descent, who has the eye and hand of a god, and who is stalked through time and space by his destiny and, perhaps the most cleverly constructed of all, Hawkmoon, a leader of men and enemy of the Dark Empire, Granbretan, ( Great Britain, transmuted and tortured into a relentless parody of a crazed despotic tyranny) who has a black jewell embedded in his forehead that threatens to live and devour his brain. In summary, the books of Moorcock can take you where Harry Potter takes my son, to that inner place of imagination, joy and fascination where you simply cannot wait to turn the page to see what happens next.
This review is not about any one book by Michael Moorcock, but about all of his works of fiction. If you have ever read any of this author's works, you will have some idea what I am talking about. If you haven't, well, read on. All of Moorcock's works share a common theme, although this is not always evident. This theme is ' The Eternal Champion'. All of Moorcock's heroes are actually incarnations of a single persona or entity, "The Eternal Champion", although many of these heroes know anything of any of their other incarnations. Some remember snippets of other lives, as if dreams, barely remembered yet vaguely familiar. Only one hero however, Erekose, is doomed to remember them all. There are many books and many heroes, including such names as Corum, Hawkmoon, Elric and Jerry Cornelius, all of them aspects of the "Eternal Champion", and all fated to fight on the side of Law against its enemy, Chaos. Once you have read a few of these books, and gained an inkling of the underlying storyline, I guarantee you will be hooked. Although all of the books and series are linked by tis theme, each set of books is complete in itself, and not dependant on any of the others. There IS an ending of sorts, in the series " The Chronicles of Castle Brass", but don't read them too soon, as they will spoil it for you. The books have been published by a number of houses, so you will not have any problem finding them. Happy reading.