Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Review: Elric of Melnibone

This week I’m reviewing another older science fantasy book.  It is Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock.  It was alright, but nothing I’d rave about.

The basic premise of the book is that Elric is the king of a race that considers themselves to be superior to this world’s equivalent of humans.  The Melniboneans are generally pretty blood thirsty war like people.  Elric is not.  This sets up the clash in this first book between Elric and his cousin Yyrkoon, who is the next in line for the throne and a typical Melnibonean.  There is a fair lady involved as well.

Now, to be fair to Moorcock, he did write Elric as an antihero.  Elric as the antihero is fairly mild.  I didn't find that I disliked him all that much.  In fact, I as pretty neutral toward him.  I think the thing that I struggled with the most in this book is not this, though.  It’s that his world went a little too far out there for me.  I felt like there were too many bizarre or unusual aspects to the world that it almost became hard to connect to.  I had to think too much and go back to re-read passages for a book as short, fictional and supposedly for enjoyment as I thought this one was going to be.

In the end, it isn't a book I would endorse with ringing enthusiasm.  But it isn't one I’d tell you to skip either.  Let’s call this one a book to eventually get around to but not a high priority reading list book.

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