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Elric (Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melnibone v.2): To Rescue Tanelorn [Paperback]

Michael Moorcock

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Book Description

1 Jun 2008
“Moorcock’s writing is intricate, fabulous, and mellifluous. Reading his words I was, and am, reminded of music. His novels are symphonic experiences. They dance and cry and bleed and make promises that can live only in the moment of their utterance.”
–from the Foreword by Walter Mosley, New York Times bestselling author of Blonde Faith and Devil in a Blue Dress

Elric of Melniboné. The name is like a magic spell, conjuring up the image of an albino champion and his cursed, vampiric sword, Stormbringer. Elric, the last emperor of a cruel and decadent race, rogue and adventurer, hero and murderer, lover and traitor, is mystery and paradox personified–a timeless testament to the creative achievement of Michael Moorcock, the most significant fantasy writer since Tolkien.

Now comes the second in this definitive series of Elric volumes. Gorgeously illustrated by acclaimed artist Michael Wm. Kaluta and including a new Introduction by Michael Moorcock, this collection features, along with Elric, such renowned characters as Erekosë, Rackhir the Red Archer, and Count Renark von Bek. Readers will delight in adventures that include “To Rescue Tanelorn . . .,” “Master of Chaos,” “The Singing Citadel,” “The Black Blade’s Song,” and the novella version of “The Eternal Champion.”

Elric: To Rescue Tanelorn is essential reading for every fantasy fan and provides indelible proof–if any was needed–of the genius of Michael Moorcock.

“The most significant UK author of sword and sorcery, a form he has both borrowed from and transformed.”
–The Encyclopedia of Fantasy

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And Odd Book in the Collection 15 Nov 2012
By James M. Folks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book as the second volume in the series. I found it to be wonderful, but it's scope is larger than the previous Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melnibone volume. In addition to presenting more Elric stories, this collection introduces the reader to Michael Moorcock's wider "Eternal Champion" pantheon, including Erekose and Jeremy Cornelius, as well as chronicling other heros who coexist with Elric in the fantastic realm of Melnibone. Those seeking more of the same after reading the first volume in the series might be disappointed. In my case, however, I was pleasantly surprised, and might consider looking into some of the other heros at some point in the future. I particularly enjoyed Erekose, and the idea of a fantasy realm which takes place in the distant future. This volume also reveals Moorcock's sense of humor in the baudy fantasy story, "The Stone Thing" and in "Elric at the End of Time." The "End of Time" story was very entertaining because poor Elric, who always takes everything SO seriously, is exposed as being childish and self consumed. All in all, this is a good volume, but not what one might expect based on the first book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag 20 Oct 2012
By BlueFairy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Premise: This is the second collected volume of stories, following Elric: The Stealer of Souls. These stories include several more Elric tales, a few other stories set in that world, and more stories on the theme of the Eternal Champion.

I am beginning to think maybe some other reviewers had the right idea when they criticized these collections (see the first one). I loved the first one, and I love the idea of reading the stories in publication order. There was a set of volumes that tried to arrange the stories in a in-world order of continuity, and that made little sense to me for a character who was written over so many stories and so many years. (I have a Annotated Sherlock Holmes that I have never read most of, because the idea of putting those stories in "continuity" order rather than publication order seems incredibly foolish to me. I'll just re-read my publication order volume, thanks.)

Well, I'm second guessing myself now.

This isn't a bad volume, but I really question the inclusion of some of these stories. Maybe I don't understand Moorcock's Eternal Champion thing completely, or maybe I just don't like it, but the further away from Elric the story gets, the less interested I am. Some of these stories get pretty darn far away.

Let me break it down a bit more. I loved The Eternal Champion, the longest piece, about a Champion called from beyond the grave to play a part in a devastating war between Men and the Eldren. I loved To Rescue Tanelorn, in which Rackhir the Red Archer seeks aid for the besieged, beloved city. I liked The Last Enchantment, in which Elric contests the Lords of Chaos in a battle of wits.

The Greater Conqueror, about dark cults during the reign of Alexander the Great, felt meandering and dull to me. However, Master of Chaos, about a man on the edge of reality, was really intriguing.

I hated Phase 1, a modern-day-ish story about an insane heist gone wrong. It isn't terrible on its own, but I just don't like the conceit of telling the same exact adventures with different Eternal Champions.

I really liked The Singing Citadel, (finally, page 235 and we're only on the second story actually about Elric), and The Jade Man's Eyes was pretty decent. Both of these are 'Elric travels to a new place and does battle' stories.

There is a three page story with a punch line, which was okay, and then Elric at the End of Time, which was kind of cool, but really surreal. The next piece, The Black Blade's Song, was pretty great. There were two short stories about Elric-ish characters on Earth, and I guess they were sort of intriguing, although I was a little sad about how little actual Elric was in this volume by that point. The book closed with another tale of Rackhir, called The Roaming Forest: pretty good, not as good as the first one.

I would say I really liked about half the stories in this book. Those stories, I really really liked, 4 or 5 stars for those. However, the number of off-topic or boring stories (1 or 2 stars) kept me from really connecting with this book overall. I never knew whether I would like the next piece, and I started putting down the book for stretches of time.

In summary, I found this collection wildly uneven. The good ones were really good, but not quite enough to make up for the middling and downright annoying. I didn't really hate much of it, though, so it gets a middle-of-the-road sort of score.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, visionary fantasy when compared to the cardboard cutout ... 1 Aug 2014
By jwv - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thoughtful, visionary fantasy when compared to the cardboard cutout characters and repeating themes of today. Moorcock pulls you into the story, reveals a tortured soul seeking meaning, and leads the readers heart to care for a monstrous yet unlikely hero.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A continuing delight... 27 April 2011
By Jacob King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second volume in the collected Elric stories and where volume one seemed to be mostly of historic interest volume two branches out into the wider world of Elric and the young Kingdoms. When I read volume one I was very new to Moorcock's fantasy world but the stories were good enough to hold my attention now that I have got to volume two I am becoming more involved in the detail of the tapestry being woven. It is a strangely addictive pattern. The stories feature other heroes from Moorcock's gallery (the title story seems unconnected to Elric) and the relationship to Stormbringer is less important; in some stories Elric has drugs to take or is on a plane of existence where the sword has no power. We also meet Elric in other incarnations such as Jerry Cornelius (Phase 1 the first Cornelius story is in the book and is the standout of the collection) and M. Zenith. I am already planning to pick up volume three.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd. 19 May 2013
By GiG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought a book expecting Elric, and was pleasantly surprised at first to see the different universes and reincarnations of Elric. Then the book got stuck on this REALLY LONG short story about some guy looking for his fiance or girlfriend or sister, who is held comatose in a Doom Fortress booby-traped with LSD mines and spinning disks that make you extremely horny or something by his evil brother or stepbrother. The story makes very little sense and goes off on random tangents that make even less sense. I am not sure, but I think that the story was meant as absurdist humor, but morphed into something more serious sometime along the line. There is a really funny line where one man who

VERY MINOR SPOILERS

is shot at starts dancing in a hail gunfire trying to avoid being shot while being blown full of holes by the five to ten sub-machine guns firing at him.

END VERY MINOR SPOILERS

I probably made it seem a lot more interesting than it is, but you can always skip it if that is your taste, as there are plenty of Elric-like stories throughout the book, but pure Elric stories are few and far between. The Volume's namesake is the first story, and Elric is just mentioned by name a handful of times. Up to the long short story I mentioned (past the halfway point) there is only ONE pure Elric story, and it is not only one of the shortest (about five pages or so), but also one of the most brilliant short stories I ever read (it's kind of hard to decipher what happened, but I thought it was cool when I realized what transpired).

Overall, this book is not what I expected, but I didn't hate it. It just miss Elric.
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