Moorcock wrote each of the four books in this volume in three days each. Which is twelve days for the whole thing. Which, given its incredible influence and endurance, with all kinds of spin-offs and imitations, is pretty good going. It is a rich, baroque, dark world Moorcock gives us and it's won't surprise anyone I was a Goth when I first came across this (now I'm just an academic) but in spite of the speed at which it was written (almost faster than you can read it!) it has a wonderful consistency, great over the top language and a momentum that can't be matched by anyone in any genre. Moorcock originally wrote these books to finance the avante garde magazine New Worlds, which published everyone from Ballard,
D.M.Thomas, John Sladek, James Sallis and M.John Harrison, so he was running a very sophisticated literary magazine while writing these. Much of that sophistication is what underpins these splendid supernatural adventure stories and makes them one of the very best of their kind, equal to the best Howard and making most that has come since look fairly pale and bloodless in comparison. Viva Moorcock and the Dark Empire of Grand Bretagne.