In America at least, I think Moorcock has been overlooked as a notable pioneer in fantasy. At the very least he's merely underrated but as I read more and more of his work I realize how much he's influenced writers of today and the recent past, especially in the fantasy genre. Elric took the concept of the "anti-hero" and ran with it and Corum injects a whole heap of Celtic mythology into the proceedings, with quite entertaining results. Nowadays, some writers (Charles DeLint is the one who comes to mind right away) pretty much base their entire careers on building on those mythologies and folklores, but when Moorcock put all this stuff together, I don't think it was as common and I wonder what people thought of it at the time. This is another volume in White Wolf's Eternal Champion series and the second entire book to feature Corum (he's had cameos in other stories throughout) and this one basically wraps up his saga. Pound for pound I think Corum is a far more interesting character than Elric . . . Elric, while fun in a "gee what new tragedy will happen to him so he can complain about it" sort of way, probably has the biggest appeal these days to teenage fantasy lovers who mostly fixate on "Cool! He sucked out that guy's soul!". Corum, on the other hand, is more well rounded, he has definite doubts after saving the world, he misses his late wife but is prepared to move on, has a sense of humor and is actually proactive once in a while, which I think gives the stories more narrative drive, as opposed to the Champion reacting to stuff over and over again. These last three stories in the series have separate plots but mostly deal with the ongoing problem of saving the world from huge demigods from Limbo that would really like to get back but since they can't would rather just destroy the world (I'll give Moorcock this, his villains are unique). Corum is summoned to the future (really the past, or at least an alternate world) to save the world from these menaces and proceeds to get hip-deep in Celtic mythology. Moorcock sure seems to have done his research and it's hard to tell where he's drawing from other sources and where he's simply just making it up. The plot do suffer to some extent from the "plot coupon" mentality, where Corum has to go track down the long lost rare artifacts (the titles of the stories are a good clue) generally by way of a lot of tangential side quests, but Moorcock piles on so much local flavor that you don't really notice and he does take time to throw in extra twists and wrinkles so it doesn't feel color-by-numbers. The ending is typically downbeat (I know they're called "champions" but boy do their lives stink) but it's a fast entertaining read and probably possessed of more reread value than the Elric stuff, this definitely makes for a more consistent reading experience throughout. A must for both fantasy fans (the White Wolf volumes are sadly out of print, I'm sure the British or the originals are all available, although I'm not sure how much revision was done) and those who enjoy adding a sprinkling of Celtic folklore to their reading.