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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL NEW READERS SHOULD START WITH THIS
This collection captures the REAL Elric - it reprints the 5 original stories and Stormbringer - exactly the way a new reader should be introduced to Elric. Reading the stories in the order they were first published is a MUCH better way to get a real feel for the character and his world. This collection captures the real "core" of the character - kudos to the publisher...
Published on 2 Oct. 2002

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Purple, but fun
Michael Moorcock's albino fighter-mage is a fairly interesting creation, given that he's both physically crippled and superhumanly strong depending on the situation. As if thats not enough, on various occasions he's a traitor, murderer and downright evil (though the deeply unpleasant sword he carries, Stormbringer, tends to be at fault), for want of a better word. Elric...
Published on 6 Sept. 2006 by slideyfoot


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL NEW READERS SHOULD START WITH THIS, 2 Oct. 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This collection captures the REAL Elric - it reprints the 5 original stories and Stormbringer - exactly the way a new reader should be introduced to Elric. Reading the stories in the order they were first published is a MUCH better way to get a real feel for the character and his world. This collection captures the real "core" of the character - kudos to the publisher for eschewing a larger collection and returning to the basics. Too bad it doesnt come in hardcover.
Forget the larger collections - the writing of those later stories is very uneven. IF YOU WANT TO READ ABOUT ELRIC, BUY THIS BOOK!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important fantasy, 16 Aug. 2010
By 
Mark Poles (Cornwall, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
A long time ago, someone put me off reading Michael Moorcock - someone who had a pretty negative view of him as a writer. Bizarrely, I have absolutely no recollection who this was. Because of this person, I spent the first 37 years of my life not having read any Michael Moorcock. And I'm now thinking that was a mistake.

The four short stories that form the first half of this volume are the first Elric stories, dating back to 1961 and 1962, which puts them pretty early in terms of modern fantasy - six or seven years after Lord of the Rings. They are very different to LotR, but curiously quite similar to other parts of Tolkien's work that at that time were unpublished - notably the stories of Turin. Apparently both Moorcock and Tolkien's stories were influenced by the same tale from Finnish mythology, as indeed was Poul Anderson, but more on him in another review. A genuine coincidence it would seem.

Of course I knew about Elric before reading the books - If you've been exposed to as much fantasy role-playing as I have, he's hard to avoid. In a Games Workshop Q&A session at an RPG convention in the 80s, I once asked why GW seemed to be so obsessed with the concept of 'chaos' and the panel replied simply because they were all Michael Moorcock fans. Anyway, Elric - angst-ridden albino anti-hero with demonic super-sword. But for some reason I had it in my head that Moorcock wrote pulpy rubbish.

I was completely wrong. Even in these early books, I would say he stands above most fantasy authors in terms of his writing style. These stories are thrilling and exciting. I can see why they made a stir and why fantasy readers who gave up on LotR after Tom Bombadil would have got on rather better with Elric, exiled last Emperor of Melnibone and his evil soul-eating sword Stormbringer. Of course, it is possible to like both. It's probably true that angst-ridden anti-heroes have become more common in fantasy literature since the early 60s, but few can have been done as well as Elric.

The Elric stories also form part of Moorcock's 'Eternal Champion' cycle which features characters in different settings who are more-or-less incarnations of a central 'Eternal Champion'. I love this idea. After reading these first four Elric short stories, I went out and bought a lot of Moorcock works (mostly second-hand - some of them are difficult to get hold of new). Many of these books were Eternal Champion books. More reviews to follow!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master, 9 April 2003
This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Written in Moorcock's early twenties, these stories are full of fire and colour and show why he has been such a huge influence on almost all other fantasy fiction since he began. A great introduction to his fantasy work. You can always go on to the omnibus volumes (Elric of Melnibone and Stormbringer) which in turn will take you to The Dreamthief's Daughter and The Skrayling Tree. All the Elric novels are good, some more mature than others, but if you read no others, read these and
read a writer in his first flush of glorious inspiration. There remains no better fantasy novel, in my opinion, than Stormbringer which J.G.Ballard recommends with such glowing
woreds of praise.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last he's about to hit the big screen, 5 Mar. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
News that Elric is soon to be filmed has produced a flurry of excitement amongst his fans and I must say it's time we saw the old albino brought to the big screen. He has all the right elements to be a huge hit -- the epic qualities of Lord of the Rings combined with a personality which makes him a role model for every teenage boy and a heart-throb for every romantic female. And this particular book, which contains only the very first Elric stories, written between 1961 and 1963, when Moorcock himself was scarcely out of short pants, is the one to read if you want the pure essence of the doom-haunted, self-questioning, soul-feeding weakling who gets his strength from
those he kills and yet somehow remains attractive and likeable.
These are all the marks of a top class Byronic hero and my guess is that Elric is going to run and run, especially now that the movie is in the offing. I can't wait. Meanwhile, this is the volume to get first. If you like it, there are the two omnibuses also available, plus his mature and excellent The Dreamthief's Daughter and The Skrayling Tree which develop the series in ways that are both relevant to the original stories and remain exciting, original fantasies in their own right.
Elric Rules!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of Fantasy Fiction., 29 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
A brilliant piece if Fantasy Fiction by Moorcock. Elric is by far one of the best characters ever written in any genre, his dark broody presence fills each page and with his Chaos filled sword Stormbringer brings countless mayhem to all he meets. All of Moorcock's novels follow a similar line, a war against Chaos and light, good and evil, sometimes this can be monotonous but with Elric it really works. His writing style is great, you can really get a scene not only for each different character but for each backdrop, whether is be the ancient woods or the city of Karlaak. For me this is how you can tell the difference between a good author and a great one and Moorcock is definitely the latter.

Erlic has hired mercenary war bands to raid his old city and to gain revenge on his cousin for taking the Ruby Throne and putting the women he loves into an endless sleep. After the battle is won and his home city is burning and blood running down it's streets Erlic heads back into the world in search of knowledge and plunder. He meets friends and from there they go from one place to another causing death and mayhem, but Elric senses doom coming over the horizon. Will he and his friends survive? Only the cursed sword Stormbringer can decide.

If you're a lover of Fantasy then this and Moorcock's work are a must, they truly are a classic worth reading.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Purple, but fun, 6 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Michael Moorcock's albino fighter-mage is a fairly interesting creation, given that he's both physically crippled and superhumanly strong depending on the situation. As if thats not enough, on various occasions he's a traitor, murderer and downright evil (though the deeply unpleasant sword he carries, Stormbringer, tends to be at fault), for want of a better word. Elric also happens to be the best thing about this collection of stories - the supporting cast and plot do not quite hold up to the originality of the protagonist. The stories largely follow the mould of Robert E. Howard's classic 'Conan' tales, an overriding influence. However, Moorcock is not quite so adept as Howard at creating a believable world, labouring his prose with cringeworthy nomenclature (the tower of B'aal'nezbett is an especially memorable location, an already hilarious name taken to ridiculous new levels by its double apostrophe) and some seriously overblown passages. Having said all that, the stories themselves remain enjoyable sword and sorcery, and have the advantage of continuity over the `Conan' saga. If you can stomach the frequent excesses of Moorcock's style, then this collection is well worth a look.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Moorcock c. 1963, 12 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
These stories were written between 1961 and 1963 and were the first things of their kind ever to appear in an original British magazine. Only T.H.White and Mervyn Peake were prominent fantasy writers and some put Tolkien beside them. With Ballard's work which was appearing at the same time, these stories attracted the largest fan mail John Carnell, the editor, had ever received. This last Elric story appeared in Carnell's last issue and Elric was never to appear in Science Fantasy magazine again. By that time he had become an ikon of 60s youth and a common enthusiasm in the counter culture, spawning records and comics, stage shows and thousands of imitations. He was claimed as an influence by musicians as disparate as Pink Floyd and Bernie Taupin. He performed with the seminal prog-rock band Hawkwind and wrote for metal-heads Blue Oyster Cult. The Eternal Champion was the theme of Hawkwind's best-selling album Warrior on the Edge of Time. After him came dozens or writers using the foundations he had laid, many of them also very good. But Moorcock was the first we had, pushing a kind of Brit-S&S revival the way the Beatles and Clapton were pushing British rock. Since then his original influence has waned, at least in this field, and his books have taken on a more sophisticated, mature tone, while more attention seems to be paid to his excellent literary fiction. But if you liked the first Stones album, you'll love this edition of the first ever Elric stories, before Moorcock started filling in the gaps and performed a miracle of adding to their scope and vitality, but through technique and wisdom, not the raw energy of youth which informs these stories the way it informs King Creole, almost in spite of its trappings. The Whelan cover is what made Whelan famous and one of the highest-paid artists in the field and it's great to see it back! A few Cawthorn interiors and I would have had a serious nostalgia-rush. If you can't be bothered with twenty omnibuses and just want a taste to see the sword that launched a thousand flix in action, to know why Moorcock and British rock and roll were once almost synonymous, this is for you!! Four tracks, one take. Omnibuses make a good archive, but this is the real old vinyl, hisses and crackles and all.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Presentation of Classic British Epic Fantasy, 8 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Gollancz's Fantasy Masterworks finally comes a cropper by releasing a minimal collection of Michael Moorcock's Elric stories. Previous volumes in the masterworks series (both SF and Fantasy) have been invaluable in bringing together whole sagas (Cities in Flight, Tales from the Dying Earth, The Compleat Enchanter), sometimes so large they require two volumes (Conan, Book of the New Sun). Previously the effort would seem to have been made to make these new editions as definitive as possible. Unfortunately this is not the case with the Moorcock volume. Essentially what we have here are two stories from the Eternal Champion omnibus "Elric of Melnibone" (The Dreaming City, While the Gods Laugh), and four others from the "Stormbringer" omnibus from the same series (Stealer of Souls, Kings in Darkness, The Caravan of Forgotten Dreams and Stormbringer). The fact that these two books are still freely available questions why the Elric stories were considered for inclusion in the Masterworks series anyway. Don't get me wrong - I'm a huge fan of Gollancz's Masterworks Series and they are doing truly excellent work in resurrecting out-of-print classics so that they can be appreciated by a new generation (including myself). All hopes of the publisher producing the promised 800 page brick-thick masterwork have been dashed with this rather slimmer 400 page offering that doesn't even claim to be part one of a set. While Moorcock is a giant of fantasy and the Elric stories are indeed masterworks in the best tradition of British sword and sorcery, this current volume unfortunately comes across as unnecessary and at best half-hearted. Excellent cover painting, though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a revisit, 11 Sept. 2013
By 
The Green Man (Bromsgrove, Worcestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Havent got around to the book yet but I read Stormbringer many yrs ago when at school. It stuck in my mind as a great book. This is second hand, cheap and very good condition
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasure to read, 17 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Elric Of Melnibone: "The Stealer of Souls" AND "Stormbringer" (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Read Michael Moorcock books many moons ago and wanted to revisit author. Book delivered as promised and is now part of a selection of new books to read at leisure.
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