Friday, January 01, 2016

The Revenge of the Rose by Michael Moorcock

(hb; 1991: eighth book in the Elric series) 

From the inside flap:

"Elric is carried by a dragon to the city of his birth, the Dreaming City, now ravaged by fire and bloodshed. Deep in the catacombs of his ancestors, he hears an impossible sound -- the voice of his father, a spirit, denied the peace of death. His soul is held hostage in a bitter rivalry between the Lord of Chaos and Lord Arioch. His last great spell could save him, giving him refuge in the Forest of Souls. But he needs Elric's help.

"Now, the albino warrior must find his father's soul, hidden away in a rosewood box, in a distant land. But first Elric needs a valuable ally -- a person whose strength and will could match his own. . . a woman called the Rose."


Note: The events of Rose take place between The Vanishing Tower and The Bane of the Black Sword.

Rose runs too long despite Moorcock's fantastical-cinematic action, its bold themes, multiverse expansion and distinctive characters. The elements that bloat this novel are its speechifying characters (e.g., Wheldrake and Gaynor the Damned) and certain journey and battle sequences, which could have been tightened up, if not cut from the storyline.

Borrow this intermittently entertaining fantasy from a library before committing cash to it if you prefer shorter, sharper novels.

Rose is followed by three more Elric novels: The Dreamthief's Daughter, The Skrayling Tree and The White Wolf's Son.

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