Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock

Elric is emperor of the Melnibone, a race of people who have lived in violent decadence for so long they can't imagine anything else. Elric, sickly since his birth and only alive because of medicines and magic, is different. He has studied the other cultures and peoples of his world, and doesn't feel that following tradition is always the best option. This has made him unpopular among the more conservative people of his kingdom. When his cousin attempts to depose him and the women he loves is put at risk, he must decide whether he is going to stand for his "strange" beliefs or become like rulers before him, and conform with tradition.

I really enjoyed this book, and plan to get the rest of the series from the library. I liked how introspective and cultural it was, a lot of high fantasy tends to ignore that in favor of epic battles. The author does tend towards purple prose at times, but as it is an epic fantasy, that is not uncommon and after a chapter or two doesn't distract you anymore. The characters felt very realistic and deep, even the supporting characters didn't feel like they were just invented for the sake of conveying some piece of information.

4 Stars

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