dark_towhead (dark_towhead) wrote,

The Eternal Champion...

Over the last few days, I've been writing a "horror" story (well, sort of), which means I don't want to read horror... So, that means on to Michael Moorcock!

I cracked open the first of many omnibus volumes of his Eternal Champion cycle (published by White Wolf during the 1990s), named (originally enough) The Eternal Champion. This one contains the novels: The Eternal Champion, The Sundered Worlds, and Phoenix in the Ashes, as well as the short piece "To Rescue Tanelorn"). This omnibus series has been sitting on my shelf for well over a decade, so it's long past time that I actually got to reading them.

Two night ago, I finished up the first of the contained novels. First published in 1962, The Eternal Champion offers an exciting piece of daring do wherein the spirit of an ancient warrior (Erekose) is called across time and space to save a kingdom from a barbaric enemy, only to discover that the reason for his coming might not be so clear cut. This spirit is the titular champion, a figure doomed to be reborn in an endless cycle of conflicts, haunted by dreams of his other incarnations. Here we find a young Moorcock tackling such topics as the necessity of war, the proliferation of atrocities accompanying such a conflict, as well as introducing his recurring figure (who will also go under the guises of Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon, etc.). The style hearkens to pulpy adventures of science fantasy (which I adore!), though there are also plenty of thoughtful, philosophical asides. While some of the emotional stuff just does not quite ring true for me (Erekose seems to fall in "love" at the drop of a hat), there's still plenty of meat on the bones of this work. The ending is truly killer.

Yesterday, when not working on my own fiction, I got about halfway through The Sundered Worlds (also originally published in 1962), a space opera piece wherein Renark von Beck (the Eternal Champion in another guise) explores the ramifications of living in but one universe of an untold number of reflections (through these books, the concept of "the Multiverse" was introduced and explored in the genre). Though not gripping in quite the same way as the first novel, The Sundered Worlds is nevertheless intriguing.
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