Michael Moorcock
Stormbringer Cover



This final volume in the Elric saga opens with the kidnapping of his wife Zarozinia by fiends from the realm of chaos. What can Elric do but don his runesword Stormbringer and set off after her? This brings him into contact with Jagreen Lern, a human who has made an alliance with the Lords of Chaos and plans to conquer all of the known world.

The uncontrolled spread of Chaos is bad news for everyone. Although Elric and Stormbringer are both by lineage aligned with Chaos, Elric at least understands that some balance must be maintained between Law and Chaos. Jagreen Lern's alliance will transform the world into a literal hell. ( I always wonder what someone like Jagreen Lern expects to gain by turning the world into a literal hell, or why he thinks the Lords of Chaos will have much use for him once this has been accomplished.) As the forces of Chaos spread, humankind either dies or transforms into grotesque mutations begging for death. The earth itself mutates. Vegetation withers or becomes weird and noxious, the ground roils like the ocean. Moorcock is at his best when describing these transformations.

Although the copyright page lists several publication dates, this is Moorcock's first novel that does not read like a bind up of short stories. Elric must rescue his wife, defeat the Dead God, a predictably unpleasant deity, and then go on two quests for supernatural objects that will give him and his allies a fighting chance against the overwhelming forces of evil. Moorcock creates three exciting battle sequences, a plethora of monsters, and brings some depth to what has been Elric's inchoate sense of what changes must take place in his world, the role he must play, and the inevitable destruction of all he knows that these changes will entail.

This is a grand conclusion to a consistently entertaining series.