I received this novel in my early to mid teens from the Science Fiction Book Club when I signed up like so many of us did after seeing the ad in the back of a comic book. The novel isn’t terribly long, but, the writing is rather cinematic in nature, the entire time I read it I kept imagining this done as a movie. Moorecock’s volume of work, much of it that is considered to be classics, spans more than 40 years and several critical and commercially successful series.
This entry is not really the first of the “Eternal Champion” and multiverse mythos that Moorecock created; however, it is a very good starting point.
John Draker unexpected (and even though he doesn’t want to) finds himself transported into a different world and time to fulfill his destiny as the defender and protector of the human race, called by the use of a deadly, magical sword which can only be wielded by the current incarnation of Erekose (i.e. The Eternal Champion)…which just happens to now be John Draker.
The humans describe their plight to Erekose/Draker as being overrun and in a battle with a non-human race, Eldren also living on the planet.
Erekose, despite having doubts, leads a battle against the Eldren and capture an Eldren princess Ermizhad. In retaliation, the Eldren attack the humans and capture Erekose. Erekose proposes a trade which prompts the prince to explain the realities of the situation. The Eldren are not the vicious creatures bent on domination that Erekose is told they are.
The story, while being an introduction to Moorecock’s worlds and the concept of the Eternal Champion, it successfully stands on its own as well.
If you enjoy this, read:
- Phoenix in Obsidan
- Elric of Melnibone
- The Knight of Swords
- The Queen of Swords
- The King of Swords
- The Ice Schooner