Elric: The Stealer of Souls Cover Art

John Picacio has just posted the cover art for the upcoming book Elric: The Stealer of Souls by Michael Moorcock. Here’s the large version.

Man, this looks sweet. I think Picacio has the cover art for the sequel to his awesome book, Cover Story.

I haven’t read the Elric books, but I’ve always wanted to. I’ve been picking up the White Wolf trade paperback editions when I see them at the used bookstore. They look good on a shelf, at least.

What’s your take on the Elric series? Is it a worthwhile read?

Do you have a recommended reading order, either by publishing date or by the story chronology? Or is there a better introductory point?

I’m a casual fantasy fan at best…is this series only for true hardcore fantasy fans?

10 thoughts on “Elric: The Stealer of Souls Cover Art”

  1. The Elric series is a good read. Very dark, considering the period it was written in. I’d skip the latter two books he wrote, but the first 6 are great. “The Sailor on the Seas of Fate” is still a great fantasy title.

    Seeing this cover just made me realize that the sword Dragnipur (from Steven Erikson’s Malazan books) is sort of a “Stormbringer on steroids”.

  2. I liked the Elric books because when the inexplicable happens, it does so openly and unambiguously. There’s no “I sensed a malignant presence,” but rather the presence appears, usually over a mile tall and crushing things.

    I agree the first six rock. I thought the later ones got a little too involved in multiverse metaphysics and depended far to much on dreams.

  3. Definitely read the original 6 and stop there.

    The only problem I had with Elric, and Moorcock in general, is an incredible amount of deus ex machina – literally. “Oh no, Elric’s in over his head! Better call on one his ancestal gods!”

  4. I think you learn to appreciate all the deus ex machina a lot more if you ever played the Stormbringer RPG. Not a computer game – the old pencil and paper type games. Yes, I am aging myself here. In any case, in that game you were able to accumulate points (I seem to think they were called ‘elan’ points) which allowed you, at a certain point, to summon your friendly god of chaos to help out. Ah, I still remember the joy of having Xiombarg drop into a scene…

  5. I found them to be quite juvenile… while I was a juvenile. Perhaps I should try to read them again, but there so many other books to read.

  6. I’ve only read a couple of the Elric novels, and that was a while ago, but I remember them being very different than I expected– very atmospheric, and the complete opposite of, say, Conan. The books are all pretty short, so I think the best way to find out if you’ll like them is just to read the first one.

  7. I read them as a teenager back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and LOVED them. I re-read them as an adult in my thirties and still enjoyed them very much.

    I cant say that about some of the re-reads that I loved as a teenager (Dragonlance springs to mind).

    I think they’re worth the read.

  8. I read the first six books twenty years ago when I was a teenager. I loved them. I’m a science fiction guy and generally hate fantasy except for Howard’s Conan, Lord of the Rings and Elric. I thought Moorcock had some pretty wild ideas. I thought his world was terribly cool and most of the stories were fast-paced and easily digestible. I liked the fact that Elric’s magic was elaborate to use and took some time to work. I don’t know how they’d hold up for me today, but I’d definitely recommend the first one to anyone just to see if they’d like it.

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