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The Citadel of Forgotten Myths

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What's the word for a book that is set earlier in the series, but isn't before the first one?

Elric is back with the first new story from Michael Moorcock in a bit. "The Citadel of Forgotten Myths" takes place between volume 1 and 2. Detailing Elric's adventure to a different world with Moonglum, his more likeable redhead friend. There they find answers to the history of his dead nation, the past of Dragons (also known as the Phroon), and a conflict with a Lord of Chaos.

Narrated by Samuel Roukin, this one got weird but you kept it on track.

Reasons to read:
-Dude still got it
-Adds some extra context for what happens in volume 2 by just stating a theory I had
-Hey that was super weird
-We see Eric get surprised that Moonglum actually has a successful life and adventures without him

-Body horror on a scale I didn't expect

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I am a fantasy fan and I have heard of Elric, though I have not read any tapes of him prior to now. This collection of short, related stories was my introduction to author Moorcock and to Elric proper.

The book and characters are not bad, though the writing style made following the story a tad difficult. Aside from the two main characters, Elric and Moonglum, many others would wax eloquent over little to nothing and the dialog was somewhat archaic. There was plenty of action and the plot was linear.

Overall I rate “The Citadel of Forgotten Myths” three stars. Nothing was wrong with the stories overall, it just didn’t wow me. My thanks to Gallery Books via Netgalley. All opinions are mine and offered freely.

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While not amongst his finest work, this fix-up from Damon Knight Grand Master Moorcock has the virtue of reuniting readers with his most beloved character, Elric of Melniboné, and his stalwart companion Moonglum. An early adventure in Elric's melancholic life introduces a more hopeful hero, no less prone to introspection but eager to delve into his people's relationship with the Phroon, an ancient draconic race that aids the Melnibonéans in their wars against the upstart Young Kingdoms. Talkier than the Eternal Champion stories of Moorcock's 20th-century oeuvre, The Citadel of Forgotten Myths may disappoint some fans pining for the bombastic tales of yesteryear that Moorcock himself parodied, but the contemporary prose is smarter, and Moorcock's sense of humor has only grown more refined with age.

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In my review of the last Elric collection, I noted that author Michael Moorcock had found an interesting way to bring the character 'back from the dead' by having Elric's spirit or 'essence' travel through dimensions and use other bodies in other times so that we could get a new variety of Elric stories. With The Citadel of Forgotten Myths, Moorcock uses a more conventional method to give us more Elric ... stories that take place between the events of some of the previous books.
Like all the Elric books, the book is comprised of three stories that tie together. The first two of these, "How Elric Pursued His Weird into the Far World" and "How Elric Discovered an Unpleasant Kinship" read like some of the best of the early Elric. They're faster paced and have that good sword & sorcery element (fighting and magic). The third story, "In Which Our Heroes Discover a Lost Past" is much more in the vein of the more recent stories (more Elric monologuing).

In the first story, Elric is off with his companion Moonglum, and - leaving his betrothed Zarozinia behind - taken up with a new lover, Princess Nauha. They head to the World Below where they meet Lady Forentach - a Phoorn, which is a race that is part Melnibonéan but who have mated with dragons. Quest and much fighting ensues.

The second story has Elric in search of a rare flower in which the seeds purportedly cure cure his albinism, which in turn could cure his need for his sword Stormbringer to feed on the souls it slays to provide energy for Elric.

And finally, a quest for Elric and Moonglum that features rare bees and blue honey and more dragons.

This fits nicely in the Elric saga and I definitely appreciated the return to the more classic sword & sorcery energy. I definitely wouldn't mind even more Elric books like this ... stories that stick to Elric's expansive, slightly psychedelic world(s). I'm not sure this could stand alone for a reader unfamiliar with the series, but it would be a great second or third book to read. .... or 13th.

Looking for a good book? The Citadel of Forgotten Myths by Michael Moorcock is the 13th book in the Elric saga, but it's an 'early' Elric tale and the first two stories definitely feel right at home with the early Elric events. Fans of the series should enjoy this late addition.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss and Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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This Elric of Melniboné book is in three parts, with the first two self-contained short stories which feature a good amount of action and get to the point quickly, the third a large novella set in the city of Kirinmoir with a society based on magical honey, of all things. This last part plodded for me, with much manufactured conflict expressed in long sections of dialogue making it feel like the weakest part of the book. The setup was adequate, with the priestesses of Kirinmoir guarding the secret of the bees as they produce their honey with one magical additional component, with gods and goddesses fighting over the territory for reasons I thought hard to fathom, and with Elric coming back from a low point until he can pull things together and start wielding his cursed blade. He's not exactly a one-trick pony, but that runeblade does account for an oversized portion of his character compared to other Moorcock heroes. The trouble with the novella was the execution, and if it were the only story in the book I might have rated it at just two stars. Despite its shortcomings, the ornate and slightly overwrought prose used to convey the fantastic settings and characters is worth experiencing as a contrast to other swords and sorcery tales which focus their energies in other directions. It was not quite as hard to get through as the Conan book I read three years ago (The Bloody Crown of Conan) but I did have to work at it harder than I would have preferred.

I received an advance reader's copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for sharing this review.

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I went into this being so stoked. A brand new Elric novel in 2022! But sadly, it’s a bit of a disappointment. Made up of three interconnected stories that find Elric and his pal Moonglum on the bottom end of his world, the centralized premise is aimed at providing more background for Elric’s people and their connections to the dragons (or Phoorn) that they ride and share ancestry with.

That’s all well and good, but how are the stories? The first is just okay, but short enough to not occupy too much time. Honestly, I read it a few weeks ago, and the details are already a bit hazy. The second story is my favorite of the trio, and reminds me the most of classic Elric with a terrific adventure narrative, good supporting cast and a memorable monster to top things off. But the bulk of the book is made up of the third tale, which is a dreary slog and probably needed a tighter editing pass. Critical details are so drowned in overwrought (and repetitive) prose that I found myself not 100% sure I understood what was going on at times.

Maybe when I sit down to really hammer through the Moorcock oeuvre, I’ll revisit this and some of its deeper references to his corpus will land better at least.

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3.5 stars for this action-packed and exciting read that had a great story but struggled in the telling.
Elric and his friend, Moonglum, have traveled to the literal underside of the world in search of answers, but all they're finding are more questions and even bigger problems. We get three full stories in this volume with all of them focusing on Elric trying to find an alternative cure to his illness that does not rely on the soul-sucking sword, Stormbringer. I loved the second adventure, where they venture into a dangerous jungle in search of a magic flower. It has action, moral dilemma, and a healthy dose of horror to keep readers on the edge of their seats. The first story is a solid fantasy tale complete with pirates, but this one felt rushed. And the final story is a complex hive of hurry-up-and-wait that almost made me give up on the story but rewarded me with a very spectacular ending that was worth the confusing and slightly tedious parts.
I'm jumping into the Elric Saga on book 13 and that might be part of the reason why I felt a little lost at times. I honestly feel like I understood the world and its dynamics, but the way the story progresses and the time jumps made it feel like I was losing the thread of the narrative.
Overall, I think that I would have loved this if I were more familiar with the world and characters but I might have missed the train on this one.

Happy thanks to NetGalley, Gallery, and Saga Press for the fantastic read!

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This is a collection of stories from Moorcock’s Elric series. I enjoyed revisiting this world and the stories were fond memories of swords, sorcery and Elric’s adventures.

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Elric of Melniboné, that <s>whiniest</s> most tortured iteration of the Eternal Champion, returns in an all-new (sort of) prequel (sort of). If you are a big Elric fan, run out and buy this. It’s pretty much of a piece with all the previous entries in the continuously reworked, reshuffled, and re-released Elric canon.

If you aren’t already acquainted with the character, this is not a very good place to start. Important events and characters are recapped (some <i>ad nauseum</i>), so you wouldn’t be completely lost, but you’re a lot better off getting to know this classic doomed antihero by reading in chronological order (more below on where this fits in chronologically).

The stories woven together to create this book previously appeared in slightly different form in two or three magazines, but I think that this is their first time in book form. Their biggest value is that they add quite a bit of new lore to Elric’s world. This including interesting insights into the origin of the Melnibonéan civilization and exploring a completely new setting on the other side of Elric’s ovoid world. Unfortunately, the book also showcases some of the worst of Michael Moorcock’s tendencies when writing Elric: <i>so much</i> self-pitying whining, highly repetitive phrases and situations, pontificating social commentary, and new pieces of information seemingly pulled out of thin air to make the plot work.

As far as where this fits in the Elric saga chronology, the publicity blurbs claim it is a prequel that fits between the first and second volumes of the saga. I have two different versions of the saga, and this is true in neither of them. It actually fits in about 2/3 of the way through the second volume in both cases. It belongs after the section called <i>Kings in Darkness</i> and before the section called either <i>The Flame Bringer</i> (<i>Stormbringer: The Elric Saga Part 2</i> – Kindle edition 2022 – p. 519) or <i>The Caravan of Forgotten Dreams</i> (<i>Elric: The Stealer of Souls</i>, Paperback by White Wolf 1998 – p.400). Maybe there’s a version of the saga where this fits between volumes 1 and 2, but it’s certainly not the case for the edition currently available on Amazon.

Overall, this is worth reading if you are an Elric completionist, but it is far from the best entry in the series.

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I couldn't wait to put the book down. Moorcock is a bit too loquacious for me. At times, the stories read like JR Tolkien. It seems that every 6 pages Moorcock has to mention Elric killing his beloved Cymoril and the destruction of Immyr. If you have any experience with the Elric saga, you already know that. And if you didn't, you don't have to be reminded every 6 pages. I know that this book is an anthology of previously published novellas that were strung together with more connective prose. But, Moorcock needed a better editor. What is sad is that the story plots are really good but to get to them was a chore.

The book is about Elric sailing to the other side of the world in search or his ancestral origins. Having found little, he and his partner, Moonglum become mercenaries and try to find there way back. Four novellas are strung together with the second and third the better.

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It's good to see Elric back for one more book - he's one of the great characters in Sword & Sorcery, and Moorcock's multiverse is a fabulous (in all senses of the word) setting. Not exactly a novel, it's really 3 roughly connected stories. The first two, shorter, pieces are fine swashbuckling adventure tales, while the longest story is a deeper examination of Elric's world - history, structure, and cosmology. It also seems to have tinges of a satire on current affairs in Great Britain and the U.S. The main villain turns out to have a few Trumpian/Johnsonian notes.

Almost anything by Moorcock is worth reading, and this is no exception. It's probably not one of his classics, but it's very entertaining and will reward your investment of a few hours.

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The Citadel of Forgotten Myths by Michael Moorcock- During the 70's and 80's I immersed myself in Michael Moorcock's already huge output. Sometimes good, sometimes okay, sometimes tedious. For me Elric was always a struggle to get through. Many years later the same is true of the new Elric tales. I know a lot of people have love for this frustrating character, but I find the exercise annoying and boring. Moorcock needs to hang up Elric's spurs for good.

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This installment of Elric the Eternal Champion is divided into three (3) parts, beginning with two previously published short novellas and a fairly short novel for the second half of the book for a total of just over 300 pages. I must admit the author does much better in short form that when he has space to draw out the story … so the beginning was a lot more fun than the last part, which was much slower, but still much better than what I encountered in the White Wolf Saga).

As stated in the blurb, these stories are set during Elric’s “early wandering” years, so the style is very much familiar as I remembered when I started this series several decades past (points for nostalgia). The best part here is, by far, the continued world building as Elric seeks clues from the past in the “World Below” that would help him (and the reader) better understand the rise of the Melniboné Empire and the dragons that made her great. The main story sets up an interesting dichotomy between the Servants of Chaos (Elric and his kin) and the related Servants of Law (distant “ amazonian” — aka all women — cousins in the World Below). There are a few obvious masculine fantasy tropes here that may not play well to all audiences, but I found it amusing enough to roll with it. The main story was on track for a solid 4; but falls back at the end into a rather confused morass of over the top pretty prose (taking pages to describe what should have been a paragraph). This might be because of the story was actually written earlier in pieces and stitched together later in a novel (and it does show) or it might be the tendency of an author late in his career that becomes enamored with his own voice and tends to repeat himself a lot. Regardless, I just can’t quite leave this one at a 4.

Book 1: How Elric Pursued His Weird into the Far World
Book 2: How Elric Discovered an Unpleasant Kinship
Book 3: In Which Our Heroes Discover a Lost Past

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
#TheCitadelOfForgottenMyths #NetGalley.

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I look forward to the time where I can dive back into the works of Michael Moorcock. I know that the story will be well written. It will be easy to read and highly engrossing. I know that the story won't just be the typical sort of thing that many other writers try to imitate. So when the chance came to read a new Elric story it was a no-brainer that I would want to read it.

This book is really three stories rolled into one about Elrics adventure in whats essentially the inner world. In the end not everything comes together well but they weren't supposed to. This was more about connecting the other works of the author together with this story. In the end that is fine but it does point to the reader that there is a lot more going on then you may realize. That in turn speaks to one of the problems of the book. If you have not read or are at least familiar with the writers previous works that are not Elrc you will not grasp the importance of the references that are being made throughout the book. That said it's still a worthy addition to the canon of the writers works. It might seem contradictory at some parts to other works but that is easily dismissed when viewed as another part in the totality of his body of work.

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Michael Moorcock & netgalley it's a pleasure to review classic fantasy...

If you've read fantasy, then at some point you've had the pleasure of reading some of his stories...

A nice collection of stories full of swords, sorcery, and good adventures with the pale skinned crazy man.

Must read for Elric fans...enjoyed this as much as the rest of his work

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This was great. Hadn't read Michael Moorcock in awhile, and now regret it. Another great set of adventures. Will definitely start reading him again. #TheCitadelofForgottenMyths #NetGalley

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More than sixty years after Michael Moorcock introduced Elric of Melnibone in "The Dreaming City," he has once again returned to his creation, taking a look at a previously unreported adventure Elric and Moonglum embarked upon shortly before the events of Stormbringer. The novel The Citadel of Forgotten Myths builds not only on the previous Elric stories and novels, but also brings in many of the concepts of the multiverse and the moonbeam roads that Moorcock has introduced and developed throughout his work.

The novel sees Elric and Moonglum travel to the opposite site of the world from Melnibone, indicating that their world is somewhat egg-shaped and giving them a new world to discover. Ostensibly making the arduous journey in order for Elric to learn more of his people's ancestry and their relationship to the Phoorn, the technical name for the race of dragons who protected Melnibone before Elric betrayed his kingdom. Along the way, they make the acquaintance of one of Elric's cousins, Dyvim Marluc, who leads a band of Melnibonean refugees who must balance their hatred of Elric for his betrayal with the sense of loyalty they feel for their former emperor. Along with Dyvim Marluc they go on a quest for a black plant which Elric may be able to use to replace the strength he gets from Stormbringer. Finally, they journey to the city of Kirinmoir in an attempt to get the last piece of a map that will lead them back to their own side of the world, and find themselves in a battle for the soul of the world.

Moorcock tends to shift viewpoint throughout The Citadel of Forgotten Myth, most frequently between Elric and Moonglum, which allows for an interesting view of his albino antihero, but the shifts are often down suddenly and just as suddenly shifting back. The most sustained viewpoint shift is also the most intriguing. Late in the novel, Moorcock presents Xiombarg's point of view in an almost stream of consciousness gush which serves to highlight the impact of the encroaching Chaos that Xiombarg is promising to bring to the city of Kirinmoir. While shifting the point of view to Xiombarg makes sense and works as a representation of chaos, it harms the narrative of the novel. Similarly the shifts between Elric and Moonglum is a slight jarring. Possibly because portions of the novel were published separately, there are places where it is a little repetitive.

Despite being set in a fantasy world that makes use of many of the tropes that Moorcock helped pioneer and making full use of his gift for alien nomenclature, Moorcock is not afraid to allow The Citadel of Forgotten Myths to comment on the current state of the world. Hardly a hero, Elric's fight against Xiombarg and her Golden Warlord Ramada Sabaru in a reflection of the war against the fascism that Moorcock has returned to again and again in his works. However, he makes it clear that his concern is not just with the fascism that arose in the mid-twentieth century, but also the fascism that is gaining a foothold in the twenty-first century.

While there is a familiarity to The Citadel of Forgotten Myths that ties it to Moorcock's classic Elric novels, there is also a more philosophical level to the novel, in line with the novels Moorcock added to the series beginning with The Fortress of the Pearl, and while The Citadel of Forgotten Myths can be read on its own, or at least without knowledge of all of Moorcock's Elric books, the book is strengthened by the knowledge of not only all of the prior Elric novels, but many of Moorcock's other novels.

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I read books from several different genres, but I would say that fantasy is my favorite. I have read many fantasy books over the years, but somehow I was unfamiliar with this author.
Although this is not the first book in this series, I was able to jump right into the story without any problems. The story revolves around Elric and his friend, Moonglum. Elric is a prince who has fought in many battles and uses a sword from which he gets strength. The two friends have literally travelled to the flip side of the world in hopes of finding a cure for Elric’s reliance on his sword, Stormbringer, for his strength and ability to exist. The trip is long and adventure filled. I enjoyed the relationship between Elric and Moonglum. It is a very interesting world and filled with complex characters and creatures. I enjoyed this book and will definitely look for more books by this author, especially those featuring Elric and Moonglum. Happy reading!

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Michael Moorcock’s White Wolf and the world he inhabits, explores, and sometimes destroys was one of my earliest fantasy obsessions. I came across The Elric Saga as many young folks must have — as part of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club of the early 80’s. As a precocious 10 year old, I was diving into deep tomes of genre writing. I was drawn to Elric and Moorcock’s writing as it subverted much of what I recognized as tropes, even at that young age. It had been decades since I have read any stories of Elric, so was thrilled to get an advanced copy for review.

There are three stories in The Citadel of Forgotten Myths that follow Elric and his bff Moonglum as they journey to and around The World Below in search of answers about Elric’s ancestry. Each story could stand alone, and as I understand it, the first two were reworked from previously released stories, but serve in building toward Book 3, which makes up the bulk of the book. I found myself pretty quickly beguiled by Moorcock’s writing and Elric’s struggle to find a way out from under the servitude to Stormbringer’s violent thirst and the largely absent hand of his master, the God of Chaos.

The first two stories are a bit like swashbuckling adventures, while the scope of the third is a vast and somewhat dense dive into mythos. Moorcock’s history and breadth of a writer come to bear as Elric and Moonglum discover a peaceful valley protected by a race of women related to Elric. The women cultivate a powerful elixir that becomes the backdrop for an epic battle of men, insect, dragons, and Gods.

Overall, The Citadel of Forgotten Myths was a bit uneven, but was a thoroughly entertaining trip back into the world of Elric of Melniboné, featuring long stretches of fascinating prose that made it impossible to put down.

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My first Moorcock and I won't be my last. Will be purchasing a hardback physical copy for myself and others this year. Pure, old school grim fantasy with characters and world building you do not forget.

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