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The Sword of the Dawn

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Lancer #73-824. First Lancer Printing in VG+ condition. Tanning to the spine spine seams. Dust soiling to the wrappers.


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Lancer #73-824. First Lancer Printing in VG+ condition. Tanning to the spine spine seams. Dust soiling to the wrappers.

30 review for The Sword of the Dawn

  1. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    This is the third book in the History of the Runestaff, which was itself the first of two series that Moorcock wrote featuring Dorian Hawkmoon, an aspect of The Eternal Champion in his interlocked Multiverse tapestry. After getting the absolute best in covers for the Elric books (Michael Whelan!), these four Runestaff books were not so blessed, and this one is the worst of the lot. Hawkmoon once again encounters The Warrior in Jet and Gold in this one as he continues his struggle against the evi This is the third book in the History of the Runestaff, which was itself the first of two series that Moorcock wrote featuring Dorian Hawkmoon, an aspect of The Eternal Champion in his interlocked Multiverse tapestry. After getting the absolute best in covers for the Elric books (Michael Whelan!), these four Runestaff books were not so blessed, and this one is the worst of the lot. Hawkmoon once again encounters The Warrior in Jet and Gold in this one as he continues his struggle against the evil dark empire, Granbretan. This one is partially set in Londra, and we get a better idea of the evil and power they command, and Narleen, as we get a better picture of the scope of Hawkmoon's world. It's a very rich blend of science fiction and high fantasy, with colorful characters, an engaging plot, and (in my opinion) some of Moorcock's best writing. The book is very fittingly dedicated to Ed and Leigh Brackett Hamilton.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    The third in the Hawkmoon saga.... I read these years ago and they stand up well. These are the classics for a reason. I've mentioned before that Hawkmoon was the first "incarnation" of the Eternal Champion I ran across. I still have a "soft spot" for those particular books. All that aside, they are excellent reads and I recommend them wholeheartedly. I am not particularly a Michael Moorcock fan and he has written some books I even dislike, but "these" are wonderful books. Enjoy. The third in the Hawkmoon saga.... I read these years ago and they stand up well. These are the classics for a reason. I've mentioned before that Hawkmoon was the first "incarnation" of the Eternal Champion I ran across. I still have a "soft spot" for those particular books. All that aside, they are excellent reads and I recommend them wholeheartedly. I am not particularly a Michael Moorcock fan and he has written some books I even dislike, but "these" are wonderful books. Enjoy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    In the last volume Hawkmoon and the others get a break. In this one, they're immediately out of the break. That was a little disappointing for me for some reason - something about the scene did not quite gel. But once it picked up again, it was good going. Good plans, good bit of trickery... could've used more at the ending what it had at the start, thinking about it. Pull off the disguise stuff again, a sort of a brick joke on the pirates. Man, now I have to dock a half-star for the missed oppor In the last volume Hawkmoon and the others get a break. In this one, they're immediately out of the break. That was a little disappointing for me for some reason - something about the scene did not quite gel. But once it picked up again, it was good going. Good plans, good bit of trickery... could've used more at the ending what it had at the start, thinking about it. Pull off the disguise stuff again, a sort of a brick joke on the pirates. Man, now I have to dock a half-star for the missed opportunity. Sorry Mike.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    Another Eternal Champion incarnation from Moorcock. After Elric and Corum Hawkmoon is great. Good read and story. Very recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ross Kitson

    Although I read Elric when younger, and more sci-fi stuff from Moorcock when older, I skipped the Hawkmoon stuff. It's great to read it. There's no frills to his style, Moorcock tells a solid story that modern fantasy authors could learn a lot from. Hawkmoon has a fallibility that endears one to him, and his supporting characters are just as good. Looking forward to book 4. Although I read Elric when younger, and more sci-fi stuff from Moorcock when older, I skipped the Hawkmoon stuff. It's great to read it. There's no frills to his style, Moorcock tells a solid story that modern fantasy authors could learn a lot from. Hawkmoon has a fallibility that endears one to him, and his supporting characters are just as good. Looking forward to book 4.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Simon Mcleish

    Originally published on my blog here in May 1999. The third volume of the Runestaff series begins in a strange shadow world; to escape from enslavement at the hands of the Dark Empire of Granbretan, the Kamarg region has been shifted into another, uninhabited, parallel world. After a welcome period of peace, Dorian Hawkmoon becomes bored; he is unable to discover what is going on in the real world, and there is little to do in the world where they now are. So when he comes across a stranger in the Originally published on my blog here in May 1999. The third volume of the Runestaff series begins in a strange shadow world; to escape from enslavement at the hands of the Dark Empire of Granbretan, the Kamarg region has been shifted into another, uninhabited, parallel world. After a welcome period of peace, Dorian Hawkmoon becomes bored; he is unable to discover what is going on in the real world, and there is little to do in the world where they now are. So when he comes across a stranger in the marshes, who turns out to have discovered a method of transporting himself between the dimensions, he is almost pleased; if this man could find them, so too could the Empire. Thus, he can justify doing something about it. He and his close companion, Guillam d'Averc, disguise themselves in outrageously alien costumes, and use the stranger's knowledge to travel to Londra, capital of the Empire. There they pass themselves off as emissaries from the semi-mythical Asiacommunista; no one knows what people from that land might look like, and they wear ceremonial masks so that no one will know who they really are. Like The Mad God's Amulet, The Sword of the Dawn plays a minor part in the development of the series as a whole. It gives a further portrayal of the decadent and evil Empire of Granbretan; it introduces the final important character; it provides the occasion for further episodes of derring-do to enhance Hawkmoon's heroic stature. The role of the two central novels in the sequence is really like the literary methods frequently found in the medieval poetry which is the eventual source material of the fantasy genre. In many of the quests in such literature, the hero has to show himself worthy to attain the main object of the quest through the successful completion of a series of subsidiary quests, usually three in number. Often connected to the main quest (in much the same way that in computer games objects must be collected in a particular order to reach the final goal), they could also have an allegorical significance related to the hero's personal development. In later Moorcock novels, particularly as his ideas about the Eternal Champion developed, this would tend to be the purpose of such subsidiary quests. Here, however, they do seem to indicate nothing more than the collection of objects as in a computer game.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tony Calder

    There is a sameness about the plots of the books in this series - Hawkmoon ends up on a quest (against his will), he gets into trouble, things look to be finished for our hero, he is rescued at the last moment by the Warrior in Jet and Gold (a character who recurs in many volumes of Moorcock's Eternal Champion books). Not having to spend much effort on the plot allows Moorcock to expend his energies in other areas - not characterization - the main characters are all well established by this point There is a sameness about the plots of the books in this series - Hawkmoon ends up on a quest (against his will), he gets into trouble, things look to be finished for our hero, he is rescued at the last moment by the Warrior in Jet and Gold (a character who recurs in many volumes of Moorcock's Eternal Champion books). Not having to spend much effort on the plot allows Moorcock to expend his energies in other areas - not characterization - the main characters are all well established by this point in the story, and there aren't any significant changes. In fact, Hawkmoon's refusal to accept the truth about the Runestaff, despite constant evidence to the contrary, begins to grate slightly. So, what makes the Hawkmoon series some of Moorcock's most engrossing (to me at least)? It's his world-building skills, one thing that Moorcock has often excelled at. With each volume he introduces a new part of the far-future world he has created - initially it was Europe, then the Middle East, and now America (or the east coast anyway). No great detail is gone into, but enough is included to pique one's interest and create a desire to discover more about this world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Fasching-Gray

    In the first half, we get more detail about the depravity of Granbretan aka the Dark Empire, and that is a lot of fun. Yeah, these bad guys are just pure bad, 'lawful evil,' but Moorcock is having a lot of fun describing their city, rituals, culture, and monarchical intrigues. The plot twist about the ambassadors was glaringly obvious, though. Most of the second half is just a hack, slash 'dungeon crawl,' followed by a cliche pirate thing. And I am really getting sick of the deus-ex-machina Warr In the first half, we get more detail about the depravity of Granbretan aka the Dark Empire, and that is a lot of fun. Yeah, these bad guys are just pure bad, 'lawful evil,' but Moorcock is having a lot of fun describing their city, rituals, culture, and monarchical intrigues. The plot twist about the ambassadors was glaringly obvious, though. Most of the second half is just a hack, slash 'dungeon crawl,' followed by a cliche pirate thing. And I am really getting sick of the deus-ex-machina Warrior in Jet and Gold.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena

    Is it better than the previous two or I just got used to the style?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Francesco Manno

    http://panopticonitalia.blogspot.it/2... The sword of the dawn is the third book in the saga of Runestaff of Michael Moorcock, published on the British market in 1968 by Lancer Books, while it is high in Italy only in 1978, thanks to the publisher Longanesi. This novel can be cataloged fantasy / sword and sorcery / fantasy science / clockpunk, though presents unique elements that make it difficult to harness it into a single genre. Commentators today would not hesitate to call grimdark fantasy. Dor http://panopticonitalia.blogspot.it/2... The sword of the dawn is the third book in the saga of Runestaff of Michael Moorcock, published on the British market in 1968 by Lancer Books, while it is high in Italy only in 1978, thanks to the publisher Longanesi. This novel can be cataloged fantasy / sword and sorcery / fantasy science / clockpunk, though presents unique elements that make it difficult to harness it into a single genre. Commentators today would not hesitate to call grimdark fantasy. Dorian Hawkmoon managed to transfer the castle of Count Brass (and in any case the whole Kamarg) in another dimension, which can not be achieved by the Empire Black. Despite being safe with his beloved Yisselda, our beginning to get bored and , having captured a man in the service of Britain that has managed to cross the plane of existence coming into their world, questions him and decides to leave with Guillam of Averc to find out what are the plans of Emperor Huon. Indeed this trip will bring Hawkmoon in other dimensions, where it will face the soldiers of Britain, but many other dangers. In fact learn of the existence of a civilization that lives under the ground and fighting against a host of fearsome mechanical monsters like big spiders. After will be screened in the middle of a war between the rich merchants and pirates, who breed reptiles grotesque equipped with long tentacles and which make human sacrifices. Obviously, all under the watchful eye of Rune Magic, mysterious entity that is intended to serve. In this episode there are anachronistic technologies that give the book clockpunk contamination. Appear the well known thopters flying and flamethrowers Empire Black, viscous the globe that contains the fetal body Huon (of which you have not yet understood the nature), but also the machine crystal that allows you to transfer people and things in other dimensions and an aircraft-shaped ball that can break through the earth's crust. As in other novels, science travels hand in hand with the magic, since considerable supernatural elements and objects play a fundamental role in the affair in question; not least the rings that allow the transfer of people in the planes of existence and the Sword of Dawn. I must, however, that this episode is less than the previous two, because Moorcock loses some of the originality that had marked and history is less appealing and more predictable. Is overshadowed even truculent appearance of the novel, which extolled the brutality of Britain and that represented a note in innovative literary scene of the time, leading some critics today to consider the work of the forerunner grimdark fantasy. Finally, in my opinion is granted excessive space to the views of Baron Meladius, moving away from the center of Hawkmoon.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Traummachine

    This series is about the spreading of the evil Empire of Granbretan, and the efforts of Hawkmoon and company to save a small nation protected by Count Brass. Hawkmoon is in love with the Count's daughter, Yissela, but she's also desired by their arch-nemesis, Baron Meliadus. But it's also about our hero's unwilling service to the mysterious Runestaff, and Hawkmoon is aided by its servant, the enigmatic Warrior in Jet and Gold. What the Runestaff is, what it wants, how far they can trust the Warr This series is about the spreading of the evil Empire of Granbretan, and the efforts of Hawkmoon and company to save a small nation protected by Count Brass. Hawkmoon is in love with the Count's daughter, Yissela, but she's also desired by their arch-nemesis, Baron Meliadus. But it's also about our hero's unwilling service to the mysterious Runestaff, and Hawkmoon is aided by its servant, the enigmatic Warrior in Jet and Gold. What the Runestaff is, what it wants, how far they can trust the Warrior in Jet and Gold, how a staff can have a will, and why it needs a reluctant Hawkmoon to further its causes are all ongoing questions. In the first two books Hawkmoon, he isn't very happy about all this talk of his missions really serving the will of the Runestaff, but he basically goes along with it. In Sword of the Dawn, he actively starts to resist this supposed destiny, while still fighting to stop the mad forces of Granbretan and save Count Brass' tiny country. This was a strong volume in the series. Hawkmoon journeys to Granbretan itself, and we get a much better look at the twisted pleasures of the nation, and the decadent madness that drives their thirst for power and pain. The resistance of his Fate is pretty standard for Moorcock, but Hawkmoon's doubt of his allies, and the sense of imminent betrayal, make this series a solid addition to the Eternal Champion saga.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This review is mostly a summary of the plot points, so if you’re not into spoilers, then just skip my review, or scroll down to the end where I’ll give my assessment of the tale without ruining the action. It will be pretty short and concise, helpful even, maybe. I was interested in revisiting Hawkmoon, having read Books#5-#7 (subtitled The Chronicles of Castle Brass #1-#3), so I found myself back at the start of Hawkmoon’s adventures, at least as they are titled by Moorcock anyway! Prologue-ing B This review is mostly a summary of the plot points, so if you’re not into spoilers, then just skip my review, or scroll down to the end where I’ll give my assessment of the tale without ruining the action. It will be pretty short and concise, helpful even, maybe. I was interested in revisiting Hawkmoon, having read Books#5-#7 (subtitled The Chronicles of Castle Brass #1-#3), so I found myself back at the start of Hawkmoon’s adventures, at least as they are titled by Moorcock anyway! Prologue-ing Book#3, we are reminded Kamagh is now elsewhere, and Hawkmoon, Yisselda, and their allies are cautiously relishing a brief respite from the Dark Empires forces. But we begin the tale elsewhere, as the Army of Conquest relishes its victory over all of Europe, though Meliadus seethes thinking of the escape of Kamagh, Hawkmoon, and his allies. Back to Kamagh, Brass is philosophizing, but Hawkmoon meets a man while riding, Elvereza Tozer, Playwright of Granbretan. Why is he here, and how? Seems he can travel across planes - by a crystal ring made by Mygan of Llandar - and was sent by Granbretan to destroy Rinal’s machine, which allowed Kamagh’s escape. Hawkmoon realizes they must find this man before the Dark Empire or they will be found, eventually. Back in Granbretan we meet Flana Mikosevaar, looking for a new husband to feed her melancholy soul. And Meliadus, Taragorm, and Kalan discuss ways to find Kamagh, but King Huon, fearful of a new threat, has Meliadus entertain the visitors from the East, to assess the threat. Nothing is learned, as they seem as cagey as Granbretan, so Meliadus pursues his other love, finding Kamagh with the help of the Taragorm, Prince of Time. Where he learns of Mygan and gives himself a new task, and a new hope. Back at Castle Brass, nothing much is happening, so we return to Granbretan… And learn, via Flana’s sexual forays, our visitors from the East are Hawkmoon and D’Averc, in disguise. As luck would have it, Flana helps them escape, enigmatic, self-driven woman that she is. To Yel, and Mygan, but Meliadus follows, as his mania directs his actions. Soon things come to a head, as Hawkmoon and D’Averc fight Meliadus’ men, are captured, then rescued by Mygan. But not back to Castle Brass! To the East, to find Narleen, the Sword of Dawn, the Runestaff, and destiny! Before we begin part two, we are reminded of the interwoven destinies of so many who do the Runestaff’s work, knowingly or not. Meanwhile, Hawkmoon and D’Averc look to find out where (and when?) they are as they search for Narleen, whatever or whoever it may be. As part two begins, Hawkmoon and D’Averc are found by a man called Zhenak-Teng, who takes them to his home in a strange mechanical machine.. (Aside: I never liked the machine aspects of the Eternal Champion stories I have read - I skipped the more science fiction-y tales - as they seemed shoehorned in and unnecessary.) Hawkmoon awakes to an attack - the Charki! - and they escape in the machine, while the Teng are left to their own saving. They travel onward and we have a rather lengthy section with pirates and merchants and thus we end up at the Temple of Batach Gerandiun, but not in a good way. Seems our hero is to be sacrificed to the Sword of the Dawn, along with many others, by the Pirate Lords. Blood it needs… a lot. Enter the Warrior of Jet and Gold! Hawkmoon claims the Sword, calls on the Legion of the Dawn (with some prodding from the Warrior) and the Lords are overcome. Hawkmoon soon learns his destiny lies in Dnark, and returning to Castle Brass is not part of The Plan of the Runestaff, though he seeks a way to avert his fate for now. Not a lot different from Book#2, critically. So I’m just copy-pasta-ing that one, mostly. Deal with it. Or, find the differences, if there are any! Hahahahaha! A bit longer, relatively speaking, than the Castle Brass, Corum, or Elric books, but enjoyable all the same. Not as many crossover details from other Eternal Champion tales in this book, surprisingly. Moorcock does well to manage all the action and locations, keeping the tale’s pacing throughout, and never allowing too much to be revealed. Hawkmoon is ever the reluctant Champion. Not quite as good as other Champion iterations, and with only one book remaining in the Runestaff history, I am concerned.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim Mann

    I often wish that some current fantasy writers would look a the works of writers like Michael Moorcock and realize that fantasy novels don't have to be 800-page doorstops. Moorcock wrote dozens of fantasy novels, most in the 160 to 190 page range. Yet, these novels are exciting, imaginative, and contain memorable characters. The Sword of the Dawn is the third book in the Runestaff series. At the end of the previous book, Karmang as been saved from being overwhelmed by the forces for Granbretan b I often wish that some current fantasy writers would look a the works of writers like Michael Moorcock and realize that fantasy novels don't have to be 800-page doorstops. Moorcock wrote dozens of fantasy novels, most in the 160 to 190 page range. Yet, these novels are exciting, imaginative, and contain memorable characters. The Sword of the Dawn is the third book in the Runestaff series. At the end of the previous book, Karmang as been saved from being overwhelmed by the forces for Granbretan by being transported to another dimension. Yet Dorian Hawkmoon knows that his enemy, the Granbretan warlord Meliadus, won't give up until he has destroyed Hawkmoon, Count Brass, and all of Karamang, and captured Hawkmoon's wife, Yisselda, who he wants as his own bride. So Hawkmoon and his onetime enemy and now friend D'Averc began a dangerous cross-dimensional quest to prevent Meliadus from finding the magical technology that will allow him to find Karamang. Along the way, they encounter several strange civilization, fight pirates and monstrous creatures, and come to a major artifact that Hawkmoon is supposed to find: the Sword of the Dawn. Hawkmoon is unsure of why he is supposed to find it -- he like the reader only knows that the Runestaff wants that to happen. Hawkmoon himself doesn't trust that, and as the book ends he has decided not to do what he is supposed to do next -- all the while with some doubt as to whether he'll be able to avoid doing so. This is an inventive, well-told adventure story. I'll read the fourth and final volume sometime soon,

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ben Moore

    This book is rather a strange beast. It simultaneously is ridiculously action packed but feels like a work of filler. By rights I should have loved it as it mostly features Hawkmoon and my favourite character, D’Averc. However, this book takes action packed to silly levels. While the overarching story remains intriguing, the character seem to literally stumble directly from one life-threatening crisis to another. Where the previous two books give the impression of building a cohesive mythology, t This book is rather a strange beast. It simultaneously is ridiculously action packed but feels like a work of filler. By rights I should have loved it as it mostly features Hawkmoon and my favourite character, D’Averc. However, this book takes action packed to silly levels. While the overarching story remains intriguing, the character seem to literally stumble directly from one life-threatening crisis to another. Where the previous two books give the impression of building a cohesive mythology, this one feels rather slapdash. An entertaining read, but definitely the weak link in The History of the Runestaff.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brett Sanderson

    Having not enjoyed the second volume in the series as much as the first, I was hopeful that this volume would pick up and make the story better again, and it did not disappoint. The sense of adventure in this one is fantastic, and the descriptions of the world and its occupants build a brilliantly vivid picture. There are some really intriguing characters introduced in this one and it is without a doubt my favourite book in the series so far. The ending perfectly builds anticipation for the fina Having not enjoyed the second volume in the series as much as the first, I was hopeful that this volume would pick up and make the story better again, and it did not disappoint. The sense of adventure in this one is fantastic, and the descriptions of the world and its occupants build a brilliantly vivid picture. There are some really intriguing characters introduced in this one and it is without a doubt my favourite book in the series so far. The ending perfectly builds anticipation for the final volume and I can't wait to see what happens next.

  16. 4 out of 5

    TJ Edwards

    This was a fun and fantastic story, blending the fantastical with a pinch of science fiction as well. I’ve come to quite enjoy the main character and his companion and their gentlemanly ways as well as their banter back and forth. This story had me wondering if it would find an end as the pages began to run out and the characters were getting deeper and deeper into trouble. While the ending was plausible in the context of the world Moorcock has brought to life, it was the only thing that kept th This was a fun and fantastic story, blending the fantastical with a pinch of science fiction as well. I’ve come to quite enjoy the main character and his companion and their gentlemanly ways as well as their banter back and forth. This story had me wondering if it would find an end as the pages began to run out and the characters were getting deeper and deeper into trouble. While the ending was plausible in the context of the world Moorcock has brought to life, it was the only thing that kept this story from being a five star. Still though, a lot of fun with a blistering pace!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Richard Berrigan

    It wasn't bad. It wasn't great either. I found the book refreshingly abbreviated. This is all action with barely any introspection, so it moves at a good pace and if you read slow lime me, it won't take you six months to finish like some 4-500+ page novels I've read. I have another Hawkmoon book, so I hope that after reading this one it will be more interesting. It wasn't bad. It wasn't great either. I found the book refreshingly abbreviated. This is all action with barely any introspection, so it moves at a good pace and if you read slow lime me, it won't take you six months to finish like some 4-500+ page novels I've read. I have another Hawkmoon book, so I hope that after reading this one it will be more interesting.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Connie Fogg-Bouchard

    can the lost be returned? Dorian is on a mission to return Kagam back to it's proper place and time. this leads D'Avec and he to taking many chances, one even bringing them into the center of the Empire itself. each time, they have wonderful help escaping...perhaps the Runestaff is exerting it's influence? can the lost be returned? Dorian is on a mission to return Kagam back to it's proper place and time. this leads D'Avec and he to taking many chances, one even bringing them into the center of the Empire itself. each time, they have wonderful help escaping...perhaps the Runestaff is exerting it's influence?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jurgen

    The Warrior in Jet and Gold forever!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Izzy Corbo

    Fair to middling at best. Kind of waffled when pirate characters were introduced. Hopefully the last book in the sequence ties everything to a satisfying conclusion.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Florin Pitea

    Quite enjoyable in its own way.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julie Salyards

    This had lots of adventure and was a fun read!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Γιώργος Μπελαούρης

    I don’t know if I am the only one, but Moorcock books always remind me of the greek letter Λ –and is not a coincidence if you have in mind the first two letters of elric What do I mean by that? In most of his series, the first book is very good, the second a little better, the third starts losing steam and the last one isn’t a trainwreck exactly, but if you have high hopes is very possible that you will get disappointed. This one doesn’t escape his ‘’manierism’’

  24. 4 out of 5

    Γιώργος Μπελαούρης

    I don’t know if I am the only one, but Moorcock books always remind me of the greek letter Λ –and is not a coincidence if you have in mind the first two letters of elric What do I mean by that? In most of his series, the first book is very good, the second a little better, the third starts losing steam and the last one isn’t a trainwreck exactly, but if you have high hopes is very possible that you will get disappointed. This one doesn’t escape his ‘’manierism’’

  25. 5 out of 5

    Larou

    Third volume in The History of the Runestaff, and the one I liked best so far. There are some scenes that take place in Londra, giving us a closer look at the inner workings of the Granbretan court that allow Moorcock to go really over the top with the decadence and present readers with the kind of concise but colourful imagery that they have become accustomed to for this series. Here, everyone is at everybody else's throat, the society only held together by the centuries-old monarch, a wizened Third volume in The History of the Runestaff, and the one I liked best so far. There are some scenes that take place in Londra, giving us a closer look at the inner workings of the Granbretan court that allow Moorcock to go really over the top with the decadence and present readers with the kind of concise but colourful imagery that they have become accustomed to for this series. Here, everyone is at everybody else's throat, the society only held together by the centuries-old monarch, a wizened figure in a glass globe with the mellifluous voice of a youth. Bizarre inventions abound, and almost before we notice, Moorcock takes us and his protagonists off to America - a place which on the far future / alternative world (it is still not clear which, but I'm increasingly leaning towards it being both) of The History of the Runestaff seems almost like a different planet. The series comes closest to an Edgar-Rice-Borroughs-style planetary romance here, but it is like a story outline by Burroughs as penned by Clark Ashton Smith. Moorcock lets his imagination go totally over the top here, and it's really astonishing just how much weirdness you can pack in about 150 pages of pulp plot. Like in the first two volumes, this third one describes the first half of a journey that will be concluded in the fourth novel which is also the series finale - I rather like the symmetry at work here, and suspect that if one took the trouble one might find a lot of correspondences between various characters and places in these novels. And other novels by Moorcock, too, as his whole vast Eternal Champion series is based on correspondences, on repetition and variation. It has been said of that series that it is basically the same novel, written over and over again, and there certainly is something to that - but I do not think that this shows a failing of Moorcock's inventiveness, quite to the contrary: Given that endless repetition, the echoing of the same fate through times and worlds is precisely what the series is about, it's a monument to Moorcock's virtuosity how he has managed to keep this central subject fresh and interesting (at least for the most part) over so many novels. The History of the Runestaff, while still light on Eternal Champion mythology shows a kind of foreshadowing of this in the way it tells very familiar adventure stories but in the telling twists and turns them into something very bizarre and uniquely Moorcockian.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Roddy Williams

    Moorcock returns to form after the rather flat ‘Mad God’s Amulet’. The inhabitants of Castle Brass, voluntary exiles in a parallel Earth, become anxious when the Granbretanian playwright Elvereza Tozer (whose works include the classic ‘Adulf and Shirshill’) suddenly appears in their dimension. It transpires that he can travel through the dimensions with the aid of a crystal ring made by Mygan of Llandar. Hawkmoon and D’Averc must therefore travel back to their own world to find Mygan before Melia Moorcock returns to form after the rather flat ‘Mad God’s Amulet’. The inhabitants of Castle Brass, voluntary exiles in a parallel Earth, become anxious when the Granbretanian playwright Elvereza Tozer (whose works include the classic ‘Adulf and Shirshill’) suddenly appears in their dimension. It transpires that he can travel through the dimensions with the aid of a crystal ring made by Mygan of Llandar. Hawkmoon and D’Averc must therefore travel back to their own world to find Mygan before Meliadus discovers the secret of Mygan’s rings. To discover the Granbretanians’ plans, the pair disguise themselves as ambassadors from Asiacommunista, and hide in full view at the centre of Granbretanian life, Londra. They are unmasked by the resourceful Flana Mikosevaar, who falls in love with D’Averc and helps them escape to find Mygan in the land of Yel. Rescuing Mygan in the nick of time they use his rings to transport themselves to a land where a dying – yet technologically advanced - people live in underground communities, and are being slowly hunted to extinction by a genetically engineered species who feed on their life-force. The Warrior in Jet and Gold once more appears and tells them to seek Narleen and the Sword of The Dawn. Narleen, is of course, the future New Orleans and the adventurers later discover themselves to be in Amarekh. They escape once more only to be captured by the sinister pirate-king, Valjon who is using the mysterious sword to maintain his power over the area. When Hawkmoon’s new ally, Phal Bewchard, is kidnapped by Valjon to be used as a sacrifice to his ancestor-god, Hawkmoon is forced once more by fate or circumstance to raid the pirate citadel, save his friend and seize the Sword of the Dawn, which can summon legions of dead warriors to fight at his side. The book ends when The Warrior in Jet and Gold insists that Hawkmoon take the sword to Dnark where it is needed, but Hawkmoon is already plotting to defy the Warrior and set sail for Europe.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Another good read. Volume 3 of the History of the Runestaff sees Hawkmoon returning to the Dark Empire of GranBretan to discover if Castle Brass is still safely hidden away in another multiverse. This is after a "traveller" has reached them by means of magic rings and they need to know if Baron Meliadus is searching for these rings or any other means of travelling to Castle Brass's new location. After narrowly escaping the Dark Empire they find the wise old man who was the originator of the rings, Another good read. Volume 3 of the History of the Runestaff sees Hawkmoon returning to the Dark Empire of GranBretan to discover if Castle Brass is still safely hidden away in another multiverse. This is after a "traveller" has reached them by means of magic rings and they need to know if Baron Meliadus is searching for these rings or any other means of travelling to Castle Brass's new location. After narrowly escaping the Dark Empire they find the wise old man who was the originator of the rings, and he tricks Hawkmoon and D'Averc into travelling off to a foreign land in pursuit of the Sword of the Dawn (part of the Runestaff's destiny for Hawkmoon) when he would rather be returning to his beloved Yisselda at Castle Brass. Hawkmoon and D'Averc then travel through strange lands (which turns out to be the fabled continent of Ahmerak), encountering strange beasts before they are captured and enslaved by a pirate captain (who conveniently is heading for his home base in the place where the fabled Sword can be found). Our two heroes escape and join forces with someone who is fighting the pirate army and then get enravelled in a plot to overthrow the pirate lords (which has to be by means of getting the fabled sword). End of this volume is when the mysterious Warrior in Jet and Gold turns up to save the day (just as Hawkmoon and D'Averc are about to be bled to death). Hawkmoon then gains the fabled Sword, kills the pirate leader and summons the Legion of the Dawn to assist him. The Warrior then tells him that he must seek the Runestaff in another city on this continent and leaves Hawkmoon to do this. Hawkmoon bridles at this as he wants to be a man of his own destiny and not an instrument of the Runestaff. The story is to be continued in the 4th and final volume - which I will start reading next. On the whole this is another good read and progresses the overall quest whilst providing our hero with numerous challenges along the way.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert Beveridge

    Michael Moorcock, The Sword of the Dawn (DAW, 1968) First, to get it out of the way: the worst, absolutely unforgivably worst, thing about the 1968 DAW edition of The Sword of the Dawn is its unforgivably bad cover. It's so bad I actually knocked half a point off the book's final rating. DAW, who usually came up with top-notch artists to do Moorcock covers, really dropped the ball in the Runestaff series, and this is the nadir. Cover it, school-textbook style, before reading. That said, the book i Michael Moorcock, The Sword of the Dawn (DAW, 1968) First, to get it out of the way: the worst, absolutely unforgivably worst, thing about the 1968 DAW edition of The Sword of the Dawn is its unforgivably bad cover. It's so bad I actually knocked half a point off the book's final rating. DAW, who usually came up with top-notch artists to do Moorcock covers, really dropped the ball in the Runestaff series, and this is the nadir. Cover it, school-textbook style, before reading. That said, the book itself is top-notch, one of the better novels in the whole Eternal Champion cycle. Dorian Hawkmoon, reluctant servant of the Runestaff and another incarnation of the Eternal Champion, is off on the quest to find the last piece of the puzzle he needs to strike back at the Granbretanian army, an artifact called the Sword of the Dawn. Needless to say, getting his hands on it will not be easy... The same cast of characters from the first two novels returns, along with some throwaway characters, a new villain or two, and all the adventure one could possibly want. As well, The Sword of the Dawn is set on a new continent in the purview of the Eternal Champion, Amarehk (yes, it is what you think it is), and Moorcock's descriptions of the city of Nawlin (yes, it's at the delta of the big river) are perhaps the most detailed urban descriptions in the whole series. The novel could probably stand on its own without too much of the ongoing plot being lost, but aspiring Moorcock readers are encouraged to read the whole series (preferably after those of Elric, Corum, and Erekose, at least). ****

  29. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Back to some of the foundational books of fantasy writing, I'm working my way through the first Hawkmoon series by Michael Moorcock. It's interesting to read these books in contrast to the works of today. Much more plot-heavy, much lighter on the characterization. In less than 200 pages, Moorcock spins out a yarn that would take the modern author 400-500 pages, easy. It honestly makes me wonder if the sweet spot might be somewhere in-between. While The Sword of Dawn could use a little expansion Back to some of the foundational books of fantasy writing, I'm working my way through the first Hawkmoon series by Michael Moorcock. It's interesting to read these books in contrast to the works of today. Much more plot-heavy, much lighter on the characterization. In less than 200 pages, Moorcock spins out a yarn that would take the modern author 400-500 pages, easy. It honestly makes me wonder if the sweet spot might be somewhere in-between. While The Sword of Dawn could use a little expansion on the motivation of the characters and perhaps a bit more dialogue, and a touch more description of the fairly fantastical land Hawkmoon & D'Averc are traversing wouldn't go amiss...it's rather refreshing to read something that's not so bloated by deconstructed storytelling that it takes 200 pages to get from point A to point B. This book is much more about plot than anything else. Conceptually, it's got a lot of great stuff. There's a great overlay of swords & sorcery over a post-apocalyptic earth that has a lot of entertainment. Additionally, it's another entry in Moorcock's Eternal Champion works, and it works some interesting and fun aspects of it. It does however lean a little too heavily on deus ex machina in the form of the mysterious Warrior of Jet & Gold to make me entirely happy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Roy Szweda

    My revisiting of the Runestaff trilogy reached the end of SotD today and a jolly rollicking good read it was too. Poor old Dorian and his chum make new friends but have to endure all manner of scrapes in order to conform to the wishes of the sparkly one and his master. In fact Hawky is getting tired of his quest so is a tad unlike most heroes we encounter in the SF genre. Some Lovecraftian critters in there too for them to elude cue some clashing and slashing. We learn a bit more of this post Ap My revisiting of the Runestaff trilogy reached the end of SotD today and a jolly rollicking good read it was too. Poor old Dorian and his chum make new friends but have to endure all manner of scrapes in order to conform to the wishes of the sparkly one and his master. In fact Hawky is getting tired of his quest so is a tad unlike most heroes we encounter in the SF genre. Some Lovecraftian critters in there too for them to elude cue some clashing and slashing. We learn a bit more of this post Apocalypse world with what might be called mutants or some such and some other places with vowels missing or in the wrong order. Amerkh... or some such... America? One thing has been puzzling me though, how come everyone on this world speaks the same language? OK it is for our benefit but no one blinks even when they transfer to what seems to be a parallel universe. Another inventive fantastical world and challenges for our troubled hero... looking forward to completing the saga and moving on to revisit Elric...

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