My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Review: The Citadel of Forgotten Myths

The Citadel of Forgotten Myths The Citadel of Forgotten Myths by Michael Moorcock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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 the 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 as 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 Melnibon√© 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 it 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 the story was actually written earlier in pieces and stitched together in a novel later (and it does show) or it might be the tendency of an author late in his career who 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.

View all my reviews

No comments:

My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.