mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Long Live the Dark Empire! (40)

Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock.

The black & the blue
of the Order of the Fly
glisten in the cave.

Wow, how about this book, coming out of nowhere? I picked it up needing some peanuts, reading a book to fill a gap before I committed myself to some lengthy work or some academic nonfiction. Having been fairly nonplussed by the several of Moorcock's Elric books I read previously, I thought I'd just get a dose of middlebrow fantasy to soothe the itch. I was wrong! This is a heck of a book! The setting is post-apocalyptic fantasy, with the proper nouns dragged out & degraded: Granbretan is the evil alienist empire set on an island off the coast of Europe, Parye is the crystal city across the bridge connecting it to the mainland & so on. The characters & nations drip with detail & twists of the macabre; the sumptuous colours of the masks of Granbreton's Orders, the Brass Count & his giant flamingos, the eponymous jewel set in Dorian Hawkmoon's head. Oh yes, I did quite like this. I worry that, the puzzle pieces of the world now laid out, the series might droop, but I'm anxious to find out. & hey, Hawkmoon isn't a relentless jerk, like Elric. That is a nice discovery; Elric is meant to be a bad-ass anti-hero but he comes off more like a petulant crybaby utterly incapable of taking responsibility for his own action. Hawkmoon is the shell-shocked veteran, the affect-less patsy who snaps to & seizes destiny. I much prefer him; & to boot these volumes have nice cover paintings & interior illustration. Hooray for treasure troves!
Tags: books, haiku, hawkmoon, moorcock
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