Saturday, July 11, 2015

The King of Swords - Michael Moorcock

The King of Swords
Michael Moorcock
Titan Books, Jul 7 2015, $9.95
ISBN: 9781783291694

War weary and still with no respite to grieve the deaths of his family and his people from the Mabden massacre and too aware of the loss of fifteen planes to Chaos, Vadhagh Prince Corum knows it is not over.  Instead the Eternal Champion realizes the victories by him and his allies on the side of Law against The Queen of the Swords and The Knight of the Swords are preliminaries before the main event.  He, his wife Rhalina and their companion Jhary the Conel must confront the enemy leader King of the Swords Mabelode the Faceless on their deadly adversary’s turf.

Instead of a direct assault, Mabelode uses subterfuge to defeat his foe.  His supporters release a sorcery-created airborne toxin into the Eternal Champion’s encampment.  This leads to mistrust and rage as friends fight to the death.  Desperate Corum accompanied by Rhalina and Jhary enter the conquered planes to confront and kill Mabelode; but the Eternal Champion quickly concludes they cannot succeed without help.  Corum recruits other Eternal Champions to join him on a dangerous Hail Mary to save the remaining planes from Chaos and its invincible King of Swords.

The reprint of the third Corum Swords and sorcery fantasy is a terrific climax to an enjoyable trilogy as this Eternal Champion must control his need for vengeance in order to vanquish an unbeatable opponent who unlike his defeated comrades uses cunning rather than direct attacks.  Extremely fast-paced from start to finish, this reprint of a British Fantasy Awards for best novel is a fabulous finish.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: