THE DRAGON IN THE SWORD by Michael Moorcock


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After an absence of 15 years: another sword & sorcery outing for Moorcock's Eternal Champion. The setting, series veterans will recall, is a bewilderingly complex ""multiverse"" where endless alternate realities coexist, and the delicate balance between Law and Chaos is maintained through the agencies of various gods, good guys, bad guys, functionaries, etc. This time, Eternal Champion John Daker, in the service of Law, has been incarnated as Prince Flamadin, though the real Flamadin has already been murdered by his evil, ambitious twin sister Sharadim; the latter hopes to seize the Dragon Sword, a weapon of dreadful power, and bargain with it to enter Chaos as a goddess. The plot moves through several well-imagined realities, as Sharadim grows in power and Daker/Flamadin searches for the Dragon Sword, which lies encased in red crystal at the heart of Chaos' domain. Finally, Sharadim reanimates the real Flamadin's corpse and tries to steal Daker's soul; Sharadim seizes the sword but destroys herself with it; and there's a rousing battle between Daker plus his Warriors at the Edge of Time and the foul forces of Chaos. Inventive but static, with little action except in the closing pages, and ponderously self-referential and overcomplicated--one gets the impression that Moorcock is struggling to formulate some obscure private theory. Still, it's thoughtful and literate--a cut or two above the usual sword & sorcery folderol.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Ace/Berkley