THE CITY IN THE AUTUMN STARS by Michael Moorcock

THE CITY IN THE AUTUMN STARS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another historical fantasy from the prolific British sci-fi/fantasy writer, again featuring a von Bek (The Warhound and the World's Pain, 1981, starred Count Ulrich), and set in Jacobin France, Switzerland, and environs. Manfred, the Ritter von Bek, who has given up title and lands out of sympathy for the French Revolutionaries, finds himself disillusioned with the butchery of Marat and the ""drunken Septembrists,"" and exits France via Switzerland, musing on the philosophy of Rousseau. Soon he encounters an equally eccentric and aristocratic soulmate, Le Chevalier Colin James Charles Gordon Cowie Lochorhie St. Odhran of Scotland, who is experimenting with aerial schooners, a great aerial frigate, and the first hot-air balloon. After levitating in the latter, von Bek tries to win the hand of the beauteous Libussa, Dutchess of Crete, an alchemist in search of the Holy Grail (as is von Bek, who sees in it the anti-dote to life's inequities). For her part, Libussa's interest is ""chiefly alchemical,"" but upon finding her heart's desire, her heart itself is stolen by an eagle, and Libussa is crucified--all just as we reach Das Ende. Imaginative, though dense at first and at times too coyly clever; all in all, vintage Moorcock.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Berkley