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Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull Paperback – Bargain Price, January 5, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Hawkmoon Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This classic sword and sorcery novel from 1967 finds a shattered future Europe recovering from the Tragic Millennium spent under the control of the overtly evil Dark Empire of Granbretan. The reclusive Count Brass, lord of the former French region Kamarg, enrages the empire when he spurns an offer of alliance. Imperial envoy Baron Meliadus sends defeated rebel Dorian Hawkmoon to kidnap Brass's daughter, Yisselda, but Hawkmoon's inherent morality, his own infatuation with Yisselda, and Brass's kindness lead Hawkmoon to ally with Brass though he knows it spells his own doom. This novel is quite short by modern standards, giving the story a compressed and distilled effect. There is little space for nuanced politics or any depth of characterization, but the action is extremely fast-paced, and Moorcock fits more plot into 224 pages than other authors manage in a dozen volumes. (Jan.)
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Review

“The greatest writer of post-Tolkien British fantasy.” ―Michael Chabon, New York Times bestselling author of Telegraph Avenue

“If you are at all interested in fantastic fiction, you must read Michael Moorcock. He changed the field single-handedly: he's a giant. He has kept me entertained, shocked, and fascinated for as long as I have been reading.” ―Tad Williams, New York Times bestselling author of the Otherland series

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Hawkmoon (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765324733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765324733
  • ASIN: B005GNM1N0
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,778,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in London in 1939, Michael Moorcock now lives in Texas. A prolific and award-winning writer with more than eighty works of fiction and non-fiction to his name, he is the creator of Elric, Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat, amongst many other memorable characters.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Dark Empire of Granbretan has devastated their opponents who have tried to overthrow their harsh subjection. One such loser the Duke of Koln Dorian Hawkmoon attempted unsuccessfully to destroy the empire, but instead failed and became their pawn.

When Count Brass the lord of the city Kamarang rejects an offer of an alliance with Granbretan, imperial Baron Meliadus sends former rebel Hawkmoon to kidnap Brass' daughter, Yisselda. However, Hawkmoon has problems with carrying out the abduction order that goes against his values; besides his attraction to Yisselda, her father treats him with respect and kindness; reminding him of his original vow to destroy the evil Empire and his deep humiliation of bowing down to Meliadus.

This is a fast-paced, action-packed reprint of a 1960s sword and sorcery thriller that holds up nicely though contains little insight into life under the Black Jewel sorcery rule as the plot is linear. The hero makes the story line work as he believes his ultimate abjection is a betrayal of his own soul and when he meets the last holdout, Hawkmoon knows how far he has fallen in disgrace. Fans will enjoy Dorian's efforts to regain what he lost when the Empire defeated his army; his impetus is the father and daughter who shower him with adulation and respect while he feels he deserves contempt. Future Europe has rarely looked as dark as the continent that Hawkmoon traverses.
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I don't know why I haven't read this before. I've previously read some of Moorcock's Elric stuff when I was in high school (the ACE editions) and enjoyed it thoroughly. But this first book of the Hawkmoon saga has really taken me by surprise! I loved the setting of Future Europe. I'm a big fan of Games Workshop and their Warhammer and Warhammer 40K settings, and the parallels here are pretty obvious. Makes me wonder if GW got a lot of their inspiration from Moorcock's stuff like here in the Hawkmoon series. The grittiness of the fantasy here just brings things down to a level that I can understand, and that seems real to me. The characters are simple and easy to understand, and the pacing here is just right. Granbretan is just...evil, and you love to hate them. Probably the only negative here is the plot seems to change about three quarters of the way through, into a different adventure, one that, while interesting, just wasn't as good as the previous bits of the book. I am eagerly waiting to read the next one! Wish I had discovered this one sooner!
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Moorcock is great, but for some reason the only books I read of his were the Elric books which I discovered about twenty years ago. The Hawkmoon series is just as good, even though they're less well known (The Jewel In The Skull is Book One).

This story is short (about 200 pages) and good enough that I blew through it in two days. It would have been one, but I have a job to go to. If you ask me they should have gathered all these books together and published an Omnibus, but no matter, this is still a great edition (Reader Bonus: sweet illustrations in here!).

Sometimes, in order to decide which book I want to read next, I'll read the first sentence of the book to see if it grabs me:

"Count Brass, Lord Guardian of Kamarg, rode out on a horned horse one morning to inspect his territories."

That's ALL I needed. I think I just love the name of "Count Brass". Anyway, I dove in and was delighted by everything I found in this story. Fantasy fans should read more Michael Moorcock, they don't throw around the title of "legendary" for no reason.
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Format: Paperback
Michael Moorcock was well known for Elric of Melnibone', a manifestation of
the Eternal Champion. Dorian Hawkmoon, the Duke of Koln is another.
Fighting in an alternate Europe where the evil mages of the Empire of Grand
Britain are overrunning Europe, he faces men in beast masks, Orthnicopter
flying machines, and genetically engineered war beasts. The Jewel is
planted in Dorian's forehead in order to control him, but he breaks free,
and so begins the series of Hawkmoon and his allies against an seemingly
unstoppable army reminiscent of Nazi Germany. A great read by a master.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
lovers of romantic fantasy and derring do should enjoy moorcock's ultimate hero. twisted villains, a colorful and wonder filled world, the struggle between good and evil. all done very entertainingly.
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Dorian Hawkmoon's adventures are a great read. Unlike what I'd read before of Moorcock's stories, much more attention was paid to describing the appearances of the various inhabitants of this world. It's filled with magical-mechanical machines made of brass and metal, masked warriors and odd futuristic mutations of present day animals. I loved the idea of riding on a flamingo, and horses with horns. It's fabulous fantasy. So much attention is paid to describing the visual dimension of Hawkmoon's world that it seems as if Moorcock almost had a movie in mind when he wrote this one. Aside from the beautiful descriptions of an easily pictured world, the story is a relatively straightforward fun adventure story. Something which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your taste, is that Dorian Hawkmoon lacks the moral ambiguity that seems to frequently go with Eternal Champion novels (e.g. Elric or Erekose). Hawkmoon seems to be a genuinely honorable character, with none of the existential angst or moral dilemmas which I've come to associate with Michael Moorcock. In this sense, Hawkmoon seems to be the most "Hollywood" of Eternal Champions. He's an unambiguous good guy, in a richly imagined fantasy world. The book seems screenplay ready. I'd go see the movie.
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