- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Ace (December 1, 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441166105
- ISBN-13: 978-0441166107
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,112,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dragon In The Sword Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1987
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John Daker is the Eternal Champion, trapped in a dimensionless plane outside of time, defender and destroyer of justice, a hero whose quest for justice leads only further into darkness. Haunted by the memories of too many battles waged during countless lifetimes, he searches for the beautiful Ermizhad - and for the key that will allow him to step off the wheel of infinite incarnations. His is a voyage on a dark ship piloted by a blind helmsman, through the slave stalls of the Cannibal ghost Women and the tunnels of doom to a monstrous confrontation with the Evil that could plunge the world into the final night of oblivion. The Dragon in the Sword is the epic culmination of the strange and startling adventures of John Daker, the Eternal Champion, from modern fantasy's most inspired practitioner.
Top customer reviews
Oh, and now he has a sidekick! A German guy from the 1940s who never misses an opportunity to bring up Hitler, compare the situation to Germany, and talk about Hitler some more. I enjoyed this series because of its wild, unique, and interesting worlds and characters. Then they just shoe horn this Hitler character in and every time he speaks, it pulls me right out of the otherwise imaginative world the novel creates.
Take out The History Channel, remove 100 pages of main character whining (I'm not exaggerating) and you'd have a great short story.
This is one of the better examples of Moorcock's fantasy adventure style. The different realms have creative, if fairly limited, cultures, and the depiction of Hell is interesting. It is nothing groundbreaking, but is a solid conclusion to the Erekose sequence.
The only other Moorcock books I've read so far are the Elric books, and I found these three books much better than any of those. If all you have ever read of Moorcock is Elric, I highly recommend these books. And if you love fantasy, but find much of what is written about elves and dwarves, etc., a bit childish, here is fantasy an adult can sink her/his teeth into.
In this book, John Daker, in the guise of Prince Flamadin, must save not just one world, but six entire worlds from destruction by Chaos. There's a great tie-in to the von Bek books, with Ulrich von Bek becoming Prince Flamadin's companion through most of the novel. The plot is satisfyingly complex, and the creatures Flamadin and his companions meet along the way are fascinating.
This book does some nice fleshing out of the concepts of the multiverse and the beings who can travel freely between universes, as well as the best explanation I've read yet of the true nature of the Eternal Champion. There is even somewhat of a "resolution" to the fate of the Eternal Champion.
But all is not philosophy and exposition. This book also has lots of great battles, swordplay, strange modes of travel through wormhole-like pathways, and lots of bad guys to be vanquished, including an appearance by Hitler.
The book actually does a good job of tying up many loose ends and gave me the satisfying feeling of completion that makes the best trilogies work. The tale has been told, you are sad to see your favorite characters go off into the sunset, yet you feel somehow that all is now right with the world and it couldn't have ended any other way.
Although, with Moorcock, there are, of course, other endings to this saga . . .
After being introduced to the very first in the series of these Elric books, I instantly became a fan not only of the epic Elric saga, but also of the author himself. His style of writing includes sentences that are thoroughly descriptive so no detail is left out. I have enjoyed Mr. Moorcock's books ever since that first one and this book is no exception.
The story is loaded with action from the very beginning as The Eternal Champions, as he is now called, recalls his past adventures with splendid detail. He recalls all of his past forms, their relationships, and their adventures. He is still Elric, but at the same time he isn't. He keeps reincarnating and taking on different identities. Some of the names he has been called along with Elric are Erekose, Urlik, and his present name, John Daker. He wishes to be Erekose again because that is who he was when he found his true love, Ermizhad, but lost her and searches for her endlessly while he also fights against chaos.
The action continues as John Daker tells of his travels on a dark ship whose captain is blind. This ship doesn't sail as normal ships sail, rather it sails between realms of the universe. While on this ship, Daker's dreams of women who chant pleas to release a dragon begin. He also dreams of a soldier in black and yellow who tells him what lies ahead, but speaks in mysteries and riddles that the Eternal Champion must figure out. He doesn't realize that his next incarnation will lead him to these very same women who plead with him in his dreams.
These women are of the Eldren race and are known as the "ghost women" because of their white armor. John comes to meet these women at what is called "The Massing" when all of the different races from a certain realm of the universe come together. They are said to be cannibalistic women who buy their partners to reproduce and then eat them. He first meets them at a marketplace where they are buying one of these "mates."
Before the massing though, Daker finds out his new identity, although he does not know what he is to be called. He winds up on a beach and finds Count Ulrich von Bek. Von Bek was in a concentration camp for speaking out against the Nazis and escaped with help from some friends. He then planned to kill Hitler but failed and escaped to this new realm called the Maaschanheem.
The action again picks up as these two run into some trouble on there way to civilization. Some bounty hunters attack the men but are defeated. Then the Baron Captain of this city picks up the two men and offers them a place to stay. The two stay with the Baron Captain until the massing, when everyone finds out the Eternal Champion's new identity. He is Prince Flamadin, who is said to have tried to kill his twin sister, Princess Sharadim. The Baron Captain now hates and tries to kill Flamadin. This is when the ghost women rescue him and tell him the truth.
The ghost women are at a marketplace buying men. But these men are not for food; rather they are banished noblemen from Princess Sharadim's land. They are telling the women the truth about the whole thing. Sharadim wanted to kill Flamadin for not wanting to share power.
The book goes on to show how the Eternal Champion battles against Sharadim and her evil army and to free the dragon from the evil sword. What is best about this book is that it almost gives a sense of completeness to the saga. I would greatly recommend this book to anybody who likes fantasy, especially fans of Michael Moorcock and the Elric saga.