Ah, it feels good to have finally organized the to-read pile and forcing myself to take one book at a time. Reading many at the same time is just not getting me anywhere, is it? So last night I finished the second book of the Elric of Melniboné saga, The Sailor on the Seas of Fate. I think I can sum up the book in a few sentences: It's pulp. I enjoy pulp now and then, it's almost like a guilty pleasure. It is far better than the various D&D/Forgotten Realms novels I tried last year, because Moorcock (such an unfortunate name) manages to write in a very efficient, yet descriptive manner. It's almost like reading a Conan comic in a way. Still, if reading A Song of Ice and Fire is akin to playing a deep political roleplaying game with adult friends, then reading Elric is the equivalent to bashing down dungeon doors with the kids. Or something like that. Enjoyable, forgettable, but with some striking images and quirky ideas throughout - high fantasy, indeed, somewhat soulless (sorry Michael), a quick read between more demanding novels. I do like Elric himself and his mighty sword, Stormbringer, a weapon that seems to obviously have inspired Steven Erikson's sword Dragnipur. Lovely.
Next I'm going to finish King of Thorns which lies half-read on my night stand, and then (and I am kind of worried about this one) finally - finally - I shall bite through Sanderson's The Way of Kings. Four years to finish that one. I never said I was a fast reader, but this is ridiculous. Time to finish. Funny thing is I have accidentally timed it rather nicely with the sequel ^^ Now if only I read Martin as slowly! I would still be voyaging with Tyrion up and down the river.
I have a few more Elric books as well, but they can wait. Now I need something a little bit more substantial.
The Sailor on the Seas of Fate did have a magnificent closing paragraph, though. It really resonates with me, though I cannot know whether Moorcock (snicker) was trying to convey the idea that I got out of it.
"Man may trust man, Prince Elric, but perhaps we'll never have a truly sane world until men learn to trust mankind. That would mean the death of magic, I think." (...)