literary_py (literary_py) wrote in bookish,

  • Mood:

The History of the Runestaff

Author: Michael Moorcock
Series: Hawkmoon's incarnation as the Eternal Champion
Genre: Epic Sci-fantasy and Alternate History
Year: 2003
Pages: 646
Rating: B

It breaks my heart to give any work of Michael Moorcock less than an A grade as he is my favourite author.  However I feel that out of all the Eternal Champion books I have read, and at this point I'm only lacking the Cornelius Cycle, that Dorian Hawkmoon is the weakest and least like-able incarnation.  As a whole the book works well, it is worth purchasing and most certainly worth reading.
I also had an epiphanic realization a couple days ago as I was digesting the over-arching theme of the Runestaff cycle.  If the gods had been kind and allowed me to actually have a fourth year at University I would have devoted it to studying the Eternal Champion period.

Before I get snarky, the over-arching theme for the History of the Runestaff is, in my opinion, a searing critique against rapacious and senseless colonial expansion.  I feel this is still a vital message and one that has yet to be effectively communicated to the majority of nitwits wielding political powers in our age.  In my eyes the theme is the Champion of this cycle.
What didn't work for me was Dorian himself.  I could not empathize with him at all and felt that Balance failed to use him as well as it used other incarnations.  When the reader meets Hawkmoon he is in a state of deeply numbed depression regarding his defeat over his ancestral lands and he never appears to actually regain any volatility emotionally.  He travels to Castle Brass and secures his love all too easily.  He overcomes the Black Jewel, which was to be Count Brass's as well as his own doom, with little difficulty.  Time and again I found his Companions on his adventures more engaging than the Champion himself and I grumbled mightily when D'Averc was slain so casually.  I am so sorry to say this but Dorian Hawkmoon just hasn't suffered enough to be considered  the champion of anything. 


  • Waking Gods, by Sylvain Neuvel

    In the sequel to Sleeping Giants, Earth is invaded by giant robots. Del Rey, 2017, 336 pages As a child Rose Franklin made an…

  • Starship's Mage

    Starship's Mage by Glynn Stewart This is the first volume of a series but works on its own. It's also a compilation of independent…

  • Vagabonds, by Hao Jingfang

    A slow-moving novel of youthful rebellion on Mars. Gallery/Saga Press, 2016, 640 pages A century after the Martian war of independence,…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.