My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s getting on for 50 years now since my first read of THE ETERNAL CHAMPION, but I enjoyed it as much this time through as I did back then.
It’s the pulpiest of Moorcock’s Eternal Champion cycle, and the story that really kicks the whole thing off, with John Daker called from a life on Earth to be Erekose, champion of humanity, once and future hero, and wielder of a bloody huge sword of power.
It’s all a bit Arthurian, with similar motifs of betrayal and doom, but Moorcock’s energy carries the whole thing along at a rollicking speed. There’s a wonderful set piece sea battle, we get glimpses of the Eternal Champion’s inner conflict that will drive the whole series, and there are battles and mass slaughter aplenty.
Moorcock’s sense of a striking visual is much in evidence, even in the somewhat pulpy prose on show here, but it’s a great starter for the epic adventures in the multiverse to come, and I’m looking forward to the rest of it with the same passion I used to have while waiting impatiently for him to write the next installment way back in the day.
At least all I have to do now is walk to the bookcase to take the next book down.