My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In PHOENIX IN OBSIDIAN (aka THE SILVER WARRIORS ), the Eternal Champion, Erekose in a new guise, is called to an icy world, and a new quest.
This is the one where the Black Sword on which so much of his fate rests is introduced, a soul-sucking blade as dangerous to friend as it is to foe. And it is put to good use here, in some stirring set-piece battles and serving as a plot device to bring us all up to speed with the raising of stakes for our champion.
Once again Moorcock’s eye for a visual is striking, not least right at the beginning, with our fur and mail clad hero riding a chariot drawn by polar bears — an image that Frazetta fans, or owners of the Dell edition called THE SILVER WARRIORS in the USA, will recognize immediately.
There’s a doomed race in a world under a dying sun, huge beasts engineered eons passed for strange purposes, decadent peoples, plucky salt of the earth types and, along with the sword, an early appearance of what will become a well-known and well-loved companion for our champion.
It’s a short, fast, read that I blew through in a couple of hours. Again it’s all blood-stirring stuff, even if Erekose is a bit of a moper between the epic battles, and it rolls along at breakneck pace for the most part, to an ending that gives Erekose a glimpse of the sort of powers he’ll be dealing with in the books to follow.
Like our champion, I’m now hooked into the multiverse, and won’t be able to let go until we reach Tanelorn and the conjunction of the spheres. It will be a while yet before that, but I intend to enjoy the ride.