Michael Moorcock (1980)

Justice is not the Law; it is not Order, as human beings normally speak of it; it is Justice — Equilibrium, the Correction of the Balance.”

This is one of the classic “swords and sorcery” series, a model for many that followed. Full of irony and wonderfully drawn scenes that a reader can visualise despite their fundamental and well-crafted alien-ness. I first read this work over twenty years ago, and my older self still loves it.

The story follows the adventures of Dorian Hawkmoon and companions as they fight the Dark Empire of Granbretan (nice touch, that) in a far post-apocalypic future. And defeat it, of course, though not before most of them die: this is fantasy fiction, after all. The plot is quite simple, in the sense that final victory is never seriously in question and momentary difficulties are quickly overcome. But that’s to quibble, and to ignore Moorcock’s skill as a fantasy writer, his ability to create a world that’s fundamentally still human despite its strange features and magical powers.

5/5. Finished Saturday 10 October, 2015.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)