Blood Skies by Steven Montano REVIEW

11439413Over the past few years, Post-Apocalyptic novels, shows, and films have captured many people’s’ imaginations. Though the usual cause has always been the same: man mistreating the environment , nuking everything , et cetera. But what if the calamity was magic entering our world ?

Sounds like a cheesy concept, but Montano makes it work. He also combines the military fiction and horror genres, with fantasy but it doesn’t feel out of place. The characters are an absolute treat to read. The villains aren’t too bad either.

Also no whiny kids in the plot is a plus! (Looking at you Divergent !) I really hope more post-apocalyptic tales follow suit.

Overall , I give it 4 stars. If you like The Dark Tower series, and novels like Starship Troopers, Blood Skies is for you.

The Scars of Ambition by Jason Letts REVIEW

scarsEver get tired of a Medieval Fantasy setting? Or have you ever wondered what would happen when Middle Earth’s technology would become like ours? With The Scars of Ambition, Jason Letts answers these questions.

The novel takes place in a land called Cumeria, where the government hardly has any serious power, and wealthy all powerful corporations control nearly every aspect of life. Much like Game of Thrones, these wealthy families behave much like the squabbling Houses of Westoros. But, the background setting is much like modern day. There are airplanes, gas powered vehicles, computers, phones, guns, etcetera.

You may ask how Scars can be Fantasy with all of these modern pieces of technology, there still are some elements, like magic, creatures, and swords, that are in most Fantasy Novels. I honestly didn’t know if Letts could pull the fusion of new and old elements off, but Letts does amazingly well, and makes the plot his own rather than follow the normal conventions of the genre.

The story centers around the Bracken family. It centers around Lowell Bracken, the father & head of the family business called Bracken Energy. The Bracken’s have been leaders in the land of Cumeria for hundreds of years without resistance. That is, until forces beyond his control turn on him, and he doesn’t know who to trust…That’s all I can say about the without spoilers. All I will say is that the tale will keep you guessing till the end. 🙂

As for the characters, they are well done too. Every character is fleshed out well, even characters who you only see a few times will stick with you.

Overall, I give the book 3 1/2 stars!

If you are a fan of G.R.R.M, the TV show Dallas (When you read it, you’ll know what I mean.), and Steampunk Fantasy, this book is made for you.

Interview with D.P Prior

It’s been awhile since an author interview has appeared on Goblins, Swords, Elves, Oh My! , so I thought it would be a good idea to ask around. I shot an email to author D.P Prior, and he said sure. (Here are my reviews for his books Cadman’s Gambit and The Nameless Dwarf.) Enjoy! — Jake P.S Thanks Derek for taking time out of your busy schedule for an interview!

nameless..

JS: When and why did you start writing Fantasy? 

DP: I started trying to write a fantasy novel at about age 13. I had an antiquated typewriter and some really original idea about little people with hairy feet going on a quest. By that time I had read a fair bit of Robert E. Howard (Conan), Lin Carter (Thongor), Edgar Rice Burroughs (John Carter) and Tolkien (The Hobbit, LOTR, Tom Bombadil, Farmer Giles of Ham). I guess I was just trying to emulate what I was reading. That effort didn’t get beyond a few pages, but I was acutely aware I didn’t want to be that guy who was always working on a book that was never likely to be finished.

I continued to read a lot of fantasy (Donaldson, LeGuinn, McCaffrey, Moorcock, L. Sprague de Camp) but after those writers there was, for me, a real dearth of material. That all changed when David Gemmell released Legend (circa 1984). From that moment on I read everything he released and still consider him to be the greatest writer of heroic fantasy. Since his death I’ve run out of things to read. The so-called “new-wave” of fantasy authors didn’t really appeal to me. To be fair to the authors, I didn’t try many of them. The covers, blurb and first few pages was enough to put me off. I’m sure it’s a taste thing and that if I persevered I’d probably enjoy many of these books. I had some respite when I discovered Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy, and I’ve gone on to read all his new releases. 

I finished my own first fantasy novel, The Resurrection of Deacon Shader, some years back. It felt such a great achievement getting to the end of a story, but that’s when I learned that doing so was just the beginning of the writing process. John Jarrold (script doctor, former publisher, and fantasy agent) edited it and (rightly) ripped it to shreds. I started to redraft, following John’s notes, but soon realised it would be more worthwhile to begin the novel from scratch. I tidied up the original and released it as a print-on-demand paperback then immediately set to work writing Shader’s story in a much more contemporary style (close point of view, irony, dark humour, and a fully fleshed-out world with thousands of years of history). I had originally planned a trilogy, but it soon became apparent the first book alone was going to be so long it could form a trilogy by itself. The original book 2, The Archon’s Assassin, was swiftly moved to fourth place (much of it was already written in first draft), and the first book (originally called Gods in the Dreaming) became Cadman’s Gambit (followed by Best Laid Plans and The Unweaving, which I am finishing off at the moment).

My aim was initially to see if I could write a novel, but that later changed to me writing stories I would want to read. I wasn’t aware I could make a living out of writing (without jumping through lots of hoops) until C.S. Marks (Elfhunter)suggested publishing Resurrection on Kindle. Since then it’s been a mammoth voyage of discovery. I narrowly missed the first wave of the golden age of e-book publishing, but I got carried along in its wake and am now at the point where I can make a tidy living from e-book royalties.

JS: What made you self-publish rather than go the traditional route?

DP: I have nothing against going the traditional route, but the whole process of finding an agent to represent your work, and then of that agent being able to sell it is so fraught and time consuming. I had visions of spending a year or more writing a book and then nobody reading it whilst I sought a publisher. There’s no guarantee a first, second, or even a third book will rise above the slush pile, and ultimately I would have found that discouraging. I may well not have written all I have if I felt there was no feedback loop, no one reading my stuff.

The advent of print on demand, and more importantly ebook publishing, has circumvented that whole process. It’s possible to find thousands of readers without going through the gatekeepers, and it’s also possible to make a reasonable living out of independent publishing whilst remaining open to mainstream publishers. I’d certainly rather be selling hundreds of ebooks each month, reaching new readers and learning from reviews than waiting for months on end for a response to a query letter that is likely to be negative in the majority of cases. 

There’s every indication that successful indies are catching the attention of the big six publishers, in any case. Rather than leave a book to rot at the bottom of the slush pile, it seems a no brainer to publish and promote it oneself, connect with readers, interact with them and learn from what they like and don’t like. It seems infinitely preferable to putting my fate in the hands of corporations who have probably got a thousand and one better things to do than read my submissions, and whose overriding concern when taking on new writers is how successful the book is likely to be financially based on the similarities it has to the bestsellers in the genre within the past few years. Mainstream publishers have to be all about profitability.

I’m extremely grateful to companies like Amazon (in particular) for making it possible for me to write full-time. Book royalties are my main source of income these days, supplemented by my editing work, which is again made possible by the indie publishing revolution.  

JS: How did the book do the first few months?

DP: When I released The Resurrection of Deacon Shader I had the expectation that it would be successful (for me) if I sold maybe 400 copies over all time. I’m not sure where the numbers came from, but back then I considered it a good month if I sold about 15 copies. 

With each successive release, sales have improved (overall and for individual titles).

JS: In Cadman’s Gambit, I noticed  that you use a lot of Latin. What inspired you to use Latin in your novels?

DP:I’m not sure how much I can say without giving away certain story elements. On Earth, in the Shader books, Latin is known as Aeternam (Aeterna is the Eternal City, so called after the cataclysm known as the Reckoning). There were a lot of changes to national boundaries, names of countries, and religion, which enjoys something of a resurgence in the aftermath of the technocracy of Sektis Gandaw. The problem is, many of the religious scriptures are traduced for reasons both political and capricious. The culprit is revealed during the books. 

A lot of recognisable history has been retained under various guises, and Aeternam (Latin) becomes the lingua franca of the ruling Templum clerics who govern the Nousian Theocracy, an empire that spans much of the Earth.

However, in the world of the Dreaming (Aethir) the same language exists in select circles, only it is still known as Latin. There is also a city governed by a Roman style senate, complete with togas and backed by legionaries. There are very good reasons for this, but I can say no more at this stage. Oddly, even the reclusive dwarves of the ravine city Arx Gravis retain some Latin, and it is rumored they once practiced the ancient faith Shader’s Nousian religion evolved from.

I studied Classical Latin at night school and later taught Church Latin to my son when he was home schooled, which was a huge help when I wanted to include snippets throughout the Shader books. There’s also a smattering of Latin in my Nameless Dwarf books, which are set in the world of Aethir.

JS: I have also another question about Cadman’s Gambit. I was pleasantly surprised that it was in a post-apocalyptic Australia (I’m a huge Mad Max fan.) What made you choose Australia? 

DP: I lived in Australia for over three years and made a lot of my conceptual notes there. 

Due to its remoteness, Australia made the perfect last pocket of rebellion against the world-spanning Nousian Theocracy. Before that, it was the last bastion of freedom from Sektis Gandaw’s Global Technocracy, at least up until the massacre of the Dreamers and the cataclysm known as the Reckoning.

In the Shader series, the whole world is post-apocalyptic, but the centre of the cataclysm was Australia. This opened doorways onto the world of the Dreaming, Aethir, and specifically onto its dark side (Qlippoth), unleashing the nightmares of Aethir’s mad god on the Earth.

There are many recognisable Australian features in Sahul: the Pinnacles of Western Australia; Perth (underlying Sarum); Uluru, and from time to time there are glimpses of indigenous flora and fauna. There’s also a bit of Australian slang in some of the scenes featuring Rhiannon and the boys from Oakendale.

JS: What does your typical writing day consist of?

DP: I usually start writing between 5 and 6 a.m. when my wife and baby are still asleep. I aim to get at least an hour’s writing done, and this usually translates to what I term a sub-scene (a unit of action within a scene). Sometimes I’m lucky and get a whole chapter written. During the afternoon or evening I tend to read through what I’ve written and make corrections as well as adding detail. This stage usually works best with a glass of red. The next morning I will re-read what I’d written the day before, making more corrections, and then continue with the scene/chapter. I usually work like this Monday-Friday, but sometimes I work obsessively on a chapter for the entire day (and occasionally the night, too). When I’m revising, redrafting and editing I work for longer periods, often right through the day. First drafts, though, are much more demanding for me in terms of creative energy and I’ve found I am more successful if I keep the sessions short and focused.

If I’m editing for someone else, I write first for 1-2 hours and then dedicate the rest of the day to editing. If I have a lot of editing work on, like right now, I don’t write until my workload is more manageable. I’ve just taken two weeks off writing, but with one editing commission finished and the second a third complete, I’ll be pressing on with Shader three by the end of the week.

JS:  What is the most  important advice you have for aspiring authors out there? 

DP: There’s so much advice, so I’ll try to keep it brief. These are the things I find most important. It does, however, depend on your goals. Some people will tell you to look at what’s popular in the genre at the moment and to emulate it. Others will focus on marketability, business plans etc. These things are obviously important if you want to make a living from writing, but for me it’s much more important to write the story you want to write. Do this well enough and you’ll have a product to market. These days many writers are in such a hurry to make a fortune from indie publishing that they skip most of the essentials; they have huge social networking platforms, professional press releases, a mountain of hype, and end up rushing to meet their self-imposed deadlines. I’ve worked with a few writers whose manuscripts are riddled with problems but who still go ahead and publish within hours of getting my notes back (notes that should take weeks if not months to implement) because they have set a release date that must, must, must be met. Strive for excellence, make progress every working day, and above all, be patient.

1. Write what you know, and write what you would like to read.

2. After you’ve made your notes, sketched out your story arc etc, get the first draft written quickly. Don’t fuss too much about spelling and grammar at this stage.

3. Do not set a firm release date until the next few stages are complete!

4. Take a break from the book for a few weeks (if you can) then read it through and make notes (I use track changes for this). If you see any typos, correct them, but don’t look for them specifically. 

5. Work through scene by scene, making revisions and corrections. Do not be afraid to cut scenes or completely rewrite them if required. Look for points of conflict, tension, humor, themes etc. Sharpen them.

6. After another break, read through again, but this time with emphasis on the prose. Simplify the language and the sentence structure, pay attention to word repetition (but also make sure you avoid telling the reader things they already know). Check how passages sound read aloud. Sometimes the juxtaposition of certain words or phrases just sounds bad, and a little rephrasing can make a huge difference.

7. Read the entire book aloud (preferably to someone else). This make take a few days. Make notes where necessary and revise afterwards.

8. Hire a decent editor. Start with a content (story) edit. Action the notes through more revisions. Then have the book line edited (spelling, grammar, word repetition etc). Make any further corrections.

9. Take a break from the book. Reread it. Correct any lingering errors (there will undoubtedly still be some).

10. Hire a decent proofreader.

11. Now you are ready to look at marketing and release dates. Hire a professional cover designer (and maybe an artist, if you’re not broke by now). Work on your blurb (very important!) and run it by an editor. You may want to get feedback on this on a writing forum. Unless you have the skills and knowledge yourself, hire a formatter. Plan your release date, contact reviewers and send out ARCs. Consider which promotional sites you are going to use and coordinate your promotional efforts for the release. Make sure readers can find you (Amazon Author Central, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Smashwords, Nook Press, Kobo Writing Life etc). There’s a wealth of information on this stage online (Kboards is a pretty good place to look in the first instance). 

About D.P Prior

IMG_0748D.P. Prior is the author of heroic fantasy, including The Nameless Dwarf and the Shader series. He is also editor-in-chief at Homunculus Editing Services. He originates from the south of England but has lived in Wales and Australia. He currently lives in Florida at the bottom of a gator-infested lake. He’s married to Paula and has two children, Theo and Cordelia. He can be contacted via www.dpprior.blogspot.com

The Nameless Dwarf by D.P Prior REVIEW

When a writer sends me an email requesting a review, I get a little nervous. There is no guarantee I will like the author’s book, and I prefer not to write a scathing review. Which why I avoid writing bad reviews of books, and move on. I’ve posted a scathing review before, and deleted it because I didn’t have anything constructive to say to help the author.

Thankfully that wasn’t the situation with D.P Prior’s novel The Nameless Dwarf.

Click image to buy from Amazon.com!

Click image to buy from Amazon.com!

The Nameless Dwarf novel take place in the same universe as Prior’s Shader novels (The first of which is Cadman’s Gambit.),but in a part that is more primitive and barbaric than the world previously in the Shader novels. No guns here, and no post apocalyptic Australia.

At the core of the novel, the plot is a tale of redemption. The main character, Nameless, wields an evil black ax, and the ax made him slaughter his own people, and drive them out of their home. In revulsion of his horrible deeds, he stays away from his fellow dwarfs, and shaves off his beard marking him a dwarf. He drowns himself in alcohol to stave off his memories that haunt his mind.

But when Nameless finds out they have fled to the dark lands of Qlippoth, a land of monsters and constantly changing landscapes, he goes on a quest to save them from certain extinction, even though he knows they will probably kill him before he can help.,,And I’d better stop before I spoil the epic plot, and twists. 🙂

Prior has written yet another great and original novel in the Fantasy genre. And he took a big risk making a dwarf the main character, in a genre flooded with stories with elves and young wizards in training. This is another Fantasy for adults that cover very complex themes that people deal with everyday. The Nameless Dwarf is a must read.

I give this tale 5 stars out of 5!

NOTE: Thanks Derek for the reviewers copy!

Bayne’s Climb by Ty Johnston REVIEW

Click image to buy from Amazon.com!

Sword & Sorcery seems to be making a comeback. Mostly among indie writers like B.V  Larson, Michael Sullivan, David Dalglish, and many others. (Big publishers seem to have forgotten and/or abandoned the genre.)

Among these quality indie Sword & Sorcery writers, there are a lot of imitators, and wannabes. Bayne’s Climb however, is no imitation eBook!

The plot is like a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western, mixed with old school elements of S&S. The main character Bayne, is on a quest for revenge, and is on a personal journey to find out who he is. (Also if you’ve followed Western movies and TV shows, you’ll notice a few references to those. And you will notice that the story could have been made a Western.) I won’t say anymore on plot.

The character of Bayne is a very human protagonist, and I really liked his personality. (He reminded me a bit of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne if they ever were in Fantasy tales.)  Bayne kills many people, not always because he wants to, but because they won’t leave him alone. I liked that he wasn’t a mindless killer, and that Johnston made Bayne a character actually thought about his actions, and about the world around him.

Let’s talk about the writing style. The style was short and to the point. I felt like I climbing with Bayne on the gray mountain, and I could hear his sword hacking into flesh and bone. (Ty’s horror stories have helped a lot in his action writing.)

Overall, I really like this novella!  I give the book 4 out of 5 stars, and will be reading more of Johnston’s tales!

Availible wherever eBooks are sold.

Note: Thanks Ty for the free reviewer’s copy!

Guest Blogger: Scott Fitzgerald Gray

Today we have a special guest! His name is Scott Fitzgerald Gray, and this post is part of his blog tour for his new novel We Can Be Heroes. Enjoy! — Jake

All authors are indie authors, unless there’s someone I’m not aware of who farms out part of his or her work to teams of subordinates. (Maybe Stephen King hires adjective specialists; I don’t know.) Writing is a thankless and solitary task for the most part, and almost all books are the product of a lonely creative struggle. Publishing, on the other hand, tends to be a group effort. And this is an area where the current usage of the phrase “indie author” can get a little confusing.

If you’re a person who’s… well, alive, you’ve probably heard that there’s a bit of to-do going on these days between the proponents of what’s come to be called “traditional publishing” and the proponents of indie author-publishing (less flatteringly sometimes called “self-publishing,” so I tend to not use that phrase a lot). And though I’m an indie author-publisher myself, I try to keep to the diplomatic middle lane in this debate for the most part, because I don’t hate traditional publishing. If pressed, I might admit that I fear for its survival and question the intellectual and moral integrity of some of the people running it, but the end goal of most people working in traditional publishing is the same as the end goal of most indie publishers — publish a great book.

And really, when it comes down to it, the process of publishing a great book is pretty much the same, regardless of whether that book is published traditionally or independently:

First, write a great book. Next, publish that great book. And that’s it, thanks for listening, you’ve been great.

(In saying the above, I realize that I’m kind of doing an homage to an old Steve Martin routine, where he promises to reveal how “You can be a millionaire and never pay taxes! First, get a million dollars…”) (You’re probably not old enough to remember, but Steve Martin was a well-known stand-up comedian before he became the “Cheaper by the Dozen” guy. But I digress.)

“Yeah, wait a minute,” I hear you say. “Go back to Step 1 for a minute.”

So how exactly do you write a great book? I have no more idea than you do. I’ve read my fair share of great books, but as luck would have it, I’ve never actually been around while any of those great books were being written. I’ve written a few books myself, and though it’s gratifying that people read and enjoy them, I’m not sure I’m naive or arrogant enough to call them “great.” But having been a professional writer for a number of years in a number of different media, and having worked in publishing for a long while concurrently with that writing work, I can say the following with great confidence:

All great books are books that were given enough time to be the best books they can be.

I don’t hate traditional publishing, if for no other reason than I think all indie author-publishers need to wrap their heads around this truth, which most people involved in traditional publishing have long known.

A great book is a book that’s given enough time to be the best book it can be.

Writing a great book isn’t a solitary act. Writing a great book starts with the solitary act of writing, but then becomes the process of rewriting and writing again, of editing and more editing. Every great book that’s ever been written shares this pedigree.

A great book needs editors. Not just “an editor,” but a whole freaking team. First up is the development editor or story editor — an editor whose primary focus, as the name suggests, is on the story being told, not so much on the words that are telling it. A good development editor helps a writer dig into plot and character, theme and meaning, continuity and narrative flow, making sure that a book takes fullest advantage of the potential of the story within it.

Once the writing and rewriting and consultation with a development editor are done, every book needs a copy editor. This is the editor most people associate with that title, digging into a book at the level of the text that tells the story, and flagging that text for clarity, usage, and consistency of style. When the copy editor has had his or her way with the book, and after the writer has worked on it yet again in response, the last editor it passes by is a proofreader — a specialist who forms the last line of defense against typographical errors, formatting glitches, and that place where you accidentally typed “pubic” instead of “public.”

All these stages take time. All these stages cost money, because good editors need to get paid. But a great book is a book that’s given enough time to be the best book it can be.

Now, I know for a fact that some of my favorite authors don’t work with outside editors the way many writers do. Among established novelists, development editors are rare. A lot of the best writers are their own copy editors as well, conscious of and signing off on the placement of every adverb and comma in their text. But that’s not the point. Working with an editor — an outside voice whose objective opinion can help a writer see strengths and weaknesses in a book that otherwise might not be apparent — is the rule, not the exception, especially for newer writers.

The great book is a book that’s given enough time to be the best book it can be. A great book is the book that’s not rushed to market in the first minute after the writing is done. A great book is one that undergoes a necessary process of revision and refinement, because every writer’s goal should be to write nothing less than great books.

• • •

Scott Fitzgerald Gray has been flogging his imagination professionally since deciding he wanted to be a writer and abandoning any hope of a real career in about the fourth grade. That was the year that speculative fiction and fantasy kindled his voracious appetite for literary escapism and a love of roleplaying gaming that still drives his questionable creativity. In addition to his fantasy and speculative fiction writing, Scott has dabbled in feature film and television, was a finalist for the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize from the Writers’ Guild of Canada, and currently consults and story edits on projects ranging from overly obscure indie-Canadian fare to Neill Blomkamp’s somewhat less-obscure District 9 and the upcoming Elysium.

Scott’s latest works are the high-school coming-of-age techno-thriller We Can Be Heroes [http://insaneangel.com/insaneangel/Fiction/Books/WeCanBeHeroes.html], and the anthology A Prayer for Dead Kings and Other Tales [http://insaneangel.com/insaneangel/Fiction/Books/PrayerForDeadKings.html]. If anybody happens to think those books are great, it’s because they collectively took about ten freaking years to write and publish, because a great book is a book… oh, you know.

You can visit his site at: http://www.insaneangel.com/

10 Best Fantasy Novels: Part 2! :D

Here is the final part of my Top 10 Best Fantasy Novels! If you missed Part 1, click here.

Without further ado, here is my Top 5:

5. Legend  by David Gemmell:

Legend was first written by David Gemmell, in 1976, to get his mind off of a cancer diagnosis, because it had always been a dream of his to get a book published before his death. Thankfully, the cancer wasn’t fatal, and the book was published in 1984. He went on to write many more books until he passed away in 2006.

The book is a classic tale of a few brave men, taking a stand against an enemy far outnumbering them. If you liked the film 300, or like the story of the Alamo, you will love this book!

4. The Iron Tower by Dennis L. McKiernan:

The Iron Tower trilogy (It’s now published as an omnibus.) is largely looked over by fans of Fantasy. Originally McKiernan wrote a sequel to LOTR, and his publisher couldn’t get the rights from the Tolkien estate. So the publisher said to make his own world, and change names. And also to write a prequel. That’s when The Iron Tower was born. Because of this, many think it’s a LOTR rip off…But I digress.

Most Fantasies have Quests and Dark Lords, like how Westerns always have Cowboys, and Evil Sheriffs/Judges/Railroaders. It doesn’t mean those books are rip offs. Plus, McKiernan has more of his own ideas in his books rather than blatantly copying LOTR word for word. And at times, it has better things than LOTR.

I recommend checking this one out. It’s pretty darn good. : )

3. Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman:

If you haven’t read Weis & Hickman, run don’t walk to your bookstore or library and check this one out! : ) If I start describing the plot, it’ll spoil the whole book. (It’s based on the Pen & Paper RPG game setting Dragonlance. If you have a problem with RPGs, don’t read this series.)

2. Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski:

When reading this book the first time, the tale really blew my mind. The book had previously been published in Sapkowski’s homeland of Poland. (You could say he is the Stephen King of Poland in terms of popularity.)

If you played any of the Witcher video games over the last few years, the character Geralt of Rivia is probably very familiar to you. These books are the material that the games are based on.

The thing I like about Sapkowski is that he takes the familiar clichés of the genre, and flips them on their heads. Elves are like Native Americans, and fight constantly against man. The Dwarves are lazy. And the main character is not the heroic Knight type that fights monsters; he’s more of the sarcastic Clint Eastwood type.

If you like an action tale with substance, check these books out! (Start with the first novel The Last Wish.)

1. Elric Of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock:

Here is pick number 1! : )

Moorcock has been writing for decades now. Not too many American Fantasy fans know who Elric is unfortunately. He has been more popular across the pond. But I think if people check out his stuff, they will really enjoy it. Especially if you like Game of Thrones, and if you play Table Top or Video Game RPGs.

Elric is one of Fantasy’s few tragic heroes. A whole lot of bad things happen to him. And he is an albino, and has a lot of health problems. To keep himself alive, he wields a magical sword called Stormbringer that takes the life force out of its foes, and transfers the power to Elric…This is all I should tell you about the story. And if you don’t read it for the story, read it for the prose. Moorcock to me, and to many other fans, is one of the best writers alive.

The copy I read of Elric Of Melnibone was the first edition from the 70s. That edition is long out of print, unfortunately. Amazon or eBay has a copy every once in a while. To save all the fuss, the version you should get is the 2008 Del Rey edition called Elric: The Stealer of Souls.

Well, that concludes my Top 10! Thanks for reading! : )

Note: I’m sorry if your favorite book didn’t make the cut. So to make up for that, I have a question for you: What is your favorite Fantasy Novel?