Phoenix in Obsidian | Michael Moorcock

Second volumes rarely live up to the first. Setting aside some obvious exceptions (like The Empire Strikes Back), you expect sophomore efforts to lack the originality of the first. In the first volume you build the world, in the second volume you work within it.

Fortunately, Phoenix in Obsidian bucks this trend. This second book in Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series feels like a new start. While the characters still feel unidimensional, the world they inhabit is fleshed out in intriguing detail. Where the first volume focused on hack-and-slash style action, the second book is more of a metaphysical mystery.

After finishing this volume, I quickly found a second-hand copy of the third book in the series and ordered it online. Now I need to see how John Decker’s story arc ends!

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