The Dragon in the Sword | Michael Moorcock

The Dragon in the Sword is the final volume in Moorcock’s Eternal Champion trilogy (Book 1: The Eternal Champion; Book 2: Phoenix in Obsidian). It’s interesting to consider the distance between the books. The first two volumes were both published in 1970 with 159 and 127 pages respectively. This third book was released 17 years later and weighs in at 283 pages. The higher page-count is welcome! Moorcock’s writing is more refined and the metaphysical questions which took a backseat in the first book have become as exciting as the mere action of book 1.

Like the earlier books, the eternal champion is called from his life to once again serve fate in another part of the multiverse. This time, however, he begins his new life by encountering a person from his original time-frame: our 20th century. Ulrich von Bek is a Christian who attempted to kill Hitler and escaped the Gestapo by entering this area of the multiverse known as the Middle Marches. Obviously, Bonhoeffer comes to mind when you hear this sort of back-story. The similarities end there.

At first, I thought the glorification of violence which overwhelmed the first book would take a back seat to questions about the nature of evil. While this was certainly explored, in the end, the violence was merely shifted to a more abstract realm (you’ll have to read the book to understand this sentence—I don’t want to give away the plot).

The plot moves quickly and the characters are exciting. These three books have served their purpose as a good introduction to the prodigious works of Michael Moorcock.

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