Friday, October 24, 2014

Elric The Ruby Throne


Huge fan of Michael Moorcock's creation Elric over here. I've read the old comics when they were published by First and Dark Horse. I had read the books long before that.

This volume, which is a slim hardcover that goes for $10.01 on Amazon, slipped by me until another fantasy fan showed his own copy arriving. Didn't take long and I had ordered my own.

This volume covers the point we're introduced to Elric till the time he summons Arioch. I'd say what, a third of the book?

The story is familiar since I've read the novel and the old comics, but it's different as well. I don't know if that's because the author and artist took some liberties with the material or I'm senile. The good new though, is that even the material I don't remember being here, fits in well with the overall theme and arc of the character of Elric.

Now one of the things I like about this version? It really puts a new spin on things for me. The artists, Robin Recht and Didier Poli are fantastic. While I'm not sold on all of the character designs, the overall graphic design and choices made in the book are fantastic and powerful.

For example, let's start with the Ruby Throne. I'm probably not alone when I say I've always thought of the Ruby Throne as being, well, a throne made of one solid ruby or something of that nature. Here, the artist creates a massive throne of which the chair portion is the smallest. The throne is the type that could not physically be moved so large is it. I can see a question to break off a part of the throne for use in a spell component or ritual but actually stealing the whole thing?

At the end, when Elric summons Arioch, who appears in this instances as a child, he does so with numerous blades surrounding him. This gives Arioch a 'anima flare' if you will that fits in well with the character and his name as the Prince of Swords.

There's also the common cruelty of live in the empire. For example, Doctor Jest here looks like he could be from a certain mercenary faction in Warmachine with his artificial limbs that are dissecting prisoners. Elric's fiance feeds him blood and souls in order to empower him, because he is a sickly creature. It's far more graphic then I recall but it fits with the theme of a demon worshipping society.

There are other little bits that don't match my memory. For example, when Elric leads his kinsmen against a raiding party, when some seek to escape, Elric summons the demonic depths of the sea to handle them. This leaves him weakened at which point he is dragged by one of the raiders over the ship and his evil cousin has opportunity to save him. I recall it being his cousin who pushed him.

Minor things and they don't effect the story at all.

This book is perfect for any fantasy fan who wants to have some fantastic art work. The story is short enough that it leaves you wanting the second book, which is also available for pre-order. Hope I remember that one!