And Then I Read: HAWKMOON: THE RUNESTAFF by Michael Moorcock

HawkmoonRunestaff

Image © Michael Moorcock.

I’ve now completed the quartet of books I’ve been reading over the last few months, all on my iPad or phone, featuring swordsmen Hawkmoon and D’Averc, warlord Count Brass, Hawkmoon’s lady love Yisselda, and on the opposing side the very evil version of the British Empire, Granbretan, its King Huon, Baron Meliadus, and Lady Flana, among many other characters.

It’s a very rigidly plot-driven story. So much so that when, in the beginning of this book, Hawkmoon tries to change the “fate” decreed for him by the ever manipulative Runestaff, he is driven back to the correct plot course by a huge storm. The Runestaff itself proves to be unimpressive, though it apparently controls everyone in the story to some degree. I’d call it a stand-in for the author himself. There’s lots of fighting, treachery, sorcery, scheming, betrayal, slaughter, and treachery, as well as a fair amount of bravery, cleverness, luck and skill on both sides. The final battle in the streets of Londra (London) is epic, but I found I wasn’t much moved by it, or by the fates of some characters I’d been following through four books. It all seemed too planned, too regulated by the dictates of the plot. Moorcock crafted a story here which kept me turning the pages, and offered many interesting characters, but after the first book most of the emotional involvement seemed to fade. Yes, it’s inventive in some ways, but too predictable in others. I was rarely surprised after the first book of the quartet.

I will probably try other Moorcock fantasy novels in the future, but I can only mildly recommend this group.

2 thoughts on “And Then I Read: HAWKMOON: THE RUNESTAFF by Michael Moorcock

  1. Bram

    Interesting to hear you’d been reading these digitally — as someone who’s seen no practical reason to give up paper, I’d enjoy hearing how it affected the reading experience.

  2. Todd Post author

    I’ve been reading books both on my phone/iPad and print books for a few years now, usually one or more of each simultaneously. There’s not a major difference in the experience for me, except that the digital versions can be more convenient to pick up in the odd moment for a page or two, or when I’m out somewhere waiting for something, and aren’t taking up shelf space in my very book-full house.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.