The Sleeping Sorceress

Michael Moorcock


Finally! Elric of Melnibone makes his return in what will no doubt be acclaimed as one of the very best chapters in the saga of the doomed albino prince. While many of you may recall reading this installment in the series as The Vanishing Tower, Mr. Moorcock has made substantial alterations to the text, bringing it up to the quality that you have come to expect from the author who is certainly in the discussion as Britain’s greatest living fantasist. It’s true that at the time of original publication, fair claims could be made that Moorcock wrote many of the “fill-in-the-gaps” stories and novels in a tremendous hurry at the insistence of publishers who knew that they had a goldmine in Elric and weren’t entirely sure that the same degree of success was in the cards for Jerry Cornelius…
       It has all worked out for the best; the intervening years have given Moorcock the opportunity to revise and shore up these additional pieces, (all of which take place before the events recounted in Stormbringer), and rather than the work being done by a writer in a tremendous hurry, trying to juggle the editing of the legendary magazine, New Worlds with the authoring of a great many new novels as a demanding publisher eager for more of their “sure thing” hung over his shoulder like so many vultures. We have the results of one of the greatest fantasists in the world applying his energies to carefully revise and rewrite these additions to the Elric series bringing them up to the highest possible level of quality.

This volume focuses mainly on Elric’s opposition to the Melnibonean sorcerer, Theleb Ka’arna, who on the surface does not initially appear to be a worthy opponent, however, it is Elric’s own self-absorption and angst that allows Theleb Ka’arna opportunities to both escape Elric’s rage and to catch him in traps that by all rights he should have avoided. Moorcock deftly utilizes Elric’s flaws in order to build page-turning suspense that is almost unique to the sword and sorcery genre. In much of the genre we expect the brawny (if not necessarily brainy) hero to somehow muddle along and by sheer luck as much as anything else defeat the much smarter sorcerer, usually done in by his own hubris. In the Elric saga, we are given a character as capable of wielding a powerful spell as he is adept at wielding the vampiric black blade, Stormbringer.
      The contents page and other page spreads are shown below. The titles, contents, and order of the works appear, for the first time, exactly as Michael Moorcock has long intended, making these the most definitive sets of these books ever made available.
       The Sleeping Sorceress includes the novel of the same name and two short stories: “The Singing Citdael” and “While the Gods Laugh.” It also has an introduction by Walter Mosley and new artwork by Tyler Jacobson.

Information on The Sleeping Sorceress

  • Signed edition is limited to 300 copies, each signed by Michael Moorcock, Tyler Jacobson, and Walter Mosley.
  • Bound in full black cloth, stamped in three colors.
  • Color illustrations hand-tipped into the book with translucent overlays.
  • Introduction by Walter Mosley.
  • Oversize at 6½ × 9½ inches.
  • Gorgeous dustjacket.
  • Head and tail bands, ribbon marker.
  • Top-edge stain.
  • Original book price: $150.
  • Published February 2020.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-219-4.