The Revenge of the Rose

Michael Moorcock


The saga of Elric of Melniboné continues with the fifth volume of the author’s preferred text and organization, The Revenge of the Rose. This book collects the novel The Revenge of the Rose and the novella “The Stealer of Souls.”
       Elric of Melniboné — proud prince of ruins, kinslayer — call him what you will. He remains, together with maybe Jerry Cornelius, Michael Moorcock’s most enduring, if not always most endearing, character.
       There had been, from 1976 until 1989, no new novel-length episodes in the Elric Saga. The character’s eagerly awaited return in The Fortress of the Pearl was followed up in 1991 — thirty years from his first ever appearance — with The Revenge of the Rose.These two comparatively lengthy novels were a deliberate attempt on the author’s part to produce the most intelligent and literate chapters ever, expanding the breadth not only of the character, but also of the saga, and of the whole heroic-fantasy genre itself.
       As Moorcock has since recounted (about writing The Revenge of the Rose), “I felt I needed to bring some innovation and new vitality to the series. I needed to feel as ambitious about that book as I had felt in 1961 when I began the series and was one of very few writers producing this kind of fantasy, establishing the conventions of a budding genre…Whether one is writing popular fiction or literary fiction, one still needs to keep pushing the envelope. I had to continue to find new ways of telling the story.”
       This volume focuses mainly on dual quests: Elric’s own, to locate and retrieve the soulbox of his dead father Sadric, and his efforts to assist a mysterious being known only as the Rose to achieve her long-sought-after revenge. In this the two fierce heroes are accompanied by the intense, diminutive poet and temporal adventurer, Ernest Wheldrake — stranded in time and space as far removed from his original homeland in Gloriana’s Albion as ever could be — and by the variously psychic Family Phatt, outcasts from the ceaselessly moving cities of the Gypsy Nation in which they all find themselves.
       If Elric achieves his goal, then the lost soulbox — claimed by two rival Chaos Lords, Mashabak and Elric’s patron Arioch — will free his father’s spirit to join his mother’s in the fabled Forest of Souls where she awaits him. If the quest fails, then Sadric’s soul will leave its prison and enter Elric, uniting the pair in enmity for all time.
       The terrible and tragic nature of the crime and criminal against which the Rose seeks her revenge unfolds gradually throughout the book (and so it would seem inappropriate to reveal too much here). Suffice to say that she, Elric and their disparate allies all find themselves inexorably drawn into the orbit of the thoroughly untrustworthy Prince Gaynor the Damned, whose willingness to betray friend and foe alike in the furtherance of his own corrupted ends knows no bounds.
      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. It also has an introduction by Alan Moore and new artwork by legendary artist Brom.

Information on The Revenge of the Rose

  • Signed edition is limited to 300 copies, each signed by Michael Moorcock, Brom, and Alan Moore.
  • Bound in full black cloth, stamped in three colors.
  • Color illustrations hand-tipped into the book with translucent overlays.
  • Introduction by Alan Moore.
  • Oversize at 6½ × 9½ inches with 352 pages.
  • Gorgeous dustjacket.
  • Head and tail bands, ribbon marker.
  • Top-edge stain.
  • Original book price: $160.
  • Published October 2020.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-220-0.