This, the fifth of the six books in the Elric Saga was a step up from the previous couple for me. While I’ve enjoyed all the books, up to this point, this one had more energy to it and Michael Moorcock seemed like he was really hitting his stride, here.
The Bane of the Black Sword introduces us to, Zarozinia, the woman who would become the real love of Elric’s life, despite his intense feelings for the deceased Cymoril.
Also, Moorcock continues to expand his universe while building off of many of the things he’s established, thus far.
There are some bits in this that are slow but the good stuff makes up for that and the action and adventure are pretty solid, all around.
My only real gripe about this book, and the others as well, is that there always seems to be magical assistance that is too readily available to Elric. This has always been my issues with magic in fiction, in general. It should never be used as a “fix all”, as it diminishes the hero’s journey and their struggle.
However, this book has one hell of a payoff at the end, and it’s certainly full of a lot more positives than negatives.