Future Treasures: The Citadel of Forgotten Myths by Michael Moorcock

Future Treasures: The Citadel of Forgotten Myths by Michael Moorcock

The Citadel of Forgotten Myths (Saga Press, December 6, 2022). Cover artist unknown.

No, your eyes don’t deceive you. That’s a brand new Elric novel, arriving in hardcover next week.

Described as a prequel, The Citadel of Forgotten Myths takes place between the first and second books in the Elric Saga, Elric of Melniboné (published a whopping 50 years ago, in 1972) and The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (1976). It’s the first new Elric novel since The White Wolf’s Son, way back in 2005, and is highly anticipated.

Because of Moorcock’s stature in the field these days, the back cover of his new novel is strewn with glowing quotes from J. G. Ballard, The New Yorker and NPR — and I have to admit, that NPR quote is pretty darn good. It’s taken from a 2014 piece titled (of all things) These Nautical Reads Will Put Wind In Your Sails, and is written by novelist Jason Sheehan. Here’s the whole thing; it’s worth the read.

DAW paperback editions of the first six Elric books. Covers by Michael Whelan.

From NPR:

In the long litany of sword-wielding mass murderers that populate the pages of a thousand lesser fantasy novels, Elric of Melniboné is far and away the coolest, grimmest, moodiest, most elegant, degenerate, drug-addicted, cursed, twisted and emotionally weird mass murderer of them all. Elric, though, is nothing without the trappings of the fading and debauched land from which he fled. There are magical swords and Old Gods, evil sorcerers and heroic companions, sure. But the most awesome moment comes when the Melnibonean navy takes to the seas (accompanied, of course, by flights of dragons) in its pyramid-shaped golden battle barges, destroying the fleet of reavers Elric has brought home to punish the corrupt land that spawned him.

What’s The Citadel of Forgotten Myths about, then? Here’s a snip from the Publishers Weekly review.

Leaving the Young Kingdoms after betraying his own folk, Elric and his companion Moonglum travel to the World Below where a segment of Elric’s people, the Melnibonéans, settled alongside the dragon-like race known as the Phoorn. Quickly embroiled in Phoorn family squabbles, Elric survives but loses his prize sword to Chaos Lord Xiombarg, Queen of the Swords. This loss comes back to haunt him when he must defend a valley of apparently peaceful Melnibonéans against Xiombarg’s conquering horde… Longtime fans will find plenty that fascinates in this return to the long-running series.

The cover for the Saga Press omnibus Elric of Melniboné by Brom. Published February 15, 2022

Steven H Silver tells us the cover artist for The Citadel of Forgotten Myths is Brom, who’s also done several exquisite Elric portraits recently, including the cover for the fat Elric of Melniboné omnibus edition published by Saga Press earlier this year (and containing three novels, Elric of Melniboné, The Fortress of the Pearl, and The Sailor on the Seas of Fate, and one collection, The Weird of the White Wolf).

But I’m not sure it is Brom, and I can find no credit on the publisher’s site or anywhere on the web. I’ll leave it as ‘unknown’ for now.

The Citadel of Forgotten Myths will be published by Saga Press on December 6, 2022. It is 336 pages, priced at $28.99 in hardcover and $14.99 in digital formats. The cover artist is unknown (maybe Brom? I dunno.) Read an excerpt from the first chapter here.

See all our recent coverage of the best new upcoming fantasy here.

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Alec Semicognito

The Publisher’s Weekly summary covers the plot of the novelette Red Pearls, from 2010. Is this novel an expansion of Red Pearls? Or is Red Pearls one of a collection of short pieces mashed up into a novel (like most of the original six books)?

Tony Den

I thought that was a Von Beck? Frankly found it to be the worst part of issue 1. Pompous and somewhat boring. Rest of issue 1 was awesome.

David Montgomery

I enjoyed the first two Von Bek novels, the first more then the second but couldn’t work up interest for the rest.

David Montgomery

I am certain I have read book II another anthology. I think they are three standalone stories loosely connected by the setting on the other side of the world.

Joe H.

I think there’s some question as to where this actually fits into the existing Elric saga — Elric doesn’t meet Moonglum until relatively late in the series. When they describe it as falling between the first & second books in the “Elric Saga”, I’m guessing that means between the first & second _collections_ published by Saga Press, i.e., between Weird of the White Wolf and The Vanishing Tower; but there’s been some discussion on the Whetstone Discord server that it might actually fall somewhere in the _middle_ of the second Elric Saga collection.

Well regardless, I’ll be more than happy enough to work it all out for myself once it’s released.

Tony Den

I agree Joe. Having just read my way through the ‘entire” series, he definitely only met Moonglum after Sailor n the Seas of Fate.

Matthew Graybosch

If he’s left Zarozinia behind, wouldn’t that imply that this takes place after “Kings in Darkness” and possibly “The Flame Bringers?

Bob Byrne

YAY!!! I really didn’t care for the last part of the saga at all. Happy to see it set in the ‘Classic ‘ era. Woohoo!!!!

Bob Byrne

‘Fortress of the Pearl’ is when I began losing interest in Elric.

Tony Den

The cover looks awesome. Brom, possibly, I am no expert but it does have a certain look. Would have been great f the could have pulled one of Rodney Matthews’ pieces out the archives, no disrespect to this great art cover.

Funny this book should come out now. I had shied away from reading Elric for no tangible reason for so long, but when Fletcher published his re-read of Stormbringer here: https://www.blackgate.com/2022/07/23/carving-out-destiny-emstormbringerem-by-michael-moorcock/
I finally decided to bite the bullet and have been reading the series from start to where my books run out (Elric at the end of Time). I don’t have The Fortress of the Pearl or The Revenge of the Rose – yet.

Interesting note, the copies have are the Grafton UK early 1980’s editions, except for Stormbringer which is an old mayflower. the covers are all the same as the DAW’s, but in different order. Think the only common one is the Vanishing Tower.


Bring it! I could use another dose of Elric.

Thomas Parker

Criminy! I though I was done with this cursed yarn! What did Michael Corleone say? “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

R Torno

The ‘Citadel’ cover is definitely not Brom. He style is quite distinctive.

R Torno

The Brom has his hallmark alien/demonic humanoid quality, perfect for Elric, and the ship’s prow and brushwork for the mist and spirit forms does as well. I loved the cover he did for Tales of the White Wolf. It was a personal favorite of mine out of hundreds of excellent pieces through his decades of work.

[…] was hoping for a review, but it wasn’t to be—John O’Neill has spotlighted the new Elric novel in his Future Treasures series, but only to call attention to its release next week. (Is your […]

James McGlothlin

Just ordered it!

David Montgomery

I know what I am getting for Christmas

Aonghus Fallon

Cover art is by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme (apparently) – a French dude.

David Montgomery

I am enjoying listening to the Audible edition Citadel of Forgotten Myths during my gym workouts. I have read them before. Book I appears in the anthology Swords and Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery Edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders with the title Red Pearls.

I am just at the beginning of book II and I am sure I have read that before as well though I can’t determine where.

So it isn’t exactly a brand new novel but rather three (or at least two) loosely connected short stories. That said I am thoroughly enjoying them in audible format and will probably grab the Kindle edition at some point.

Eugene R.

On Locus (https://locusmag.com/2022/12/paul-di-filippo-reviews-the-citadel-of-forgotten-myths-by-michael-moorcock/), Paul Di Filippo posted a pretty glowing review of The Citadel of Forgotten Myths:

“Moorcock’s ability to convey action vividly, to envision otherworldly vistas, and to couch it all in elegant prose remains undimmed. I mentioned Lord Dunsany as a predecessor for Moorcock, but I would also have to enter Clark Ashton Smith as an inspiration and coequal. This alliance extends to Moorcock’s great ability to conjure up names, although I did object to one such: the evil Ramada Sabaru. The given name, of course, instantly evokes a hotel chain, while the surname echoes a carmaker. But aside from that, all is Vancian perfection.”

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