A belated conclusion to the Eternal Champion trilogy that previously merged with the Chronicles of Castle Brass trilogy. A conclusion, of sorts, is reached for John Daker/Erekose.
Once again, Moorcock explores the theme of the eternal struggle between chaos and order, of the necessity for a balance between the two. Tyranny and the lust for power also features heavily in this story. John Daker teams up with von Bek, both of whom have been brought to a strange realm that is on the cusp of succumbing to a tyranical regime and poised to fall under the dominion of chaos. A strange world of mostly water and a few islands, with floating steam powered city/ships that traverse the planet surviving as best they can.
It is an engaging story although the plot feels a little contrived. More generally a vehicle for exploring Moorcock's philisophical ideas which is what the dialogue frequently dwells on during pauses in the action. Again the Eternal Champion resists the draw of fate and destiny, hates being a pawn in the cosmic struggle between law and chaos. He dreams that mankind might be free to pursue it's own destiny, decide it's own fate.
I admire Moorcock's bare bones approach. He constructs fabulous and interesting words with minimal exposition. He develops characters only so far as is necessary to convey what he wants to convey. His imagination is given free reign to run rife but some may find his writing style a little on the bare side. Suits me perfectly though.