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One of Michael Moorcock’s most brilliant and highly decorated novels, here is the story of a powerful queen whose quest for sexual satisfaction could destroy her kingdom.
A fable satirizing Spenser’s The Faerie Queen and reflecting the real life of Elizabeth I, Gloriana, Or The Unfulfill’d Queen tells of a woman who ascends to the throne upon the death of her debauched and corrupted father, King Hern. Gloriana’s reign brings the Empire of Albion into a Golden Age, but her oppressive responsibilities choke her, prohibiting any form of sexual satisfaction—no matter what fetish she tries. Her problem is in fact symbolic of the hypocrisy of her entire court. While her life is meant to mirror that of her nation—an image of purity, virtue, enlightenment and prosperity—the truth is that her peaceful empire is kept secure by her wicked chancellor Monfallcon and his corrupt network of spies and murderers, the most sinister of whom is Captain Quire, who is commissioned to seduce Gloriana and thus bring down Albion and the entire empire.
Forced to flee his city of Melnibone, Elric and his sorcerous blade Stormbringer journey through barren hills to the edge of a black sea. Elric finds a dark ship and begins a voyage that will bring him face-to-face with all the champions Time can summon—and more.
Originally a trilogy comprised of The Knight of the Swords, The Queen of the Swords, and The King of the Swords. They are now collectively referred to as “The Corum Trilogy”, “The Coming of Chaos”, or “The Swords Trilogy”. The trilogy was nominated for a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in 1972.