Moorcock says he wrote these because he was disappointed with Tolkien (who had been supportive of him in his boyhood) because Lord of the Rings didn't have the acceptance of death of the Eddas, Beowulf and so on. Stormbringer very closely echoes the Norse myths where heroes have to die in order to renew the world and while Moorcock lacks the sophisticated Anglo Saxon scholarship of Tolkien, he responds better to the raw subject matter of myth and legend. That is why Elric, while not as consistently written as Lord of the Rings, has its power and why all Moorcock's books have their power. He never avoids the fundamental realities of life. Indeed, they are his subject matter. As a result he can't provide the levels of escape Tolkien and his imitators offer. It is why Hamlet is at every level a superior work to Lord of the Rings. It is why Dickens was greater than his imitators and it is why Robert Louis Stevenson, H. Rider Haggard and Arthur Conan Doyle continue to last where there more favoured literary contemporaries have disappeared -- those writers rooted their adventure fiction in a solid acceptance of the real world, the harshness as well as the romance. Stormbringer is a fine, vivid read and it works, in spite of its origins almost. It is a significant book because it was Moorcock's first full-length novel and it contains most of the obsessions which he develops both through his Eternal Champion series and his mainstream literary novels like King of the City. In Moorcock there is no difference between fantasy and reality because his fantasy actually addresses the realities we all have to deal with and his realistic fiction frequently addresses our common fantasies. Above all, however, Stormbringer is a fast, furious, emotionally engaging and wildly exhilerating Good Read!