Welcome back to the Elric Reread, in which I revisit one of my all-time favorite fantasy series: Michael Moorcock’s Elric saga. You can find all the posts in the series here. Today’s post talks about The Skrayling Tree, published last year in the UK as Destiny’s Brother. Because the Gollancz editions are meant to be definitive, we’ll use that title.
Back when I first started reading Michael Moorcock, I was living in San Antonio, TX. I was profoundly surprised to learn that Moorcock had a home not at all far away, near the town of Bastrop in the Hill Country. (Today he divides his time between that home, London, and Paris.) At the time, it seemed strange to me that someone I thought of as a particularly British writer should have relocated to the heart of Texas. Years later, I experienced a similar surprise and dislocation when I picked up Destiny’s Brother—which, when originally published as The Skrayling Tree, was subtitled “The Albino in America.” Because if there’s one thing I never expected from Moorcock, it was that one of his books would make me regret having largely skipped American literature and never read any Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.