Best 1922 Adventures (6)
February 10, 2017
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1922 adventure novels. Happy 95th anniversary!
E.R. Eddison’s fantasy adventure The Worm Ouroboros.
On the planet Mercury — essentially, a fantasy version of Earth — the Lords of Demonland (the brothers Juss, Spitfire, and Goldry Bluszco, and their cousin Brandoch Daha) are at war with King Gorice of Witchland, who demands that Demonland recognize him as overlord. Juss and his brothers reply that they and all of Demonland will submit if the king (a famous wrestler) can defeat Goldry Bluszco in a wrestling match; Gorice is killed. Gorice’s successor, a wizard, banishes Goldry to an enchanted mountain prison. Lord Spitfire is sent back to raise an army out of Demonland, while Lord Juss and Brandoch Daha, aided by King Gaslark of Goblinland, attempt an assault on Carcë, the capital of the Witches, where they think Goldry is held. Juss and Brandoch Daha are captured — will La Fireez, the prince of Pixyland, come to their aid? Many more adventures lie ahead… but when the exploits and battles are over, everything returns to exactly the way it was.
Fun facts: J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were fans of Eddison’s novel — the title of which refers to the Norse myth of a dragon swallowing its own tail. Like the worm Ouroboros, Eddison’s tale ends where it begins.
Let me know if I’ve missed any 1922 adventures that you particularly admire.
What do you think?
This book was a cult fave in my small D&D, S&S, JRRT, CSL, PKD, REH, ERB, Fritz Leiber, and Heavy Metal squad back in high school, circa 1978.
Not sure I could re-read it now!
Mark — I know what you mean. It’s cod-“medieval” in style — a necessary step on the way to, say, Tolkien’s lucid prose. Easier to read than William Hope Hodgson, anyway.
Comments are closed.