The third and what I assume was intended to be the final outing for Corum, The King of the Swords gets really, really weird. Moorcock gets into a lot of his Multiverse cosmology in this one, getting into what makes Chaos and Law tick, what the Eternal Champion really is, and how the various worlds work. Even though I’d read this before, I apparently blocked out how danged strange it is.
From dimension hopping (even beyond the 15 realms talked about before in this trilogy), to guest appearances of other incarnations of the Eternal Champion, a lot happens in a relatively short novel. Of course, Corum meets Elric, though not in the same way Elric met Corum in The Sailors on the Seas of Fate. Go figure. But there are other incarnations kicking around. One of these days, I’m going to read some of their books, too (I think maybe I read the first Hawkmoon book once upon a time…).
It’s funny how Moorcock likes to give his heroes amazing powers and then kinda randomly snatch them away. Why can’t Corum use his god-eye and god-hand in this? I don’t know. The reason given is not especially satisfying. Still, it ramps up the tension. You know he could fix things if he could just call on his powers, but nope.
As I said, this seems to have been intended to be the end of Corum’s story. Yet, I know there’s a second trilogy. I’ve never read it, and I plan to at some point. I’m curious to see how he’s brought back into the forever conflict of Law and Chaos.