Elric, the last Emperor of Melnibone, left his island empire to learn more about the world outside with a hope of finding a way to reverse the decline of his people's civilization. During his travels he was accused of being a spy - his race is not much trusted by outsiders - but was able to flee from his imprisonment. Being closely pursued he had no choice but to board a mysterious ship bound for an unknown destination - unknown to everybody on board except for even more mysterious captain.
When I read this book I realized how it is refreshingly different from the majority of modern fantasy with its grittiness and minimal or even non-existing magic. If fact, some of the modern fantasy works can be considered historical fiction after some trivial changes, like renaming of the places, cities, nations, etc.
This book is as far from historical fiction as you can get. Do you want grand sorcery with spectacular results? You got it. Do you want magical creatures unlike anything you have seen in the real life? You got it. Do you want to witness first-hand the struggle of gods and see how it affects humans and how humans can sometimes affect the outcome in turn? You got it. Do you want an interesting hero alien enough yet still retaining enough humanity for you to be able to connect to him? You got it again.
I love the series. It is also interesting that each book is less than 200 pages - in the modern fantasy I consider a book having about 350 pages to be very short. I rate this book with 4 very solid stars, and I think about upgrading to 5 stars after I will finish the whole series.