It's a page epic with an Elizabethan twang, but ER Eddison's circular myth, The Worm Ouroboros, has won me over. A High Fantasy novel written by Eric Rücker Eddison in , predating the Lord of the Rings by more than 30 years, The Worm Ouroboros presents a sort . The Worm Ouroboros, by E. R. Eddison, [], full text etext at


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The King dismissed his attendants, and made Gro sit on a bench piled with cushions above the hot bath, and drink more wine. And the King stripped off his jerkin of black cowhide and his hose and his the worm ouroboros of white Beshtrian wool and went down into the steaming bath.

Gro looked with wonder on the mighty limbs of Gorice the King, so lean and yet so strong to behold, as if he were built all of iron; and a great marvel it was how the King, when he had put off his raiment and royal apparel and went down stark naked into the bath, yet seemed to have put off not one whit of his kingliness and the majesty and dread which belonged to him.

So when he had plunged awhile in the swirling waters of the bath, and soaped himself from head to foot and plunged again, the King lay back luxuriously in the water and said to Gro, "Tell me of Corsus and his sons, and of Laxus and Gallandus, and of all my men west over seas, as the worm ouroboros shouldest tell of those whose life or death in our conceit importeth as much as that of a scarab fly.

The Worm Ouroboros (Literature) - TV Tropes

Speak and fear not, keeping nothing back nor glozing over nothing. Only that should make me dreadful to thee if thou shouldn't practise to deceive me.

If thou shalt drink deep of the pleasures of language, if thou dost seek fearsome challenge brimming o'er with fantastickal wonder, dread enchantements and treacherous peril Thus ends Corund's son Cargo.

Most the worm ouroboros the characters, actually. This, of course, gives them opportunity to escape.

The Worm Ouroboros Index

The main storyline begins and ends with and ends with an envoy from Witchland arriving to Demonland. The Lords of Demonland.


Mantichoras supposedly subsist on human the worm ouroboros. Gro and Corund, while their friendship lasts. Strong, loud and likes to fight, but also somewhat dim.

However, unlike your typical Brute, Corund is generally honorable. Corsus fits this better. And, no, he does not have Corund's sense of honor.

The Worm Ouroboros - Wikipedia

On the other hand Corsus tends to use subterfuge and deception, while Corund is more direct in his approach. Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff": The novel includes both Hippogriffs and "Mantichoras", and both may be somewhat different from what most modern readers would expect.

Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The mysterious, nameless old man that warns Spitfire before the Battle of Thremnir's Heugh is identifiable as Odin for those versed in Norse Mythology and legend.

Less morally negative than the usual the worm ouroboros, as this is strongly implied to be due to being the only person who doesn't think War Is Glorious in an entire world of Blood Knights.

Prince La Fireez has to choose between his vassal duties to King Gorice and his debt of honor to the Demons, who once saved his life.

The outfits of significant characters get extensive description, with special attention given to the gemstones, precious metals, fabrics, and any unusual characteristics.

Zeldornius, Helteranius and Jalcanaius Fostus "ensorcelled" in The worm ouroboros.

  • The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison
  • World of fantasy: The Worm Ouroboros | Books | The Guardian
  • The Worm Ouroboros: E. R. Eddison: : Books

Once you get past these details, The Worm Ouroboros is a thoroughly enjoyable book which will satisfy the worm ouroboros who has finished the Lord of the Rings and wants a new immersive universe.