John Daker by Michael Moorcock
“The Jewel in the Skull” from Michael Moorcock’s Runestaff series was the first fantasy novel I read after the Lord of the Rings and Narnia. I was blown away by the intense imagination of Moorcock: he is even more creative with plot devices and creatures and weird things than Edgar Rice Burroughs.
His writing is fast-paced and direct. His sorcery horrific and his swordplay exciting. His heroes are men we want to win, and his worlds are full of amazing monstrosities. Like many of his novels and series, the Runestaff series revolves around a few very interesting concepts: in this case the jewel in the skull, the runestaff and the insane empire of Granbretan. Many of the locations are full of imaginative details, but thankfully Moorcock never bores the reader with lengthy background explanations: he just tantalizes him with fantastic dreamlike images.