I read it in my childhood (~1990). I remember the following plot elements:

The main hero was male. He had lost his hand, and got another hand instead from a god or other divine creature. The new hand had 6 or 7 fingers.

When he attended a feast (or a party), the hand grabbed the king, and killed him by suffocation, against the hero's will. Later, the hero found out that the hand actually saved him, as the king intended to kill him.

The book was divided into several chapters, with names like "queen of hearts","king of spades".

Do you have any idea?


2 Answers 2


It could have been one of the omnibus editions of Michael Moorcock's stories of Corum. The first trilogy was "The Knight of Swords", "The Queen of Swords" and "The King of Swords". Corum also had a silver hand that did occasionally act of its own free will.

  • 4
    You are right! I can't believe it! I've been looking for the name of the book in vain for the last two years. StackExchange literally makes the world a better place. Sep 7, 2012 at 21:45
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    Bugger. It's not often I know the answer to a question before I get finished reading it, but Donald was too quick. Awesome series of books!
    – gef05
    Sep 7, 2012 at 22:42
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    It's too bad that this appears out of print. Sounds really interesting.
    – Zoe
    Sep 7, 2012 at 23:35
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    They are quite good, as all of the Eternal Champion books are. @Zoe - there are used books available on Amazon, or you can undoubtedly find them in ebook form, from ... alternate sources. Sep 8, 2012 at 2:52
  • I had all of these books (plus about 20 other Moorcocks) on my shelf until about 3 months ago when I gave them to a local charity bookshop. I read the first two in the Corum series a few years ago, but never got around to the King of Swords
    – m-smith
    Sep 17, 2012 at 12:26

I couldn't figure out a good way to edit this into Donald's answer...

There are two Corum trilogies. The first is called either "The Swords Trilogy" or "Corum: The Prince in the Scarlet Robe." The second is called "Corum: The Prince with the Silver Hand."

You are thinking of the first - the Swords Trilogy - where the three books are references to three of the gods of Chaos:

  1. The Knight of the Swords (Arioch, prominent in the Elric books)
  2. The Queen of the Swords (Xiombarg)
  3. The King of the Swords (Mabelode (although I'm sure I've seen him referred to as Mabel_r_ode in some other hero's book))

In the Swords Trilogy, Corum loses a hand and is given "The Hand of Kwll" - which comes from yet another god, Kwll, who is alive, but exiled, and still has some control over his hand. Kwll sometimes makes the hand do things that Corum doesn't want, e.g. killing that king you mentioned.

At the end of The King of the Swords, Corum gives the hand back to Kwll in return for his help.

In the second trilogy, Corum has made himself a silver hand which, as Donald says, sometimes does things of its own free will. Specifically (spoiler ahead...)

the silver hand ends up killing Corum at the end of the last book.

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