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The King of Elfland's Daughter Paperback – 1 Jan 2020
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It’s not simply the beauty of the language, the astute eye for character, the hint of humor, or even the spell of legendry and wonder, but Dunsany’s unique combination of all of the above.— Charles de Lint
A fantasy novel in a class with the Tolkien books.—L. Sprague de Camp
It could be the very best fairy story ever written.—Gahan Wilson
No amount of mere description can convey more than a fraction of Lord Dunsany’s pervasive charm.—H. P. Lovecraft
One of the greatest writers of this century.—Arthur C. Clarke
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This is high fantasy at its best. An earthling prince falls in love with an Elf princess and brings her away from her kingdom. They have a son, part magic and part human. But life in fantasies is never smooth.
This is a small book but took me some time to read, partly because I often stopped to savor the prose.
"And her voice had the music that, of earthly things, was most like ice in thousands of broken pieces rocked by a wind of Spring upon lakes in some northern country."
Dunsany was hailed as the "Kings of Dreams". I think this passage from this book illustrates his writing best:
"And little he knew of the things that ink may do, how it can mark a dead man's thought for the wonder of later years, and tell of happenings that are gone clean away, and be a voice for us out of the dark of time, and save many a fragile thing from the pounding of heavy ages; or carry to us, over the rolling centuries, even a song from lips long dead on forgotten hills."
I got this book because it was a source for "The Elven", by Bernhard Hennen, and in fact all the main elements of the excellent book of Hennen are present here. The eternal life of the elves, the gateways between the two worlds, the magical nature of the elves, and the hatred of Christianity toward magical things. But, The King of Elflands Daughter is not a good book by today standards, is a relic of a distant past that did not age well!
He creates worlds better and far more beautiful than this one of ours.
Easy to create a fictional world better than this one, sure. Any schoolkid can write "and everybody shares what they have."But to create a fictional world far more mysterious and beautiful than this one...that's only the author of this book, which is maybe his best fantasy novel.
Buy it, pilgrim!
Another great-fantasy is String Theory - the Novel
Some might find the language, and perhaps a few of the ideas, archaic. However, it is considered a fantasy classic and well worth picking up, especially if you are a fantasy lover. You'll likely find that the more modern fantasy tales still borrow from books such as The King of Elfland's Daughter. It's not an easy read, but it is a beautiful one.