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The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  316 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (1878-1957) was an Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work in fantasy published under the name Lord Dunsany. He was a prolific writer, penning short stories, novels, plays, poetry, essays and autobiography, and publishing over sixty books, not including individual plays. The stories in his first two bo ...more
Paperback, 92 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Dodo Press (first published 1908)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mladen
Nov 17, 2015 Mladen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Predivna zbirka priča majstora fantazije. Lord Dansejni je nepravedno zapostavljen na našim prostorima, a kada se spominje, uvek ide samo kao napomena da je Tolkin bio njime inspirisan.
Dansejni je mnogo više od zaboravljenog Tolkinovog korena. Njegova maštovitost i jezička raskošnost, poetičan stil koji nalikuje pažljivo vučenim pokretima i nijansama jednog slikara, podjednako maštovitog čitaoca će potpuno uvući u priču.
Ako pak volite novotrendovske fantazije u kojima saznajete celokupna porodi
...more
Tonari
May 19, 2013 Tonari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tolkien was a curse for fantasy literature.

The professor, speaking the truth, has no fault, but he and the ones who declared the commercial success of the "tolkenian" vision of fantasy (Terry Brooks and Dungeons & Dragons above all) were a curse for this genre. Today, any writer of fantasy must deal with the pattern elves-dwarves-orcs-humans-hobbits/halflings to embrace it, deny it or parody it, at least to some extent.

Maybe fantasy was much more simple for Lord Dunsany: there was no Tolkien

...more
Joseph
Apr 16, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A splendid collection including some of Dunsany's finer stories (the titular Sword of Welleran, and The Fortress Unvanquishable Save by Sacnoth, amongst others) plus prose poems reminiscent of his earlier work in Time and the Gods and The Gods of Pegana, and the occasional early 20th Century ghost story. As always, the chief attraction is his gorgeous, almost Biblical prose.
Nenče
Dec 16, 2014 Nenče rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, short-story
Dunsany is a dreamer, and THE SWORD OF WELLERAN AND OTHER STORIES are not just stories but flights of fancy rendered in gorgeous Jacobean language.

It is hard to describe the flow of the narrative and control of the language with a few isolated examples, but here is an excerpt that demonstrates the mystery and turns of phrase present in his writing:

"In a wood older than record, a foster brother of the hills, stood the village of Allathurion; and there was peace between the people of that village
...more
Georgie
At the time Dunsany was writing, fantasy worlds were uncommon - maybe a bit of William Morris here and there.  But reading some of the first lines of The Sword of Welleran, you can see the straight line linking Dunsany to Tolkein and beyond, 

"Yet in the time of which I write the art of war had been forgotten in Merimna, and the people almost slept. To and fro and up and down they would walk through the marble streets, gazing at memorials of the things achieved by their country's swords in the ha
...more
Derek
Dec 31, 2010 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the whole of "The Sword of Welleran" to my wife's abdomen the other night, as part of Project Fetal Education. I'm not sure how the child took to it, but my wife fell asleep well before the end.

Reciting it revealed how much of an acquired taste Dunsany really is, with bardic stylings and a sort of high language that almost demands performance and an unhinged sentence structure that forces rereading until you think you understand it. And occasionally, such as with "The Lord of Cities", the
...more
Christian
Mar 06, 2014 Christian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous, poetic fantasy. Short stories about exotic places and the beauty of nature. The best is 'The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save For Sacnoth', that reads like a description of the best Dark Souls level ever.
Greg
May 14, 2017 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful collection of fantasy tales that feel ancient. More fairy tale than Tolkien.
Joel Puga
A Espada de Welleran

Lord Dusany é um nome incontornável da fantasia mundial. E este é o conto dele que mais apreciei, pelo menos dos que li até ao momento. Fala-nos do poder dos mitos e das lendas e da influência que têm na vida dos homens. Como podem proteger ou destruir.
O ambiente é excelente. A descrição da cidade de Merimna, em especial as estátuas, cheias de simbolismo, é fenomenal. A maneira como a história da cidade e dos seus herois nos é relatada está muito bem conseguida. E tudo escrit
...more
Ethan
Aug 05, 2016 Ethan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Perhaps what I love most about Lord Dunsany's fiction is his sublime imagination and his deliberately archaic and Biblical prose, concise but with great evocative power. His brand of fantasy is mythic and dreamlike, and is hugely inventive and influential.

The title story, "The Sword of Welleran", is the first tale I read by Dunsany, and it still is perhaps my most favorite fantasy short story. It concerns the invasion of the people of idyllic Merimna, who have no desire or knowledge of battle, t
...more
Pop Bop
Feb 09, 2015 Pop Bop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Dunsany Would Have Written the Stories They Told in Rivendell

Everyone always starts articles and reviews about Lord Dunsany by observing that he was probably the finest British fantasy writer before Tolkien emerged. I have no quibble with that position. But a bit more needs to be added.

"Lord of the Rings" is, of course, the ultimate quest adventure, full of action and movement. People drink beer, perform noble deeds, sharpen their swords, rally for battle, and do heroic things in a vast and dang
...more
Jorge
Jan 27, 2014 Jorge rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
En Wikipedia se dice que Lord Dunsany es precursor de Tolkien, Lovecraft y muchos otros escritores de literatura fantástica. Este compendio de cuentos y relatos lo deja muy claro: cuentos de fantasía épica (como "La espada de Welleran", que da nombre al libro, o "La fortaleza invencible salvo que Sacnoth la ataque"), cuentos de hadas ("La parentela de los elfos"), relatos de fantasmas ("Los salteadores de caminos") y muchos otros que rezuman onirismo, intertextualidades bíblicas, fascinación por ...more
Saskia
May 28, 2016 Saskia is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I will be giving a short review for each of the stories after I read them and then decide on a final rating as a whole! I really enjoyed The Kith of the Elf Folk on audiobook so I am interested to read more by Lord Dunsany!

The Sword of Welleran 5/5 - this was a beautiful story.

On the Dry Land 4/5

The Doom of La Traviata 3/5 - this one was a bit weird, but I was surprised by how radical the ending (or the last line) was.

The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth 4/5 - really enjoyed this one.
...more
Kristyn
Jan 16, 2015 Kristyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have sometimes struggled to find a appropriate comparison to describe Lord Dunsany's writing to those who haven't read it.

This week, I went to a museum about the ancient Near East, and realized that his stories often remind me of translations of ancient epics.


Although I enjoyed this collection, the stories in A Dreamer's Tales or The Book of Wonder were more interesting. Still, the "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth" sparked images in my mind which made me want to illustrate the
...more
Hal Brodsky
Feb 03, 2013 Hal Brodsky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Lord Dunsany was an Irish Nobleman who was intrumental in popularizing Chess in Ireland, invented his own version of "Fantasy Chess" (one side has standard pieces and the other 32 pawns) which is still being played, and wrote fantasy books and stories which he successfully published. Tolkein was apparently influenced by Dunsany.
Most of the stories in this collection are what I would classify as mood pieces, without much tension and drama.
The writing is beautiful and often Victorian. Get this b
...more
Timothy Ferguson
This is a beautiful series of early fantasy stories, by a master of the genre. Actually, I’d go further, Dunsany’s work helped to define the genre. The Sword of Welleran seems like sword and sandal fantasy, but that’s because so many people have stolen and recycled his ideas. The plots are thin, but as an exercise in style, these are wonderful. I’d particularly recommend the eponymous short story and The Fortress Unvanquishable, Except for Sacnoth.

I’d recommend this to fans of the genre, who wan
...more
Althea Ann
Feb 03, 2014 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of just the title story:

The city of Merinma's heroes and defenders are legendary. Just the rumors of their martial prowess have effectively protected the city into an age of peace and safety. Which has been a good thing, since all the heroes are long-dead, leaving only statues and monuments behind. But when the city finally faces emboldened invaders, the spirit of those heroes enters the populace... but also causes them to realize that an era is passed and gone.
Dunsany's artificially elev
...more
Isil
Sep 21, 2008 Isil rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irlande, xxe, fantasy
Ces nouvelles ont été écrites au début du 20è siècle. L’écriture est très poétique mais j’ai eu beaucoup de mal à rentrer dans l’univers de Dunsany. Certains contes sont assez jolis, comme "Les Cousines du Peuple elfin" (une créature des marais voudrait une âme) ou celui où l’Amour s’adresse à un vieil homme, mais la plupart m’ont laissés indifférente, voire m’ont agacés à cause de la surcharge de répétitions : "La ville invincible sauf par Sacnoth", par exemple: deux phrases sur trois commencen ...more
Jay
Apr 20, 2011 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this because I heard that H.P. Lovecraft felt Lord Dunsany was one of the two people who really influenced his storytelling (the other being Poe). I can definitely see that connection (word choice to set the scene, ancients gods, cities, and lands, and even a dream land), but these stories are so much brighter and cheerier than those of Lovecraft... it really surprised me. I really enjoyed these magical tales; they're mostly the sort of stories I'd be willing to read aloud to my ...more
Etienne
I was expecting something more along the lines of The Gods of Pegana. I should have known better. It is indeed a fine collection---the Lord Dunsany is very mindful of the fictional dream---but I could have done without the ekphrastic elucubrations.

If you can't be bothered with the whole book, I recommend "The Kith of the Elf-Folk" and "The Highwaymen."
William Frost
Like most fantasy of this time period, don't go looking for interesting characters, or deep ideas, or original seeming plots. (It may have been original at the time; I don't know.) What you will get is some pretty heavy purple prose. It's an interesting capsule of its time, and some of the stories are sufficiently clever that its worth a read if you are interested in the history of the genre.
Isobelle Fox
Jan 14, 2016 Isobelle Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dunsany
The best fantasy from the best fantasist. Ever.
Jim Bradford
Wonderful, fanciful, mysterious fantasy. No one does it like Dunsany did it.
Ann
Oct 01, 2014 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an audiobook from LibriVox.

https://librivox.org/the-sword-of-wel...
Shauna
Jan 28, 2012 Shauna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every sf/f writer should read some Lord Dunsany. The stories in this brief collection are slow moving by modern standards, but most are worth the read.
M. M. J. Miguel
Dec 19, 2016 M. M. J. Miguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just Beatiful...
Velvetink
Apr 26, 2015 Velvetink marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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Devowasright
Jul 27, 2010 Devowasright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-fantasy
what a stellar imagination. perhaps a, hmmm, slight influence on tolkien? :)
Kia
Apr 09, 2015 Kia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully Poetic.

Definitely must read again!
Scott
Mar 23, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-fantasy
A great collection of stories from this underappreciated fantasy writer. Dunsany's trademark lyrical, quasi-Biblical style is on full display, as is his astounding imagination.
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Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany was an Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work in fantasy published under the name Lord Dunsany. More than eighty books of his work were published, and his oeuvre includes hundreds of short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays. Born to one of the oldest titles in the Irish peerage, he lived much of his life ...more
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