Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > The King of Elfland's Daughter

The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany
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Oct 14, 2009

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bookshelves: fantasy
Read in October, 2009

At times during the reading of this book, like Alveric I felt that I must have "lost Elfland". Reading Dunsany's prose is often much like reading poetry and it took me a while to get back into the rhythm. While in many ways this is a book not to be missed, read it when nothing presses..not time, not life, not circumstances. The outside pressing in will take away from this volume as it's more an experince than a story.

For those who haven't read Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett the eighteenth Baron Dunsany (Lord Dunsany) (and I hadn't since the 1970s) The writing will, both verbiage and style, date the book somewhat. If I were to try and come up with a modern reading experience close to The King of Elfland's Daughter it might be Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. You (as I said above) read the book for the experience more than the actual story. Said story is thick with folklore that you may possibly find familiar (remembering that this is in many ways a work that inspired much modern fantasy). The trip to Elfland (Faerie?) the time distortion, the lack of understanding between the worlds, and the conclusion...if you are familiar with folklore (and fairy tale) will be somewhat familiar.

While I didn't rate this as high as I have other books it has to do with my lack of enjoyment in the book. In many ways this was due to my inability to relax into this volume. I could return to it later, but as life tends to increase in speed and intricacy. Of course, I'm closing on 60 so that may change later. Still, while it takes the ability to relax into the story, you might want to try it.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Mohammed (last edited Oct 18, 2009 03:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mohammed I understand fully why you wouldnt enjoy the story.

Im glad i was already a fan of his writing before this book. It might have been too poetic and weird story otherwise. Since i was used to his writing i found his poetic prose made the story much more moving than it was at first.

I was already used to his folklore themes after read the 6 collections of his that is in one book Fantasy Masterwork series.

Have you read his short stories ?

message 2: by Simon (last edited Oct 18, 2009 09:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Simon Funnilly enough this was the first Dunsany I read but I suppose I must have been in the right frame of mind because the prose ashed over me and I enjoyed the story. It remains the only of his novels I have ever read but I'm sure it won't be the last.

Mike (the Paladin) I had not picked up Lord Dunsany since the 70s so it took some "reworking" of the mind. I tried a volume of his ghost stories, but couldn't get into it. I think my mind may be in too high a gear sometimes.

message 4: by Mohammed (last edited Oct 19, 2009 10:35AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mohammed Try to get his fantasy masterworks collections. The 6 in one. There are collections like Sword of Welleran that are more fantasy quest like than ghost stories and fable stories.

I have read a few of his ghost stories in those collections i respected him even more he changed the style to more classic supernatural horror writer than his usual poetic,magic stories.

Maybe its the your frame of mind when you read him. I have started reading great writers and couldnt cause my mind wasnt geared for them at that moment. Sometimes you want a simpler,entertaining stories.

Mike (the Paladin) I realize that I need to shift mental gears...but right now that's not so easy. I'm still in the post loss phase of things (don't want to belabor that, sorry, it does effect things). I'm also a bit "pushed with a lot going on. I didn't care for his ghost stories at all, but I only pushed through one and a half. maybe later I'll try again. Right now I'm pretty much in the mod for what amout to morality plays I suppose. I'm even tempted to return to some of the reads I've enjoyed in the past.

Still I have run down the Barker book (I don't have it in my library) plan to pick it up tonight.

Mohammed Understandable you cant force yourself mentally.

These kind of times lighter reads, reads you know will enjoy are better.

Steve I understand, from looking at your review, and the comments, that you felt this might not of been a good time for you to read this book. For what it's worth, I'm reading it right now, and it's boring me to tears. The first 70 pages or so are gorgeous, 5 star stuff. Since then I've been really struggling. I've read a few short stories by LD, and liked them. I'm starting to think that's the format that works best for him.

Mike (the Paladin) I ran across his work back in the '70s when there was sort of "re-discovery" of older fantasy, but never read this one till recently. I felt all the way as if I should be enjoying it more, because it's so loved. I may "re-try" some day, but it's not like I don't have a huge list of books waiting to be read. LOL

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