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The Iron Dragon's Daughter [Hardcover]

Michael Swanwick
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 1994
Part classic fantasy, part Charles Dickens, The Iron Dragon's Daughter is one of the most unique novels in the genre. Jane is a changeling child, enslaved in a factory that makes the iron dragons - terrible engines of war - until she discovers the secret of the dragons' sentience and is able to use one of the beasts to escape. Then, her adventures as a thief and an outsider take her into a reality rich in wild magic and sharp-edged technology, a world where Time and shopping malls have a strange relationship and gryphons have a low capacity for alcohol. A surprising and brilliant novel that undercuts the easy escapism of more conventional fantasy.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; hardcover edition (Jan 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688131743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688131746
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 976,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

'A superb book' John Clute --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Michael Swanwick was born in 1950. He is recognised as one of the most powerful and consistently inventive writers of his generation. THE IRON DRAGON'S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award; it was a New York Times Notable Book, as was JACK FAUST. He has been nominated for the Nebula Award more than a dozen times and won a Hugo for his SF novel STATIONS OF THE TIDE. He lives with his wife and son in Philadelphia. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
The changeling's decision to steal a dragon and escape was born, though she did not know it then, the night the children met to plot the death of their supervisor. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mind blowing 31 July 2003
Format:Paperback
I loved it. a superb book with real inventiveness. the mix of technology and traditional fantasy was stunning - you've never come across dragons like these (or elves for that matter). Why 4 stars out of 5? well I confess I didn't quite understand several aspects of the story - but who cares!! maybe I'm just a bit thick. Recommended to fans of alternate fantasy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books i have ever read 30 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The Iron Dragon's Daughter is a stunning read, the plot and characters compleatly new and unquie. it is a break from the sterotype of fantasy, and offers some interesting point for the reader to think about long after the last page is turned. it is a good book if you are looking for a change or something a little darker than your average fantasy novel. there is nothing average about the book, and i reconmend it highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A real fantasy original, this book takes fantasy staples such as dragons and faeries, and mixes the into a modern life setting. Any book where the high school prom queen is burnt on the football field as a sacrifice has got to have something going for it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and unsettling 11 May 2005
Format:Paperback
Having been somewhat put off this book by the previous negative review, I was still intrigued enough to buy it. Having read it, I have to say that I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I like the way magic and science are blended (hence the mixture of steampunk and fantasy). I like the way the usual fantasy conventions are played with (elves are still in charge, but as a malign, distainful aristocracy). I also like the hard-edged use of language. I can see hardcore fantasy fans disliking the way this book subverts the genre. But for the rest of us, this is a great read.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowingly inventive, brutally gorgeous 15 Jun 2005
Format:Paperback
This is probably the purest fantasy novel I've ever read. Nothing is familiar yet everything is recognisable. It is unsettling. It's fantasy, yes, but in a nightmarish way, showing a world every bit as colourful, exciting, amoral and downright terrifying as our own.
The prose is unbelievably elegant, showing more imagination in one short chapter than many books contain in their entirety.
If you are a fan of 'heroic' fantasy, you might not enjoy this book.
On the other hand, if you like authors Gene Wolf, M. John Harrison and Jack Vance, you will find similar quality here and, for me, there's no higher praise than that!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Iron Dragons Daughter 23 July 2010
Format:Paperback
I did enjoy the fast, frenetic pace of this book but it is definitely not suitable for a younger audience. I bought it because Michael Swanwick had written a bit of blurb on Ursula le Quins 4th Earthsea book...so was kind of expecting something along the same vein. It is however a very cleverly written story albeit that I felt a little let down at the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark fantasy meets cyberpunk 4 July 2002
Format:Paperback
It's an absolutely impossible task - to take two mass-cult genres and mix a high-art object out of them! Somehow Michael Swanwick anages to complete this feat, produsing highly enjoyable reading, which you'd love to re-read again and again. Worth to buy a hardcover copy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst book I have ever read
The only reason I read through to the end was because it was a book club book, otherwise I'd have stopped after the first few pages. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Nicole Mehta
3.0 out of 5 stars A heart breaking, at times distressing but compelling read
I came to this masterwork having previously read Swanwick's other book Jack Faust and throughly enjoyed it, the emotional charge and by turns despondent and hopeful/heartening... Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2010 by Lark
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding feast of creativty
The premise of the book is the intriguing if familiar one of a changeling child - a human child brought up in the land of faerie. Read more
Published on 25 Sep 2006 by Ifty
2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor for a 'Masterwork'
I absolutely detested this book. It probably did not help that i was co-currently reading another fantasy book, but the pseudo-punk/fantasy merging of the world that Michael... Read more
Published on 28 April 2005 by "smallfurryandpsychotic"
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what you expected: I guarantee it
Okay, so The Iron Dragon's Daughter isn't the easiest book in the world to read, and I don't think it's possible to go into it with any accurate idea of what you're going to get. Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a book I would recommend to anyone
This book promised so much yet delivered so little. The forward is very misleading as it implies that 'the dragon element' is the centrepiece of the storyline, which it most... Read more
Published on 11 Feb 2001
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