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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
This was one of those books that I knew was good from the moment I read the first line. If you enjoy the stories of Michael Moorcock or Neil Gaiman--in short, if you are a fan of quality fantasy fiction--then you will likely enjoy "The King of Elfland's Daughter." Don't allow yourself to be put off by the fairy tale title. This is a novel deep in imagination...
Published on 3 Aug 1999

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Origins Of Fantasy
I think I read this book a bit too slowly and in too piece-meal a fashion to have got the best out of it but at 240 pages long I think it could have been pruned to about 160 pages without losing too much. That is not to say that the writing is in so much of the book beautifully lyrical and poetic but the deliberate archaism of the language can be somewhat wearying. It is...
Published on 6 April 2012 by Pensato


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 3 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The King of Elfland's Daughter (Del Rey Impact) (Paperback)
This was one of those books that I knew was good from the moment I read the first line. If you enjoy the stories of Michael Moorcock or Neil Gaiman--in short, if you are a fan of quality fantasy fiction--then you will likely enjoy "The King of Elfland's Daughter." Don't allow yourself to be put off by the fairy tale title. This is a novel deep in imagination and rich of language, expansive and wonderful in its vision.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The lure of magic, 2 Nov 2006
This review is from: The King of Elfland's Daughter (Del Rey Impact) (Paperback)
The folk of Erl lived close to the border of twilight and longed for some of the magic from the land beyond the fields they knew. Just the other side of the glimmering boundary lay Elfland and, bowing to the will of parliament, the lord of Erl sent his son to that perilous realm to wed the king's daughter and bring magic back to Erl. The old lord had a bad feeling about it and guessed the people would probably end up with a lot more enchantment than they wanted. He was right. Very little happened to start with. A helpful neighbour witch lady, forged a magical sword for Alveric (the lord's son) so he could steal Lirazel (the king's daughter) from Elfland and marry her. All seemed well. They had a son, Orion. Nothing changed for ages but Alveric wanted Lirazel to stop being so other-worldly and kept badgering her to be more normal until, confused and unhappy, she heeded her father's summons, leaving Alveric and Orion behind. Alveric spent a long time searching for Lirazel and in the meantime Orion grew up - half human, half elven. Gradually his magical heritage awakened and he attracted the magical denizens of Elfland into 'the fields we know'. Then, when it was too late, the parliament of Erl had second thoughts.

As Neil Gaiman says in his introduction, the writing is poetic and the story is a work of pure imagination. I know what 'the myriad-tinted border, the deep green elfin foliage and Elfland's magical flowers' look, sound and feel like - can sense the attraction and the danger of the magic - from Dunsany's vivid descriptions. The beauty and enchantment are irresistible. Published in 1924, when fantasy stories were rare, it must have seemed rich and original. It still does.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Origins Of Fantasy, 6 April 2012
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This review is from: The King of Elfland's Daughter (Del Rey Impact) (Paperback)
I think I read this book a bit too slowly and in too piece-meal a fashion to have got the best out of it but at 240 pages long I think it could have been pruned to about 160 pages without losing too much. That is not to say that the writing is in so much of the book beautifully lyrical and poetic but the deliberate archaism of the language can be somewhat wearying. It is very much a fairy tale and as such the characters are little more than sketched in. Lurulu the troll has probably the most personality.

I would certainly not deny 'The King Of Elfland's' place in fantasy literature and you can easily detect its influence still in the wonderful 'Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell'.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mortal Love and Immortal Curiosity, 19 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Lord Dubsany's 'The King of Elfland's Daughter' is about the human world or as Dunsany put it 'The Fields We Know' and the curiosity and conflictions that it has with Elfland and its lack of sunrise but still a land full of endless beauty as well as peril.
What begins as a love story between King Alveric of Erl and Princess Lirazel of Elfland soon becomes a tale of passing time in which their son Orion searches for his mother upon the border of twilight as his father searches madly for Elfland to retrieve his bride. Orion becomes an orphan but also a leader who has to find magic for Erl, as it is the new wonder of his people as Unicorns are seen upon the fields of Erl. Lurulu and his trolls are crafted brilliantly as they wonder and mock at the fields we know, demonstrating a believe by the author that two different worlds cannot co-exist and are better left untouched.
Lord Dunsany was a hunter and their are many references to this fact that people may find unnecessary or against their principles. The reader should be aware that the novel was written in 1924 and parts of the novel reflect the accepted activities of that time period.
The novel is also more than a love story, it is also about different worlds and their integrated relationships, where Elfland mocks Erl, the hunters kill the unicorns and Elflands creatures.
Dialogue is at a minimum, and only used to extend the flow of descriptive writing, this detours a little from the believability but Lord Dunsany is a master writer and his descriptions are poetic and deeply moving. He respects nature and descibes it with passion, as well as creating an Elfland that is very similar to the one seen in Disney's 'Snow White'that adds to the joy of reading initial ideas that Lord Dunsany and other writers introduced to fantasy literature.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most powerful fantasies ever written, 5 July 2001
By 
Haavard Noerjordet (2830 Raufoss, Norway) - See all my reviews
If there is one thing that sticks after you have read this novel, it's the language. It's so fluent, flowery, rhythmic and beautiful that the story becomes an enchanted, magical and hypnotic journey through the fantastic scenery in Dunsany's Erl and Elfland.
It's a slow read though, it's not exactly an action-filled book. Some passages, like the thoughts of the troll in the pigeon-loft, are quite hilarious, other passages are downright boring, which makes it a book some people might want to give up on at times. It's a book that demands the reader's concentration and time to absorb the power of it.
Oh, and Neil Gaiman has written the introduction, which is a good thing as well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paragon of Fantasy, 12 April 2001
By 
C. Fitch (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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If there is a single book that truly defines the heart of the fantasy genre, this is it.
It has echoes not only of the story of the classic ballad of Thomas the Rhymer, but also of its gravity of place in the vast history of storytelling.
It tells a poignant, but concise story concerning mankind's paradoxical love of faerie yet inability to have it without corrupting it (thus losing it). A sort of Heisenberg dilemma, i.e. you can know about faerie but not have it, or have it and not know it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful book, 3 Aug 2010
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There is something wonderful about this book, the writing style is exquisite, drawing you into a world like a painting, stroke by stroke. A magical world is shown to you, with beautiful characters within. It really is quite amazing.

The story itself might not be that in depth, and is basically just another fairy tale, but Dunsany writes so well that he brings a new life to the genre of fairytales.

This is the first book of his I have read, and i look forward to reading more soon!

I really recommend this book, and it's one you will probably read again and again, I know I plan to!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic and must-read for fiction lovers., 20 Sep 2013
By 
F. Rodenbrug "frank1616" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The King of Elfland's Daughter (Del Rey Impact) (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of Lord Dunsany having read several of his books: I love his beautiful prose, his wonderful story-telling abilities and the way he builds up images of his fantastic worlds af if there is nothing strange about these being possible, plausible even.
I had lost this title in the attic, having bought and read it some 40 years ago, so I re-bought and re-read it, and I think I love it even more now than I did back then. I'm even thinking of translating it into Dutch to read to my class.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There's a reason this book was out of print for so long..., 19 Mar 2012
By 
M. R. Cox "Mike" (Dubai) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The King of Elfland's Daughter (Del Rey Impact) (Paperback)
'Charming', 'whimsical' and 'poetic' are some of the adjectives that can be used to describe this work; 'gripping', 'moving' and 'satisfying' are not. I don't doubt "The King etc" has a place in the development of fantasy but that place is a footnote. Or rather, it proves that Dunsany is not the exception to Gaiman's rule, that the British aristocracy are usually poor writers. There's a lot of cod-medieval description, not much plot, and then it all peters out. If you like the thought of Morris Dancers and Baldric singing "Hey nonny nonny" you may enjoy it. On the other hand, like Blackadder, you may want to give that man a whipping.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Known Fact, 25 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The King of Elfland's Daughter (Del Rey Impact) (Paperback)
It is a little-known fact that two members of the folk-rock band Steeleye Span did a folk/rock/blues-opera version of this story in the mid-70s.
Johnson & Knight's album features Christopher Lee at his most impressively deep-voiced best as both narrator and the King of Elfland, and also features Mary Hopkin as Lirazel, the King of Elfland's daughter, and Alexis Korner as the Troll.
If you like this book -- you might want to try to find the CD...
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The King of Elfland's Daughter (Del Rey Impact)
The King of Elfland's Daughter (Del Rey Impact) by Lord Dunsany (Paperback - 1 Sep 2000)
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