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The King of Elfland's Daughter (1924)

by Lord Dunsany

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,128506,457 (3.75)95
In spare, vivid, hauntingly poetic prose, this long-out-of-print classic tells the tale of a young prince who dares to brave the deep and mysterious forest to find the land of Faerie--and from that magical realm bring back the Elf-Princess as his bride.
  1. 141
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman (ghilbrae)
  2. 80
    The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (dbigwood)
  3. 83
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (billiecat)
    billiecat: Clarke's descriptions of Faerie share the dreamlike qualities OF Dunsany's novel.
  4. 51
    The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke (billiecat)
  5. 41
    Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees (PhoenixFalls)
    PhoenixFalls: Mirrlees wrote Lud-in-the-Mist in response to Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter; they are two opposing takes on Fairyland and what it means to humanity, and both are brilliant.
  6. 41
    Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton (LamontCranston)
  7. 10
    The Wizard by Gene Wolfe (LamontCranston)
  8. 10
    The Knight by Gene Wolfe (LamontCranston)
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» See also 95 mentions

English (46)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
think I might have read this one years ago. I'll have to check it out and see
  Luziadovalongo | Jul 14, 2022 |
This is my second time through and I still just didn't like this book that much. I know it is supposed to be some fantasy classic. Even though it is a short novel it just dragged for me after around the middle of the book: Alveric's endless featureless wanderings after Elfland and Orion's repeated unicorn hunts. Dunsany reuses the same word for word descriptions of things too many times. It seemed like a padded story to me, that would have probably been excellent.

I do have to admit that the Dundany's characterizations were somewhat better than I thought the first time through, but this was never Dunsany's strong point anyway.

Its short, its classic, read it anyway for an idea of where high fantasy comes from. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
Booooring. Zero character development. You never care about what happens to anyone. I guess it is supposed to be like a saga but the saga's I have read have more character development and life in them than even this. This is a problem I've always had with Dunsany: all atmosphere and no character development so I'm probably not a good judge.

We're going to give it another go in September 2012. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
A little difficult at times to get through Dunsany's flowing prose. Not extremely interesting, very little if any excitement. ( )
  MarkLacy | May 29, 2022 |
When men quest for Elfland and ask for magic in the Fields that we Know the consequences can be unexpected. The council of Erl, with the foolhardy and adventurous nature of the young, ask their king for magic they do not realize that allowing magic to touch their lands will irrevocably change it. Prince Alveric ventures to Elfland and returns with the King of Elfland's daughter, Lirazel, to be his wife, but as a being of Faerie she cannot remain forever in the realms of mortals. After the birth of her son Orion, she is called back to Elfland, setting into motion events which lead to the slaying of the first unicron, the entrance of trolls into the Fields that we Know, and two quests for knowledge by her mortal husband and her half mortal son. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lord Dunsanyprimary authorall editionscalculated
章博, 山田Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
葵, 原Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
葵, 原Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fry, MicheleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepper, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, DarrylCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waterhouse, John W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, KathyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In their ruddy jackets of leather that reached to their knees the men of Erl appeared before their lord, the stately white-haired man in his long red room.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In spare, vivid, hauntingly poetic prose, this long-out-of-print classic tells the tale of a young prince who dares to brave the deep and mysterious forest to find the land of Faerie--and from that magical realm bring back the Elf-Princess as his bride.

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HAPPILY NEVER AFTER...HAPPILY NEVER AFTER...

The people of the Vale of Erl wanted magic in their land. And so it was that their king sent his son, young Alveric - into the strangely enchanted meadows of Faerie to find and wed the King of Elfland's daughter.

So armed with a wondrous sword forged from thunderbolts by the witch Ziroonderel, Alveric went off to do his father's bidding. And he returned to the Vale with the beautiful Lirazel as his beloved wife.

Their love was passionate and strong, but it was no match for the magic of the King of Elfland...a magic powerful enough to whisk Lirazel away from her husband and son.

Bereft, Alveric set out on the most impossible mission any mortal ever dared...
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