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Maybe fantasy was much more simple for Lord Dunsany: Maybe he had heard something about William Morris and George Macdonald, and read some of their books, but lw so fantasy at those times was like a virgin forest, waiting to be discovered. Nowadays I imagine this same forest crossed by a highway and its trees cut down to build a metropolis Yes, maybe fantasy was much more simple for Lord Dunsany: Lord Dunsany writes fantasy and he doesn’t feel any shame in using elements which today fantasy less writers will firmly refuse: And then he leaves him free.

Of course, expada novels in the collection are more exciting than others: Fe you will find christian-influenced elements and maybe you too, you will think “Oh no, another Lewis! But keep on reading: Am I forgetting something? Well it’s not so difficult: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want welletan read.

Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Wepleran Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. An influential fantasy writer and a key figure in the Irish literary renaissance, Edward J. Plunkett, the eighteenth Baron Dunsany produced a trove of gems of the imagination.

The 12 stories here are some of his best. They will take you on a remarkable journey to places that sometimes seem soft and pleasant, sometimes bleak and ominous — but always surpri An influential fantasy espadw and a key figure in the Irish literary renaissance, Edward J.

They will take you on a remarkable journey to places that sometimes seem soft and edpada, sometimes bleak and ominous — but always surprising. Ten magnificent illustrations by S. A delight for lovers of fantasy, the volume will enchant readers of folk tales and science fiction as well. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Lists with This Book. May 19, Tonari rated it it was amazing.

The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories

Tolkien was a curse for fantasy literature. Five stars, no doubt. And now the gods of Pegana await me. View all 3 comments. Nov 17, Mladen rated it it was amazing.

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 ls the mystery and turns of phrase present in his writing: They are about mighty whirlpools, mechanical dragons, soulless Wild Things, and sins that take the form of dogs.

Sometimes wellrean are naive and a wee bit indulgent, no laa than extended daydreams; but often what is on the surface a simple fantasy turns out to be a dagger wrapped in ribbons. And as they looked long at the beauty of all that remained beautiful in her soul they said: If this sounds even slightly interesting to you, check it out.

Apr 16, Joseph rated it really liked it. 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 Peganaand the occasional early 20th Century ghost story.


As always, the chief attraction is his gorgeous, almost Biblical prose. Apr 10, Lance rated it really liked it Recommended to Lance by: And the hide of his back is of steel, and his underparts are of iron; but along the midst of his back, over his spine, there lies a strip of unearthly metal.

A founder of the fantasy genre, he incorporates not only the mythical basis of his native Britain, but also includes a reverent allusion to the architecture and mythology of the Middle East and North A ” ‘He is the dragon crocodile who haunts the Northern marshes.

A founder of the fantasy genre, he incorporates not only the mythical basis of his native Britain, but also includes a reverent allusion to the architecture and mythology of the Middle East and North Africa, often adding his own inventions to his diverse mythology. This collection reveals glimpses of all of that, in addition to wit, social commentary and proto-horror.

Sometimes, the sheer scope of the collection leaves individual stories seeming fragmented and unrelated to one another, making this overview review very difficult to write.

But its that very esoteric imaginative indulgence which makes this collection a great entry-level book for those who would like to read more by Lord Dunsany, the imagery is vividly realised, if each snippet of a unique creative universe whips by in a handful of pages and leaves the reader yearning for more. Where Tolkein specialised in the depth of his world, Lord Dunsany creates a travelogue of the imagination. Something like a Victorian fantasy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxyhe builds individual concepts and landscapes in exquisite detail, only to lead the reader on in a hedonistic rush from world to world in the pursuit of beauty, mystery, and meaning.

There is a range and an irreverent creativity here that I don’t think has been equalled since. How about I let the stories speak for themselves? In this tale, all the heroes are dead hundreds of years and their city Merinma no longer practices the martial arts but relies on ominous statues and songs to keep invaders away. This is possible because of the divinity myth surrounding its heroes, whom no man has seen dead.

Now it had been the wont of each of these six warriors of old, when they had received a wound that they had known to be mortal, to ride off to a great ravine and cast his body in, as somewhere I have read great elephants do ” It’s an interesting premise.

The spirits of these dead heroes continue to goad and interfere with the people of Merinma, who have become pacifistic in philosophy rather than lazy as it is first presented to the reader.

An interesting account of the cost of national independence and our reliance on the past to carry out our dirty work so we can live off the bloody spoils. But they are not to see this beautiful and arrogant city, which has come to worship its own stones, because a prophet of an unknown religion has come to smite it down.

Some very progressive representations of Muslims for the time of writing, Arabic and Islamic people remain strongly under-represented in modern fantasy. It was beautifully narrated and deeply moving at times. This charted the life of a young Wild Thing, an ethereal soulless creature of the English marshes. It becomes convinced that it would like a soul. And so the young Wild Thing becomes a young woman. But society does not see her beautiful soul. She is judged instantly for not knowing the proper social etiquette of society and being moved to love by the vicar’s sermon.


So they send her away to a grim northern industrial town. For this a human soul was required. Mary Jane, the Wild Thing’s human name, misses the beauty of her marsh home and seeks to pass her soul onto another so she can return. There is no fulfilment in her human life.

It is all they have. This story deserves to be known to a much wider audience. The soul of Old Tom the robber is physically chafed by his inhuman death, and suffers after his body is rotted. It has a quality as if it comes from personal experience, which is uncanny if it is entirely fiction.

A good example piece of sensory-perceptual writing. In this first-person account, Lord Dunsany gives the world’s most sarcastic narrative of a supernatural visitation.

It begins with an argument with his brother who is painted as a complete ignoramousthen he consumes lots of coffee and whiskey, and waits to ‘see’ esppada ghosts he doesn’t himself believe in come about as a result of his own debauchery. I had expected nothing less. The author identifies the key elements of a ghost story and rips them apart from an extremely logical position. Then the ghosts’ sins stalk into the room in the form of great black dogs.

From this point the story descends into the ridiculous, with the author considering what would wellerann if he framed his brother’s murder on ghosts. Naturally, he relies on Euclidian geometry to restore him to his rational senses. Examines briefly the relationship between the catastrophic natural event and its divine master. Not bad, but far from a stand-out.

One of Dunsany’s recurring themes, the damage caused by human civilisation to the environment and the need for a human extinction, resurfaces here, but is not explored with great humour or depth as occurs at other points in the collection.

The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories by Lord Dunsany

Evil warlock Gaznok is building a tower of fancy and delusion in the world after many centuries of absence on a comet, and budding hero Leothric is hoping welleram stop him. The first part of the story, his quest for the legendary sword Sacnoth which Gaznok cannot destroy is the best part.

He has to fight a man-eating metal dragon-crocodile. What wellera brilliant idea. I’m imagining something like the clicking crocodile in Peter Panbut entirely bronze and much longer. Tharagavverug the dragon-crocodile can only be killed by starving to death.

Leothric must stay away for three days and three night consecutively poking the beast in the eye to keep it from devouring men. And he is rewarded with the great blade which makes up the crocodile’s backbone. It leads to the seemingly abandoned English village of Wrellisford where the Industrial Revolution has not yet hit. There’s a strong hint from the finery and monotony of their tapestries that the whole place is run by spiders. I just don’t think we need to have upper class men wellerann on the souls of female prostitutes.

There is no wellera of damnation here, almost a sense at God’s failure, but there is also a sense that Welelran Traviatta is here dehumanised to an abstract discussion of her sins.

I don’t think this is anything particularly new or valuable. A strangely archaic way to end such a contemporary-feeling collection with muses personified, a device associated with the s.