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The King of Elfland’s Daughter: A Review

The King of Elfland's DaughterThe King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is so much more than a story about a mortal man and an elven princess.

First though, the reasons why someone may not want to read it. Its prose is archaic and difficult, at times, to understand. There are long passages devoted to description that, although much better than fantasy books I’ve read that devote paragraph after paragraph to a listing of the food at a meal, might wear down those who can’t see the reason behind those passages. It’s also one of those stories that has plot lines that appear to be separate from the main story, yet aren’t. That might irritate those who are used to a more direct storyline.

However, it is a very well-written story, full of imagination and wonder, regarding both the immortal and mortal realms. This story uses romantic beginnings to look at time, eternity, change, what happens when we accept reality and what happens when we don’t, as well as what happens when we lose faith in our dreams. Above all, this story is about the men of Erl, who asked for a magic lord and got much more than they expected.

For romantics, this book may disappoint. I found it inspiring, but there isn’t really any compromise between Elfland and Erl at the end. There is the power of love, but how that power influenced the story is not what I expected.

I’m adding this only because I’ve read some fantasy books where magic somehow allows a couple to live in their own worlds, yet still be together. That doesn’t happen here. There is immortality and mortality and a choice has to be made.

Frankly, I loved the ending. It was a beautiful moment that fit perfectly with the rest of the story and filled my thoughts for hours.

All that to say, I deeply love this book. It’s one to own.

View all my reviews

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