Friday, February 25, 2011

The Best Magic Sword Description Ever Written

"Nobody can tell you about that sword all that there is to be told of it; for those that know of those paths of Space on which its metals once floated, till Earth caught them one by one as she sailed past on her orbit, have little time to waste on such things as magic, and so cannot tell you how the sword was made, and those who know whence poetry is, and the need that man has for song, or know any one of the fifty branches of magic, have little time to waste on such things as science, and so cannot tell you whence its ingredients came.

Enough that it was once beyond our Earth and was now here amongst our mundane stones; that it was once but as those stones, and now had something in it such as soft music has; let those that can define it."

- Lord Dunsany, The King of Elfland's Daughter (1924)


  1. I have GOT to get my hands on some Dunsany books.

  2. I've got some on my Kindle. I'll have to read it after I'm done with the King in Yellow.

  3. I've only read "The Charwoman's Shadow" of Dunsany, but I swear I've recited this same kind of thing with respect to archaeologists and radiocarbon dating at least five time this week. And I'm not at all joking.

  4. King Of Elfland's Daughter is the only one book written by Dunsany that is available in polish. It's absolutely amazing and astonishing. Must-read for every fantasy fan, must-have for every person that likes to re-read book after some period of time.

    And yes, it's the best magic item description, and one of the best fantasy book description, beside Zelazny's description of Courts of Chaos (n Oberon's Hand AFAIR) and Wagner's description of Kane's "out of body experience" (in Raven's Eyrie)