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3/07/2014 9:54 am  #1

E. R. Eddison


E. R. Eddison

When people speak of High Fantasy they most often speak of Tolkien, but while Tolkien's highly detailed work may fall under that category it is E.R. Eddison who should be the example of it. His work is a grand affair with a style and prose that reflects an otherworldly look at knights and empires, champions and villains, with a taste of Spencer and Malory. His books are rich and lush with the stories told more as legends and fables with an account of great wrongs and great deeds more than they do as novels of people or portrayals of life, even fantastic lives. Think a much lighter Silmarillion, to use the Tolkien example further, than The Hobbit or even The Lord of the Rings. In this way, while not overly complex, the prose is not light reading either. I find his books filled with a treasure trove of ideas rather than rich characters and story, but well worth the reading.

The Worm Ouroboros
Mistress of Mistresses
A Fish Dinner in Memison
The Mezentian Gate


Egil's Saga.
Styrbiorn the Strong 







1/10/2020 2:56 pm  #2

Re: E. R. Eddison

C. S. Lewis called Styrbiorn the Strong the best Viking novel he ever had read. When I read it years ago, I certainly enjoyed, but I had not yet encountered the actual Icelandic sagas in translation, nor Poul Anderson’s pastiches of the same.

 The Worm Ouroboros, read at about the same time, was wondrous.

Last summer I read Mistress of Mistresses. I liked it, but I’ve never read anything else like it. It’s so peculiar, I find it impossible to “recommend.” It’s not exactly “adventure fantasy” (The Worm Ouroboros is more along those lines.) I’m eager to get to next in the trilogy, but, Eddison’s writing style is so demanding, I’m not quite ready yet.

“Our own age is not one which can afford to call its ancestors savage.” 
― Poul AndersonThe Broken Sword

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