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From the book Then Rodriguez stepped back a short way and placed his kerchief on the ground and upon this he put his mandolin and leaned it against the wall When the mandolin was safe from dust or accident he approached the stranger and drew his sword Se or, he said, we will now discuss music Right gladly, se or, said the young man, who now drew his sword also There were no clouds, the moon was full the evening promised well Lord Dunsany How to describe this book It s a pretty problem As might a child, after dashing off to play on a bright summer morning hours splashing in the river, exploring the forests, duelling with sticks against the Infidel or the child next door if the Infidel be not available , winning a week s pocket money at marbles and losing it again as such a child, when asked what did you do today simply shrugs and replies oh, nothing much just so should I feel, dear Reader, were I to attempt to pin down the precise qualities of this book for you It doesn t wash And yet I must make the attempt.I can say this much this is a book to be approached lightly The magic Lord Dunsany weaves is delicate, and you may raise an eyebrow and start to protest that you know the history of Spain, and the events he relates cannot possibly have taken place in the manner he describes Moreover the characters in his story are surely stereotypes, mere caricatures, and no such people can possibly have walked those dusty roads, and even if they did they cannot have subsisted merely on bacon Not possible, you say But when you read of Morano s noble frying pan, of bacon cooked beneath the stars and eaten at the wayfarer s green table, you might find that you believe in Bacon after all. This was a different story compared to everything else I read by Lord Dunsany The prose was at times brilliant, beautiful use of words, language but the story was very simple about the adventures of the young naive Knight Rodriguez whose quest in the story is looking for romantic wars,glory and to win castle in Golden age Spain It was clear to see what the writer thought about the knight and his chivalrous ways I have come to expectsubtle meaning than that from this legendary writer The storytelling was uneven because I wasn t really interested for many of the early chapters The last chapters story wise was much better.His prose style and his way with words wasinteresting than the actual story Thats is why I still enjoyed reading this novel Even a minor work by a master like Lord Dunsany is very enjoyable if you like great style I would not recommend this novel to new readers since there are better novels, short stories for that Thisfor completist admirers like me. After Long And Patient Research I Am Still Unable To Give To The Reader Of These Chronicles The Exact Date Of The Times That They Tell Of Were It Merely A Matter Of History There Could Be No Doubts About The Period But Where Magic Is Concerned, To However Slight An Extent, There Must Always Be Some Element Of Mystery, Arising Partly Out Of Ignorance And Partly From The Compulsion Of Those Oaths By Which Magic Protects Its Precincts From The Tiptoe Of Curiosity Moreover, Magic, Even In Small Quantities, Appears To Affect Time, Much As Acids Affect Some Metals, Curiously Changing Its Substance, Until Dates Seem To Melt Into A Mercurial Form That Renders Them Elusive Even To The Eye Of The Most Watchful Historian It Is The Magic Appearing In Chronicles III And IV That Has Gravely Affected The Date, So That All I Can Tell The Reader With Certainty Of The Period Is That It Fell In The Later Years Of The Golden Age In Spain Well it would seem that the great Lord Dunsany was not infallible I ve loved every other book I ve read by him and came to this one with accordingly high expectations and for the first time, he has not lived up to them.In this story we follow Don Rodriquez after he inherits nothan a rapier and a mandolin from his lordly father and sets out on a quest to win himself a castle with his rapier and a lover with his mandolin.The problem for me was that the story just wasn t very interesting, the protagonist often impossibly dense and surprise plot developments not very surprising All this probably wouldn t have mattered so much if I had found Dunsany s writing as engaging as I usually do but unfortunately it was not the case Many of the passages I found long and laborious and frequently found my attention wandering There were still flashes of Dunsany s brilliance, an occaisional turn of phrase that made me chuckle or left me in awe of its beauty.Other quirky aspects were frequent, inexplicable and entirely unnecessary remarks of the narrator directed straight at the reader Some of the dialogue of the characters left me feeling a little uncomfortable from a politically correct stand point and believe me, I m usually quite tolerant of this sort of thing in older authors.Overall I would say that while this story still holds some of that Dunsany magic, I would not recommend it to anyone other than die hard fans. Don Rodriguez Chronicles of Shadow Valley conveys its young disinherited protagonist through a fantasized Spain, gifting him with a Sancho Panza companion, good luck with magicians, and a castle The Encyclopedia of Fantasy.Lord Dunsany s first novel, this is a historic fantasy set in a pastoral Spain that could never exist with all the charm and innocence that the author attributes to it Don Rodrigues sets out on a quest to find a war to fight in so he can win a castle and wealth of his own Along the way, he finds a loyal servant who wields a mighty fry pan and encounters a magician who shows them how to astral travel and allows them to see the past and the future He finds a lady he loves, wins his castle in a fantastic manner and they live happily ever after The beauty of the story is in Dunsany s prose which is a delight to read and well suited to the fantastic setting he creates I totally enjoyed this first novel by one of my favorite authors. A very beautiful story Taking place in Spain somewhere around 1500, we follow young Rodrigeuz in his journey to earn a castle in war with the help of his Castillan family sword and a mandolin While there are always hints and facts that show that the world is our own, with all its grimdark glory , the narrator always portrays everything through the young and hopeful eyes of the idealist Rodrigeuz This comes out as a finely woven fairy tale with a happy ending It was a very good tale, with many memorable scenes and a rare overall quality The only minus I could give this book is that, at times, I got bored of the first person narrator interventions Hence the 4 5 But, in all honesty, it might be my highest 4 5 to date. Imagine if Don Quixote actually got to live a grand romance, with his trusty, comical manservant and won his fair lady for this story This is probably what Don Quixote imagined for himself when he set out on his adventures There s some humor with the sidekick but it s done straight It s a bit toodense for something that should have a whimsical treatment, but some might enjoy its richness. Por si quedaban dudas, Tolkien y Lovecraft le deben mucho a Dunsany, que mezcla a Don Quijote con las 1001 Noches en este libro Es aventura pura, dura y simple, con una prosa que puede ser densa o hermosa, seg n quien la lea.