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Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley

Lord Dunsany

Book Overview: 

A coming of age story blended with a swashbuckling road trip through an mythical "golden age" of Spain. The titular character is excluded from the inheritance of the family castle on the grounds that given his expertise with sword and mandolin he should be able to win his own estate and bride. Setting out to achieve his place in the world, Rodriguez quickly acquires a Sancho Panza-like servant, Morano, and goes on to experience a series of adventures, often humorous, en route to his goal. Lord Dunsany, well known as an influence on J.R.R. Tolkein, H.P. Lovecraft, Ursula Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, and others, creates a world in which anything is possible, and all outcomes serve poetry and wonder first.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .have done fifteen miles since the mountains were pale blue. And now, every mile they went, on the most awful of the dark ridges the object Rodriguez saw seemed more and more like a house. Yet neither then, nor as they drew still nearer, nor when they saw it close, nor looking back on it after years, did it somehow seem quite right. And Morano sometimes crossed himself as he looked at it, and said nothing.

Rodriguez, as they walked ceaselessly through the afternoon, seeing his servant show some sign of weariness, which comes not to youth, pointed out the house looking nearer than it really was on the mountain, and told him that he should find there straw, and they would sup and stay the night. Afterwards, when the strange appearance of the house, varying with different angles, filled him with curious forebodings, Rodriguez would make no admission to his servant, but held to the plan he had announced, and so approached the queer roofs, neglecting the friendly s. . . Read More

Community Reviews

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-mon

"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 pastora

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