Earlier this week, I was going to write about something else that I really love besides running…Sword and Sorcery Fantasy work by Dennis McKiernan and his world of Mithgar, but went off on a tangent.
So today, I figured I might as well get back to what I thought I was going to write that day. It is a bit lighter than other things I have written lately. 🙂
Over the years, I have read some pretty darn great Sword and Sorcery fantasy writers and their works. The likes of Tolkien, Brooks, Moorcock, Kay, Lewis to name a few. However it seems about every 2-3 years, I take the time to re-read my Dennis McKiernan collection. There is just something about the way that he writes that I devour the books and find something new or different when re-reading them.
Yes, the setting is very Tolkienesque, battles of good versus evil, with Elves, Dwarves, Humans and other similar character races. However, from my perspective McKiernan is less focused on the magic and more about the spirit the protagonists bring to the adventure against the obviously evil antagonist.
McKiernan brings his own spin to the world of Mithgar and the Planes that surround it, that make this world different from the typical Fantasy world. He also write the books as more of an ongoing saga that looks back to what you have read about before, where things becomes history, legend or mythology to the current characters. Something that makes the story lines more interesting to me
The many books I have in my collection span the millennium on Mithgar with the immortal Elvish characters being the thread that provides continuity between the many adventures that McKiernan weaves together and the mortals who play large roles in each book.
I do like how McKiernan writes about things in the books in ways that symbolize issues and problems that were and usually are still issues that many of our modern societies today are grappling with. While the solutions in his books are suitable for his world, I wonder if they would be suitable for ours?
Some…maybe…others humankind’s short life and attention spans probably are not going to let it happen. One of those human racial traits that he captures so well in his books.
He makes me at least think about a possible pre-history world, that we lost and will never find again, as unlikely as it may be, while reading the books…well McKiernan made it seem almost as if it made sense, especially with the direction Humankind is going. Even though I know it is not plausible a part of me still wants to believe that it was possible.
Each time I re-read this section of Silver Wolf, Black Falcon, it does make me think of many things:
Thus passed several millennia, but the world itself had changed, for the nature of Humanity was such that over the centuries the Wee Folk and Elves and the Hidden One’s and others were pressed back and back by Mankind’s encroachment and his destructive ways. And so all the folk we today would name Fey began crossing the in-between to escape Humanity. With their numbers dwindling, the Fey finally held council and decided to go elsewhere, though not all agreed. Hence perhaps not all the folk of lore and legend are yet gone from this world; perhaps some Hidden Ones still live in deep in the old-growth forests that yet remain…or soar in the lofty skies above the remote high peaks of distant continents…who can say? All that is truly know is a great Separation occurred, making Mankind the poorer for it.
McKiernan appropriately ends the book this way:
Mayhap some day, if Mankind ever learns how to nurture this world rather than rape it, mayhap the day will come when the Fey folk return.
…One can only hope…
…One can only hope…
…For I would hear a Silverlark sing.
Unfortunately, and sadly I say this, I don’t believe that I…
…will ever hear a Silverlark sing.
If you get a chance, I heartily recommend McKiernan’s world of Mithgar.
Disclaimer. I wrote this because I wanted to put down in writing my thoughts on Dennis McKiernan’s world of Mithgar. I have owned most my books on Mithgar for several years and no one asked that I write this post. It is simply my opinion of books I have read.