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Old 02-05-2017, 09:58 AM   #52
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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I wonder if the "good world-builder, bad 'writer' " arguments tend to come from readers of Fantasy who are used to less considered (and at times less challenging) prose produced for a mass market.

For some reason this has always stood out to me as a piece of "beautiful" writing in The Lord of the Rings, from Book IV Chapter 1:
Clear sky was growing in the East once more. The skirts of the storm were lifting, ragged and wet, and the main battle had passed to spread its great wings over the Emyn Muil; upon which the dark thought of Sauron brooded for a while. Thence it turned, smiting the Vale of Anduin with hail and lightning, and casting its shadow upon Minas Tirith with threat of war. Then, lowering in the mountains, and gathering its great spires, it rolled on slowly over Gondor and the skirts of Rohan, until far away the Riders on the plain saw its black towers moving behind the sun, as they rode into the West. But here, over the desert and the reeking marshes the deep blue sky of evening opened once more, and a few pallid stars appeared, like small white holes in the canopy above the crescent moon.
It's perhaps not "sophisticated" prose in, say, the Modernist sense (although I doubt many critics would be making that comparison) but I find this kind of expression very evocative, and that's just describing the weather.
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
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