Review Blog

Jan 21 2019

The forgotten beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip

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Fantasy Masterworks. Orion, 2017. ISBN: 9781616962777.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Winner of the inaugural World Fantasy Award 1975. In my quest to read some of the award winning books that I have missed over the years, I was very fortunate to pick up this outstanding story by Patricia A. McKillop. First published in 1974, the fact that it is still in print after so many years is a testament to its lyrical writing and timeless story.
Sybel is a young wizard who needs only her magical animals, Gules the Lyon, Gyld the dragon who yearns for gold, Cyrin the boar who is a master of riddles, Ter the fierce falcon and Moriah, Lady of the Night. When she is given a baby, Tamlorn, to care for, she becomes embroiled in the politics of the kingdom and the world of revenge.
It was a joy to become immersed in Sybel's world which is vividly imagined in a sparse 208 pages, unlike many of the fantasy books written today which often are over long. Memories of McKillip's dangerous world, her fantastic beasts and the love story between her and Coren and the awful taint of captivity and revenge will stay with the reader long after finishing this book.
Readers who enjoy stories by Juliet Marillier and Robin McKinley will be thrilled to discover another author whose tales delve into fantasy worlds. I will be pursuing other books written by McKillip, who also won a World Fantasy award for Ombria in shadow, which I have put on my to-read list.
Pat Pledger

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