The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A McKillip

34330548The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
By Patricia A McKillip
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
ISBN: Tachyon Publications
Pages: 240
Genre: Fantasy


Young Sybel, the heiress of powerful wizards, needs the company of no one outside her gates. In her exquisite stone mansion, she is attended by exotic, magical beasts: Riddle-master Cyrin the boar; the treasure-starved dragon Gyld; Gules the Lyon, tawny master of the Southern Deserts; Ter, the fiercely vengeful falcon; Moriah, feline Lady of the Night. Sybel only lacks the mysterious Liralen, which continues to elude her most powerful enchantments.

But when a soldier bearing an infant arrives, Sybel discovers that the world of man and magic is full of both love and deceit—and the possibility of more power than she can possibly imagine.

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is one of the true classics of fantasy literature.

My Thoughts

As a fan of the fantasy genre, Patricia A McKillip and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld have both been on my radar for a few years. I cannot honestly say why it has taken me this long to explore them. But better late than never, or as they say, all good things come in time. 

The skinny..

Sybil is an enchantress who lives a life of solitude in the forest among her enchanted beasts. When she is left to care for and raise a male child, she is exposed to the world of men, politics, love, loneliness, and deceit. She finds herself questioning her own power and needs. I am refraining from further explanation here, as I cannot recommend exploring this one enough.

“You can weave your life so long — only so long, and then a thing in the world out of your control will tug at one vital thread and leave you patternless and subdued.”

What I appreciated..

  • An almost dreamlike prose that is beyond comparison to others. McKillip’s writing is sophisticated and immersive.
  • A slow burn examination and study of character and man represented through one woman’s maternal instincts and isolated life.
  • World building that engages the senses and solicits further exploration while refraining from the trivial and frivolous.
  • The author’s refusal to hand everything directly to the reader or rush what is best left to savor at a steady pace.
  • Brilliantly displayed themes of love, grief and personal growth.
  • The beautiful reminder that fantasy can be ever present without the need for heavy elements of action. Sometimes the adventure comes from within.

Challenges some may encounter..

  • Aside from the fact that those who do not appreciate a more leisurely pace may struggle, I really found no flaw in this.

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a pristine example of why the genre is so timeless. Powerful themes, elegant narration and stunning storytelling meld beautifully into an experience worthy of more praise than one can give in a simple review.

*I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for this copy. The above review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.

tea cup


Pairs wonderfully with a white jasmine tea.

Grab a Copy: Book Depository

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Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

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50 thoughts on “The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A McKillip

  1. Lovely cover! I wish my copy had that cover; I’d keep it.

    I didn’t enjoy this as much. To be non spoilery, I had issues with her beasts and the romance (just an annoyance).

    I read her Stony Wood novel, too and it has her same dreamlike style.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. BoE wasn’t horrible but the beasts being captive bugged me.

        I want to read her Cygnet series next I think.

        Hope you find a good next book of hers to read!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, her stuff is best appreciated if you have the time to savor it.

        Stay away from her Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy until you have a couple more under your belt. I liked In the Forests of Serre and Kingfisher. Of course, I like all her stuff 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read one of McKillip’s last year (Alphabet of Thorn) and it was a first for me. I really enjoyed it right up until the end which felt like a complete anti-climax. I think it needed something more spectacular and fantasy-worthy over another 100 or so pages. Anyway, I do agree that her worldbuilding is flawless etc. I may pop this on my list and try and squeeze it in sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds intriguing! And the cover is giving me strong Daenerys vibes. Slower paces are always a reader-dependent thing: what drags for one person might feel perfect to another. I might give this a try as one of two books being read at the same time in case I start to feel a slump, but I like the sound of a leisurely fantasy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really tried this one, but I was so immensely bored xD whoops… In the end though, I don’t really love fantasy, and I only read it because it was recommended to me. I didn’t like it how things happened in this fairytale way – snap and someone’s in love… Felt just so unrealistic. I guess I am not made for fantasy 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes sense. I would not recommend this to someone who was not an avid fan of fantasy. And being that I am and adore fairy tales, I think I am more of the ideal audience. I do not remember any insta love at all though. What is your go to genre Evelina? out of curiosity 🙂 I would love a recommendation of one of your favorites!


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