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The Forgotten Beasts of Eld Paperback – September 19, 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 424 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

"Rich and regal."
New York Times

“McKillip’s strange, enchanting stand-alone fantasy The Forgotten Beasts of Eld has been reissued. It follows Sybel, a woman with strange powers who collects fabulous beasts, whose power draws the attention of forces battling each other out in the world. Sybel must use her talent ― but will she win, or lose, herself? The novel won the World Fantasy Award and the writing is simply beautiful.”
Washington Post

“With its elegant language and lovingly rendered heroine, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld has won the love of readers young and old alike ― it’s a book that feels richer with every rereading.”
Reedsy, Go on a Magical Adventure with the 60 Best Fantasy Books of All Time

"This is my favorite book of all time. If I had to pick a desert island book, it would be this one."
―Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate

“Before Daenerys was Mother of Dragons, Sybel commanded beasts of all kinds. McKillip offers up a powerful character full of passion, determination, obsession, and love.”
―A. C. Wise, author of The Kissing Booth Girl

"This is what great literature looks like: bold, self-incisive, powerfully feminist without drawing attention to anything but the prose, the characters, and the story."
―Usman T. Malik, author of The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn

"Some books stay with you. It's been over forty years now since I first read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and succumbed to its enchantments. With its rich and lyric prose, its wondrous mix of characters (beasts included!), and its thoroughly enchanted world it was unlike anything I had read to that point. Forty years later I still cherish the experience."
―Bruce Coville, author of the Unicorn Chronicles

"Patricia McKillip's Forgotten Beasts of Eld is stunning . . . it filled me with joy and awe at the power of love, writing, and fantasy."
―Max Gladstone, author of the Hugo Award-winning Craft Sequence series

“An extraordinary book, and McKillip deserves all the praise she received for creating such a masterful, brave, intricately crafted universe. 10/10 stars”

“Intimate, gorgeous, quiet and deep, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld remains as resonant as ever.”

"Gorgeous, evocative, and fragile."

[The] Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a remarkable novel to come from such a young person: wise and deep and lucid and crisp."
Antick Musings

"Like the Ring trilogy or the Earthsea books . . . this magical moonlit fantasy has dignity and romance, heart-stopping suspense, adventure, richness of concept and language and, perhaps rarest of all in romantic fantasy "a sly sense of humor."
Publishers Weekly

"Gorgeous, lyrical."

"I read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld many years ago and was smitten. It is delicious and wise "a true classic."
―Susan Fletcher, author of Dragon's Milk and Shadow Spinner

"Fear, hope, love, hatred, and all that makes us human assume magical forms in McKillip's characteristically gorgeous prose."
―E. Lily Yu, author of "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees"

"There is a magic and grandeur to McKillip's focused prose, a kind of resounding clarity that lives and echoes in the mind long after the story is done."
―Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying and Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

"With elegant, lyrical prose, Patricia A. McKillip creates a timeless fairytale of love, revenge, and the cost of each. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a book I return to, time and again."
―Kelly Sandoval

"It feels ageless, eternal, light and perfect like a star."
SF Site

"The best fantasy novel of the year and perhaps of the decade. It's a mythical kingdom fantasy with a marvelous heroine, satisfying strange beasts, and chilling sorcery."

“More than 40 years after it was first published, McKillip’s World Fantasy Award-winner is unquestionably a classic of the genre, and it reads as timelessly as ever in this new print and ebook edition.”
B&N Week’s New Sci-Fi & Fantasy spotlight

“5/5 stars. This novel, like so many of McKillip’s stories, reads like a waking dream, one readers will want to escape into again and again. This is one of those books that can’t come with enough high recommendation.”
Seattle Review of Books

“5/5 stars. Myths and legends come alive, riddles abound, and magic seeps through each word. This is an utterly enticing story, with a fascinating heroine”
Night Owl Reviews

"A remarkable work of Literature."
The Royal Library

"Patricia McKillip weaves an incredibly rich, poetic, wise and mystical story, holding her readers spellbound."
St. Louis Dispatch-Post

“McKillip's elegant prose lends this dark fairytale a dreamy, mythic quality. A fantastic read featuring a fantastic heroine.”
Best Fantasy Books

“A masterful wordsmith. McKillip has no peer when it comes to incantatory prose, and her wizardry spells you into a waking dream in this breathtaking tale.”
Black Gate

“McKillip’s prose is utterly enchanting, steeped in a fairytale-like storytelling.”
Book Beyond

“This novel is a bonafide masterpiece, as well as a modern classic, and one of my all-time favorite novels. Every fantasy fan should read it.”
―John R. Fultz, author of Seven Princes

“The book is full of magic, wonder and fantastic creatures. It tells a heartwarming story of an independent woman who grows as a person and learns some important life lessons. This really is a wonderful read, and I fully understand why McKillip is recommended so highly.”
Speculative Herald

“McKillip’s world is clear and intricately drawn, with Sybel’s secluded life juxtaposed to the kingdom in turmoil just beyond her reach. The combination makes for a magical reading experience.”
Foreword Reviews

“A beautiful wizard; magical, sentient animals,; lovely prose; and complex attachments and relationships have made The Forgotten Beasts of Eld a classic adored and re-read by those who first discovered it decades ago.”
A Garden Carried in the Pocket

“I read [Eld] first when I was a girl, and I still count it as one of my favorite books of all time.”
―Jeffe Kennedy, author of The Shift of the Tide

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a stunning masterpiece of fantasy. 10/10 stars.”
Fantasy Café

“A magnetic and magical writer . . . a terrific book.”
Green Man Review

“Exquisitely written and has the feel of an original fairy tale, with all the emotional strength of the very best fables and legends.”

Praise for Patrica A. McKillip

"McKillip's is the first name that comes to mind when I'm asked whom I read myself, whom I'd recommend that others read, and who makes me shake my grizzled head and say, "Damn I wish I'd done that"
―Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn and The Overneath

"I read, and reread McKillip eagerly. She reminds me that fantasy is worth writing."
―Stephen R. Donaldson, author of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant

"Patricia McKillip is the real thing and always has been. She shows the rest of us that magic can be made with words and air; that is it worth doing and worth doing well."
―Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint and Thomas the Rhymer

"Ever since finding and loving The Riddle-Master of Hed many years ago, I have read everything Patricia McKillip has written. You should too."
―Garth Nix, author of Sabriel and the Keys to the Kingdom

"Some authors we read for their characters and their plots, others for the beauty of their language. I read Pat McKillip for all three."
―Charles de Lint, author of The Riddle of the Wren and The Blue Girl

"World Fantasy Award winner McKillip can take the most common fantasy elements, dragons and bards, sorcerers and shape-shifters and reshape them in surprising and resonant ways.
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Elegant and absorbing, [McKillip's] work never reads as stiff or formal, as some fantasy stories can lean toward, and the language, while beautiful, never loses the reader, but instead remains both lyrical and deeply visceral."
Manhattan Book Review

“If you need a book that will help you take a deep breath in the midst of your feverishly-paced life, I heartily recommend a visit to Sybel’s world.”

Novel Notions

About the Author

Patricia A. McKillip is the beloved author of twenty-seven fantasy novels, including The Riddle-Master of Hed, Harpist in the Wind, Ombria in Shadow, Solstice Wood, and The Sorceress and the Cygnet. She received the inaugural World Fantasy Award for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and later received the World Fantasy lifetime achievement award. She is also a three-time Mythopoeic Award winner. She recently published the novel Kingfisher and the collection Dreams of Distant Shores. McKillip lives in Oregon.

Internationally-bestselling author Gail Carriger's debut novel, Soulless, won the ALA's Alex Award. Her wildly popular steampunk Parasolverse contains multiple series including the Parasol Protectorate, which was also published as a graphic novel. Carriger has received the Steampunk Chronicle's Reader's Choice YA Award, the Prix Julia Verlanger, the Elbakin Award, and a Starburner Award in Literature. Her novels have been published in eighteen languages and made the New York Times list thirteen times. She lives in California.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tachyon Publications; Reprint edition (September 19, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1616962771
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1616962777
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 10 - 13 years
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.38 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 424 ratings

About the author

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Patricia Anne McKillip (born February 29, 1948) is an American author of fantasy and science fiction novels, which have been winners of the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award, and the Mythopoeic Award. In 2008, she was a recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. She lives in Oregon and is married to David Lunde, a poet.

According to Fantasy Book Review, Patricia McKillip grew up in Oregon, Britain, and Germany and received a bachelor of arts in English in 1971 and a master of arts in 1973 from San Jose State University. She has also lived in Roxbury, New York (in around 1999).

Most of her recent novels feature cover paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft.

Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Stepheng3 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
424 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2019
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25 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Mrs Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Good fantasy, quite short though
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2020
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witty skills
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it, a gentle tale but with interesting incidents
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2015
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One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2019
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Jeanette L. Lee-miller
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic fantasy story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2015
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2 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of McKillip's better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 13, 2005
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