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About Patricia A. McKillip
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.
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It is considered her most enduring and beloved work. Now it is collected in one volume for the first time–the epic journeys of a young prince in a strange land, where wizards have long since vanished...but where magic is waiting to be reborn.
First time available in an e-book edition
"Rich and regal."
—The New York Times
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 exquisite and mysterious Liralen, which continues to elude her most powerful enchantments.
But Sybel's solitude is to be shattered when a desperate soldier arrives bearing a mysterious child. Soon Sybel will discover that the world of men is full of love, deceit, and the temptations of vast power.
In the kingdom of Raine, a vast realm at the edge of the world, an orphaned baby girl is found by a palace librarian and raised to become a translator. Years later, the girl -- named Nepenthe -- comes in contact with a mysterious book written in a language of thorns that no one, not even the wizards at Raine's famous Floating School for mages, can decipher. The book calls out to Nepenthe's very soul, and she is soon privately translating its contents. As she works tirelessly transcribing the book -- which turns out to be about the historical figures of Axis, the Emperor of Night, and Kane, his masked sorcerer -- the kingdom of Raine is teetering on the brink of chaos. The newly crowned queen, a mousy 14-year old girl named Tessera who wants nothing to do with matters of state, hides in the woods as regents plot revolution. The queen's destiny, however, is intertwined with Nepenthe's ability to unravel the mystery of the thorns.
Since the day her father's fishing boat returned without him, Peri and her mother have mourned his loss. Her mother sinks into a deep depression and spends her days gazing out at the sea. Unable to control her anger and sadness any longer, Peri uses the small magic she knows to hex the sea. And suddenly into her drab life come the King's sons—changelings with strange ties to the underwater kingdom—a young magician, and, finally, love.
"McKillip is a master storyteller; her tale rings true as if it were being told from memory."—Kirkus Reviews, pointer review
Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, unexpectedly, strangers pass through town on the way to the legendary capital city. “Look for us,” they tell Pierce, “if you come to Severluna. You might find a place for yourself in King Arden’s court.”
Lured by a future far away from the bleak northern coast, Pierce makes his choice. Heloise, bereft and furious, tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden’s court; about an older brother he never knew existed; about his father’s destructive love for King Arden’s queen, and Heloise’s decision to raise her younger son alone.
As Pierce journeys to Severluna, his path twists and turns through other lives and mysteries: an inn where ancient rites are celebrated, though no one will speak of them; a legendary local chef whose delicacies leave diners slowly withering from hunger; his mysterious wife, who steals Pierce’s heart; a young woman whose need to escape is even greater than Pierce’s; and finally, in Severluna, King Arden's youngest son, who is urged by strange and lovely forces to sacrifice his father’s kingdom.
Things are changing in that kingdom. Oldmagic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to its former glory—or destroy it...
Some said the dying words of Nial Lynn, murdered by his own son, were a wicked curse. To others, it was a winter’s tale spun by firelight on cold, dark nights. But when Corbet Lynn came to rebuild his family estate, memories of his grandfather’s curse were rekindled by young and old--and rumors filled the heavy air of summer. In the woods that border Lynn Hall, free-spirited Rois Melior roams wild and barefooted. And as autumn gold fades, she is consumed with Corbet Lynn, obsessed with his secret past…
The Wayfolk are a dark-haired, wandering people who shun doors and walls. Corleu is Wayfolk, albeit with hair the color of the moon. But when his companions and his own true love become trapped in an unearthly swamp beyond the reach of time, he dares to cross a forbidden and forbidding threshold, to enter a dark house that should not exist, to meet with a tinker who is also a king, and to embark on a quest for the one long-lost treasure that may free his people: the heart of the Cygnet.
The Cygnet is a figure of myth and legend, like the Gold King, the Blind Lady, the Dancer, and the Warlock. Once Corleu had thought these beings to live only in the stars and in children's rhymes. Now he knows that they are as real as himself, and that it is the Cygnet that holds the others at bay.
To find the heart, he must walk paths he never imagined: apprentice himself to a beautiful sorceress of uncertain motives, brave the Fire Bear in its lair, catch the Blood Fox by its shadow, and elude a valiant woman warrior whose destiny is strangely linked to his own. More, Corleu must also wrestle with his own conscience.
For if he fails in his quest, those he loves are lost forever to timeless limbo. But if he claims the heart, then the Cygnet falls and so do all who live...
Sealey Head is a small town on the edge of the ocean, a sleepy place where everyone hears the ringing of a bell no one can see. On the outskirts of town is the one truly great house, Aislinn House, where the aged Lady Eglantyne lies dying, and where the doors sometimes open not to its own dusty rooms, but to the wild majesty of a castle full of knights and princesses…