The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Patricia A. McKillip


Sybel, a  powerful wizard, living alone in her stone mansion, she is attended by magical beasts: Riddle-master Cyrin the boar; the dragon Gyld; Gules the Lyon; Ter, the falcon; and Moriah, the feline. When a soldier bearing an infant arrives, Sybel discovers that the world of man and magic is full of both love and deceit.


The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

by Patricia A. McKillip

ISBN: 9781616962777

Published: September 2017

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Digital Books


Winner of the Inaugural World Fantasy Award

“Rich and regal.”
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 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.

Praise for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

“Rich and regal.”
—New York Times

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

“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 prose.”

“Almost destroyed because of a man’s fear and greed, Sybel, a beautiful young sorceress, embarks on a quest for revenge that proves equally destructive. Winner of the World Fantasy award, this exquisitely written story has something for almost every reader: adventure, romance and a resonant mythology that reveals powerful truths about human nature.”

“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.

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

About the Author

Patricia A. McKillip is the bestselling author of more than thirty much-beloved fantasy novels, including The Riddle-Master of HedHarpist in the Wind, and The Sorceress and the Cygnet. She has received the World Fantasy Award for The Forgotten Beasts of EldOmbria in Shadow, and Solstice Wood, for which she also received the Mythopoeic Award. McKillip has also received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2015, three of her novels are being collected in the prestigious SF Gateway Omnibus series. She lives in Oregon.

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 Sleight of Hand

“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

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

“Cool elegance.”
Chicago Sun-Times


“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

“Lush imagery and wry humor…McKillip’s rich language conveys real strangeness and power.”

“McKillip skillfully knits disparate threads into a rewardingly rich and satisfying story.”

“McKillip’s luminous prose and compelling characters combine to produce a masterwork of style and substance.”
Library Journal

Praise for Dreams of Distant Shores

An Overdrive Recommended Book

[STAR] “McKillip (Wonders of the Invisible World), winner of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, collects nine dazzling shorter pieces (both originals and reprints) in this outstanding collection. The brief, creepy “Weird” opens the volume, merging an oddly romantic picnic in a bathroom and a mysterious threat outside into something that exists in a darkly beautiful interstitial place. The longest piece, “Something Rich and Strange,” which appeared originally as a standalone novella in Brian Froud’s Faerielands series, is an ecological fairy tale that contains the most gorgeous of McKillip’s prose (“her blind stare of pearl and wormwood”)—and the weakest of her plots, but even weaker McKillip is well worth reading. The newer stories also shine. “Mer” is a small gem about a nameless witch, a fishing village, and a mermaid statue. “Edith and Henry Go Motoring” features a toll bridge that leads travelers on an unexpected journey. Beyond the short fiction, the volume finishes with an essay on writing high fantasy, and an appreciation of McKillip’s work by renowned fantasist Peter S. Beagle. Fans of exquisite prose and ethereal fantasy will need to own this.”
Publishers Weekly

“A young couple trade odd stories in a bathroom as something rages outside. An artist calls upon his muse, who answers him through an unfinished painting. A musical band of witches takes on a dark force during their bar performance. The seven ethereal tales (including three new ones), collected here touch on people’s dreams and desires. Also featured is McKillip’s 2002 essay on writing high fantasy and Peter S. Beagle’s afterword, “Dear Pat,” an appreciation of McKillip’s work. VERDICT: McKillip (Wonders of the Invisible World) once more enchants with this volume, which fantasy readers will devour as they are transported into ­multiple ­realities.”
Library Journal

“VERDICT This collection of fascinating and haunting tales that will linger with readers is a strong addition to short story and fantasy collections; hand to fans of Holly Black, Robin McKinley, and Donna Jo Napoli.”
School Library Journal

“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

“Absolutely spellbinding. It has been a very long time since we read a gathering of short stories as perfect and beguiling as these.”
Starburst, 10 of 10 stars

“McKillip’s prose is both lovely and thought-provoking. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy fantastical short works.”
Fantasy Literature

“Lovely prose . . . Dreams of Distant Shores is for the discerning fantasy reader.”
Elitist Book Reviews

“Patricia A. McKillip’s Dreams of Distant Shores is a stunningly beautiful and magnificent short story collection filled with excellent high fantasy. It’s a perfect example of what lyrical fantasy authors are capable of achieving in modern fantasy fiction, because each of the stories is captivating and offers something new to readers.”

“A portal to the immanent magical worlds that McKillip convincingly suggests are nearby.”

“A new Patricia McKillip book is always a cause for celebration . . . There’s not a wrong [story] note here”
Fantasy & Science Fiction

“Glimpses of things which remain timeless, nameless, and true.”
Strange Horizons

“Each tale felt like a dream permeated by a different style of magic . . . An excellent collection.”
Worlds Without End

“It’s both essential for fans and a lovely introduction to her work.”
B&N Sci Fi & Fantasy blog

“All the stories struck me as treasures.”
Through Raspberry Colored Glasses

“I love Patricia McKillip’s novels, but even more, I am passionate about her brilliant short stories—those coruscating jewels that are both remarkable for their language, their power, their wit, and their depth. She writes pure fantasy and historical fantasy with equal ease. More, more please.”
–Jane Yolen, author of Briar Rose, Sister Emily’s Lightship, Devil’s Arithmetic, andSister Light, Sister Dark

“Ever since finding and loving The Riddle-Master of Hed many years ago, I have read everything Patricia McKillip has written. You should too. Start with this book!”
—Garth Nix, author of Sabriel and the Keys to the Kingdom series

“Anyone about to open this book is a very lucky person indeed. You are about to encounter mysteries, monsters jewels, songs, witches, a treasure chest of story. Here are magic worlds, places of enchantment, and a wonderful, lyrical voice to guide you through them.”
—Lisa Goldstein, author of The Red Magician and The Uncertain Places

“Some authors we read for their characters and their plots, others for the beauty of their language. I read Pat McKillip for all three. She’s gifted beyond compare, a national treasure who should be cherished by all lovers of literature, and Dreams of Distant Shores is a perfect example of why I hold her in such high esteem.”
—Charles de Lint, author of The Riddle of the Wren and The Blue Girl

“Absolutely spellbinding. It has been a very long time since we read a gathering of short stories as perfect and beguiling as these. 10/10 stars.”
Starburst Magazine

“If you’re a fan of modern High Fantasy that still manages to be fresh and new, I definitely recommend this.”
—Brad K. Horner

“These are the types of fantasies that open you to the fae and just don’t let go immediately. I felt like I had become part of the wind and words, floating around waiting to be reality…recommending this to any and all people with imagination”
—In Pursuit of My Own Library

Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip is unique, captivating, and a work of art.”
—Luxury Reading

Dreams of Distant Shores will deserve a place in the collections of modern fantasy fans.”
—Fresh Fiction

“Patricia A. McKillip displays an amazing imagination in Dreams of Distant Shores. Each story is unique. Each story has vivid setting and engaging characters. The imagery is absolutely beautiful. Surprises are the norm in these tales, so prepare to be entertained.”
Whiskey with My Book

“Tachyon Publications has a knack for putting out excellent collections of short stories.”
The Warbler

Praise for the collection Wonders of the Invisible World

“Endlessly astonishing and impressive fantasist McKillip (The Bards of Bone Plain) travels the shadowy twilight realm between worlds and returns with the raw stuff of dreams.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Mesmerizing…. Any collection of McKillip’s short stories will be a valuable asset to any library and a joy to her many fans.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Anybody who loves fantasy—not just for what most fantasy does, but for what the genre is really capable of—should definitely pick this book up. It’s like a perfect encapsulation of fantasy writing at its most brave and beautiful.”

“A casket full of wonders. I think each one is my favorite, until I read the next. McKillip has the true Mythopoeic imagination. Here lies the border between our world and that of Faerie.”
—P. C. Hodgell, author of the Kencyrath series

“This brilliant new collection puts on display the audacity, the warmth, the intelligence, and depth of [McKillip’s] huge and magnificent talent.”
—Peter Straub, author of Ghost Story and A Dark Matter

“The lively and enchanting stories in Wonders of the Invisible World certainly deserve all the accolades I can summon.”
—Paul Goat Allen, Barnes and

“I loved all the stories in this collection, and if I still have to tell you to try this out, well, you haven’t been reading my review…. Patricia Mckillip is a master at what she does. Strongly recommended.”

Wonders of the Invisible World is a wonderful collection of stories full of wit and insight wrapped in beautiful, effortless prose. McKillip’s ability to convey so much in so few words is impressive, as is her ability with storytelling, characterization, and thematic elements.”
Fantasy Cafe

“This is one to dip into, savour, and place on that special shelf for books to be cherished.”

“…she’s still one of the best fantasy writers out there.”
Green Man Review

“Exquisitely written with destinations beyond your imaginings!”
My Shelf Confessions

Visit the Patricia A. McKillip website.