The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Patricia A. McKillip


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.


The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

by Patricia A. McKillip

ISBN: Print: 9781616962777 Digital: 9781616962791

Published: September 2017

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Digital Books


Winner of the 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 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

“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

“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

“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. Some books truly do stay with you.”
—Bruce Coville, author of the Dragon Chronicles

“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, always finding some new layer to the tale. Like the wondrous beasts within its pages, this book is both beautiful and dangerous; you can’t read it without being changed.”
—Kelly Sandoval

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a cold mountain wind that blows through the soul and leaves it cleaner and lighter afterwards. I first read the book twelve or thirteen years ago, and its power has only grown with time, taking on increasing urgency and relevance in these latter days. 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”

“I admit it: I have been seduced by Patricia A McKillip’s The Forgotten Beasts of Eld . . . 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.”

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a gorgeously told tale of love and the human cost of war and revenge. It has a love of riddles, inventive magical beasts, and a well-drawn cast of believable characters with a strong, engaging female protagonist.”
Worlds Without End

“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.

“This book gave me chills . . . It is simply SO GOOD and has a beautiful fluidity to it that makes it so easy to fall into.”
From Cover to Cover

“If you read this book, you’re in for a treat. Filled with wondrous magical land, weird creatures, unexpected plot with fight for country power, love and revenge.”

“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 Hed, Harpist in the Wind, and The Sorceress and the Cygnet. She has received the World Fantasy Award for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Ombria in Shadow, and Solstice Wood, for which she also received the Mythopoeic Award. McKillip has also received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. She recently published the novel Kingfisher and the collection Dreams of Distant Shores. McKillip 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

“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 . . . Fans of exquisite prose and ethereal fantasy will need to own this.”
Publishers Weekly

“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

“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, The Devil’s Arithmetic, and Sister 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

“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 Shoresis 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

Praise for 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.”
—Charlie Jane Anders, io9

“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 Noble

Visit the Patricia A. McKillip website.