Patricia A. McKillip’s THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD is utterly satisfying

The buzz surrounding Tachyon’s reissue of Patricia A. McKillip’s World Fantasy Award-winner THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD, soon to be available in both print and for the first time in digital formats, proves that the 40 year old book still dazzles.


Photo: Stephen Gold/Wikimedia Commons

MY WAY BY STARLIGHT was thrilled to discover the classic book.

Most reviews, I’m able to write almost directly after the book. It keeps the book fresh in my mind and I enjoy getting them out to you as soon as I’m done. Well, I finished THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD this weekend. This novel was something I needed to digest before I could get it back to you.

McKillip’s work, to me seems an instant classic. There are those books I read, and love and immediately go to gush about to others. There there are those that I love, such as THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD, that I keep to myself for a little while because they seem to touch a part of me hidden deep down.

This is an older book, and it’s written more as an older epic, high fantasy novel. Beautiful details, and an emphasis on more of the interpersonal details than action. Not to say that there isn’t action, but this is much more a novel of understanding what it means to be human.


I enjoyed the fluid writing. Not as intricate to internal thoughts as many of our modern novels, we get to hear of these amazing creatures and she the wisdom they bring, humanity’s desire for power, and how sometimes the greatest battle is for our own very soul and understanding our own demons.

To me this has become a tale I will gladly read again, and shall always have a treasured spot in my library. I’ve always thoughts that books come at a time when you need them most. THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD only proved that once more to me.


Suncerae Smith at READ WELL awards five stars to the lovely tale.

THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD is a lovely classic fairy tale fantasy that you probably missed. It’s a story of magic, but it’s prose is magic as well. You will be whisked away to a land and time so foreign, yet so familiar through this delicately refined fable. Bask in Sybel’s peaceful isolation with her animals before struggling with her as she learns to appreciate companionship. She spends so long extolling the virtues of isolation that when she rounds the corner of trust, the darker traits of the human condition prove her correct. So begins a cautionary tale of power and revenge that’s utterly satisfying.


Recommended for fans of dreamy fairy tales!

James Nicoll on his eponymous site includes, without comment, THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD among his selection of Twenty Core Young Adult Works of Speculative Fiction Every True SF Fan Should Have on Their Shelves.

For more info about THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Thomas Canty