The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is one of my alltime favorite fantasy novels It's a total comfort read, poetry in prose combined with an appealing story, some great symbolism, and an examination of people and their motives and how our desires and fears can make or undo us It's one of the fantasy books I repeatedly recommend to friends I finished this off yesterday in one day, as part of a buddy read with the Buddies, Books and Baubles group It's probably my third or fourth read of it, but it's been ages since I last read it, so there were quite a few details that I'd forgotten I still love it as much as ever, though.Sybel is a young woman who's a powerful wizard Raised in isolation by her father on Eld Mountain and orphaned at age 16, she's inherited a marvelous menagerie of powerful and wise magical animals When a young lord, Coren, brings her a baby, Tamlorn, a pawn in the power plays of men, and begs her to raise and protect him, she somewhat reluctantly agrees But twelve years later, Coren asks for Tamlorn back and then Tamlorn's father, King Drede, appears at Sybel's door And Sybel finds herself very unwillingly drawn into their world.**slightly spoilerish discussion of symbols in the rest of this review**Thoughts on symbolism: Rommalb/Blammor, of course, is fear that's made quite explicit I've always thought the Liralen was a pretty clear symbol of love, but I did a little spotchecking of online reviews and saw some other people suggest that it's happiness or joy That would make some sense, but I still think love is the better answer For one thing, when Sybel calls the Liralen, she usually is subconsciously calling Coren It's an interesting idea, though, the juxtaposition of fear with love (or happiness) as flip sides to the same magical creature.A beautiful book. This book gave me chills Still does I went in knowing nothing about it I mean, I did skim some of the reviews, so I knew it was highly rated and people seemed to love, but other than that, I had no idea what it's about or what to expect, and I had never read Patricia McKillip before.And that was the best way to approach because the writing blew me away It is simply SO GOOD and has a beautiful fluidity to it that makes it so easy to fall into What impresses me most is that the prose is neither purple nor flowery; it's just lovely to read There's a dreamy, poignant, lyrical quality to it, yet it's so easy to read and so concise There's not an unnecessary scene or line or moment anywhere Every word serves a purpose, and not once during the read did I feel like the story was wandering around aimlessly Nothing is out of place, and so much happens in so few pages And I just love that kind of writingpurposeful and minimalistic in execution So what is this book about?Briefly: Sybel, a young powerful sorceress who knows nothing of the world below her mountain and wants nothing to do with it, is pushed into the affairs of two warring sides within a kingdom when a baby is brought to her to raise On one side, there's an insecure king who fears being dethroned On the other side, there's family of nobles who would like to dethrone the king Their animosity toward each other go way back Both sides want Sybel and use her powers for their own, but only one seeks out a way to break and bind her to their will What follows is an all consuming tale of near destruction.Well not exactly, but that was what it felt like during the read, like everything was coming apart at the seams, and I could not turn the page fast enough.Sometimes, after a string of bland genre picks, I would forget what it's like to read well written fantasy, but then something always comes along to remind me McKillip was the perfect reminder.What, in years to come, will you have in your life but a silence that is meaningless, ancient names that are never spoken beyond these walls? Who will you laugh with, when Tam is grown? Who will you love? The Liralen? It is a dream Beyond this mountain, there is a place for you among the living.You can weave your life for so longonly so long, and then a thing in the world out of your control will tug at one vital thread and leave you patternless and subdued.Be patient It will soon be over.Soon is such a long word, she whispered.Crossposted at What a magical book!! Just what I needed! Happy Reading!Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 A guy was born in a remote village who could talk to animals and call them to him He build himself a hermit hut and called some exotic and legendary animals, including a balladsinging boar (my imagination miserably fails at trying to imaging it in the act), and of cause a treasurehoarding dragon His son continued his father collection, but his only heir was a girl named Sybel a heroine of the story As much as she was trying to avoid any interaction with other humans, the Big Politics caught up with her and she ended up taking care of a baby, supposedly a prince of a nearby kingdom This was how Sybel got tangled into affairs of other humans and this is how she discovered her own previously unknown emotions: love, hate, and everything in between I found myself in the situation when I need to say something nice about the book which totally deserves it, but I cannot find anything worth saying My reviewing motto is, When you want to praise a book and you have no idea what to say, praise the writing quality Yes, the writing quality is great and on the level only few books of the genre can reach The prose is excellent and so is the flow of the sentences What did not work for me was Sybel herself For starters by the middle of the book every single named male character of the story was madly in love with her I mean she was not exactly Helen of Troy whose face could launch a thousand ships She did not hesitate to sacrifice lives of people of several armies to get a personal revenge on one guy: can we call this an overkill? Other than Sybel the only character showing any signs of being a living being was Coren The rest were serving just to move the story along.Lots of people love the book and my problem was that I was looking for great characters and could not find any that interest me I already mentioned that the writing quality is very good I should also mention interesting symbolism in the story that was mentioned by my buddy readers The final rating is the middle of the road: 3 stars. When Myk went out of himself forever, sitting silent in the moonlight, his son Ogam continued the collection I'm convinced this is the most hauntingly beautiful description of death I have ever encountered in literature. What made this novel really amazing is how excellent Patricia A McKillip wrote this The author used her skill to write majestic words to describe each character and places, as well as breathtaking prose to narrate the story If I'm not mistaken, this book was first published four decades ago and that it also won the World Fantasy Award for Novel in 1975 It wouldn't be winning an award if it's not good, right? McKillip utilized her eloquence that made the story of Sybel, Tam, Coren, and of the beasts a truly astounding novel that everyone must read. This is my favorite book of all time If I had to pick a desert island book, it would be this one.There is something about the way this book flows that is actually literary magic It's about magic, and riddles, and all sort of other legendary things but it's like fractal mathematics: beautiful, impossible for an ordinary human to understand, and yet hypnotic Just the opening paragraph is chilling, and thrilling, and all sort of other trilling llls in a row I can't describe this book, because its better than that It's not funny, or cute, or silly or any of those things It's a work of pure lyrical genius If you haven't read it yet, shame on you. A dramatic, lyrical ballad locked into simple prose Obscure, seemingly effortless, magical and breathtaking I don't think I have ever come across a book like this before in the fantasy genre If I were to tell you what the story is about, it would not amount to much and there is hardly any worldbuilding, but the writing is so compelling, so powerful, so seductive and beautiful that I just cannot shake the effect it has had on me.The music I kept hearing in my head while reading was the musical suite, The Carnival of the Animals by SaintSaëns, especially The Swan movement.Also there is a strong medieval feel to the whole story and I was very much reminded of the Arthurian myth by the relationship between Sybel, Coren and Drede There was a strong GuineverLancelotArthur resemblance, though most of the time Sybel appeared to me asThe Lady of Shalott Arc received by the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Sixteen when a baby is brought to her to raise, Sybel has grown up on Eld Mountain Her only playmates are the creatures of a fantastic menagerie called there by wizardry Sybel has cared nothing for humans, until the baby awakens emotions previously unknown to her And when Corenthe man who brought this childreturns, Sybel's world is again turned upside down One day Patricia A McKillip will write a bad book and that'll be the first sign of the impending apocalypse I have no idea how I went through so many years of my life without having read her books Actually, that would probably be because there are no Portuguese translations and I have to buy the originals from the UK The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is, in a word, delightful Like all of McKillip's books the reader is lost in her magical worlds from the very first page She writes things and they seem to come alive, to leave the written paper and surround you, wherever you may be reading Honestly, this book was so wonderful I was almost run over by a car while reading it and walking on the street.