Flashback Friday is something I do here at Bookwraiths every once in a while; a time when I can post my thoughts about books that I’ve read in the past. With the hectic schedule of day-to-day life, there never seems enough time to give these old favorites the spotlight that they deserve, but with a day all to themselves, there is no reason I can’t revisit them.
Today, I’ll be taking a look back at an overlooked classic fantasy by Patricia A. McKillip!
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Tachyon Publications (July 11, 2017)
Author Information: Website
Length: 240 pages
My Rating: 4 stars
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a wonderfully written, richly textured, high fantasy from Patricia A. McKillip. Even though it is quite limited in length, it is still filled with insightful moments and fascinating insights; all of it set in beautifully rendered fairy tale world.
Sybel is a young, powerful sorceress, who has spent her life in isolation, her interaction with humans nonexistent. She knows nothing outside of her mountain home, nor does she really wish to know. Her only companions the magical creatures of her home. So when a baby is brought to her she isn’t quite prepared for the emotions this innocent child will evoke — nor is she ready for the power struggle she will be brought into when someone returns for the child.
What always catches me unprepared whenever I read (or reread) a Patricia A. McKillip novel is her unbelievable prose. It isn’t elaborate or flowery, merely lyrical and purposeful. Every word has its place and its use in her narratives, yet she never feels a need to expound unnecessarily. Important events taking place in pages rather than chapters. Concise, meaningful, and lovely. That is how this author writes, and I only wish more fantasy offerings these days mimicked her style.
As for the story itself, it was poignant, quick, and emotional. Sybel’s life, her choices, and the ones she love caught up in the quagmire she has unknowingly been drawn into. Her words and response to both the child and that which comes later filled with a layer of meaning and depth which will truly touches a reader’s heart strings.
As for any criticisms or complaints, I have none. McKillip has always been a writer I was in awe of, especially her amazing ability to craft an exciting fantasy tale that still finds a place for both dignity and seriousness in its pages, and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld was no exception, making me wonder only why it took me so long to actually read it.
Lyrical, complex, concise, and emotional, this novel is one I will be readily espousing to lovers of high fantasy, fairy tales, and beautifully writing. Patricia A. McKillip isn’t an author spoken of very often these days, but she should be, because her works are treasures of the genre.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.