Book Reviews #8: The Forgotten beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip

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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.

Forgotten beasts of El (1)

I’ll be honest here my little book dragons, the reason why I picked this book is this cover! Isn’t it gorgeous? If the first publishing was made in 1974, this version is expected for September 2017 (not too long to wait!). But when I started reading it, I realized it was not your regular kind of fantasy. No, this one reminded me of classics of the genre, such as JRR Tolkien. Not in an idea of a quest, but in the building of the story, in the way the words were flowing.

We start by learning about Sybel’s ancestors, mysterious wizards who gathered ( called) forgotten beasts of legend in the Eld mountain: Ter the Falcon who killed seven men, Gules the Lyon who seduced men to their loss, Moriah the huge Cat who knows all about spells and secret charms, Cyrin the Boar, master of riddles and Gyld the Dragon with an endless treasure. She is happy there, with her animals company. Until the day a young man arrives bringing her a baby, her cousin, so she can protect him. There start another story from which I won’t reveal too much. I will just tell you that you will grow with Sybel as she learns to raise the boy, as she learns more and more about men, and loss. You’ll follow all her adventures and will wonder with her about power and its price, about love too.
All the characters in this book have something to teach you, and will surprise you! There were many things I did not see coming, more mysteries and revelations than I would have guessed, and it only made the read better.

What else can I add about this book? which words to use to describe it? its beauty and uniqueness. I have never read a book like this one. Each page was full of magic, a bit like an old ballad would be. You could even feel it in the names of the characters. Yes, that’s what it felt like, an epic ballad someone would have told one day in a castle. About the beautiful Sybel and her forgotten beasts. About their beauty and power and wisdom. A story of men, and their flaws. Their hunger for power, how it leads them to their doom. But also a story about love. It was all of that and more.
This read leaves me with a sentiment of peace, as if a secret truth has been revealed to me, whispered through the story.

I hope you will decide to read it too 😉

See you for a cup!

Elise

Thank you to Netgalley and Tachyon Publications for giving me a chance to read this book!

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