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The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 10 Nov 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (10 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575077654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575077652
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 604,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

One of the most glorious and enchanting of fantasies by one of the most moving and elegant writers in the field

About the Author

Patricia A. McKillip (1948 - ) Patricia Anne McKillip was born on February 29th, 1948, in Salem, Oregon. She is the acclaimed author of many fine fantasy novels for children and adults, including The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and Ombria in Shadow - both of which won the World Fantasy Award - The Sorceress and the Cygnet, Winter Rose and Harpist in the Wind, which was shortlisted for both the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rotgut VINE VOICE on 13 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
This well written evocation of a vaguely Celtic fantasy world is an excellent addition to the usually reliable "Masterwork" series, and is a memorable, thought provoking work.

Its story is not so much predictable as inevitable, the reader can probably predict how the various characters will end up, but this is not a criticism, rather the opposite : their motivations and personalities are established clearly and strongly.

The magic here works in a similar way to that in Ursula le Guin's fantastic "Earthsea" books: naming things gives wizards power over them. It is not as clearly defined as in the le Guin books, making it easier for McKillip to use sorcery as a plot device, since what it can and cannot do is never really spelt out. This has the detrimental effect, however of the magic system never being as believable as in the "Wizard of Earthsea."

This novel is sharp and fast moving, very pacifistic in outlook, very feminine almost, if such a description is not too politically incorrect. My only real problem was with Sybel's behaviour after her duel with the powerful rival wizard. Keeping her motivation secret from Coren, but not from his brothers seems pointless in plot terms and somewhat out of character.

Lord Dunsany is another influence, obvious in some of the elaborate vowel heavy names of places and people...surely the wizard named "Myk" is a mistake though, it looks good on the page but try reading aloud : the mighty mage Mike just doesn't sound right somehow.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By merlinme VINE VOICE on 22 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book many years ago, and then managed to lose my copy of it. I rebought it recently, and I was afraid that perhaps being older and more critical it might not be as good as I remembered. I had no need to fear; for sheer beauty of writing, evoking all that is best in fairy stories in a truly original way, I honestly don't think I've ever read anything better. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to read fantasy with a sense of wonder again, with both the magic and the powerful emotions of the characters, light and dark, coming through strongly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a neglected classic of the fantasy genre. McKillip tells the story of Sybil and Coren in a setting which is beautifully realized without detracting from the developing relationships between the characters, which is what the novel is really all about. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is refreshingy different in that the fate of the imagined world is not what is really at stake, but rather the personal realtionships of a sorceress, a nobleman and a lost prince. The Boar, Cyrin, is also one of the most memorable characters I have encountered in twenty years of reading fantasy fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec. 1997
Format: Paperback
One of the finest works of fantasy ever written--it's no wonder it's still in print after over a dozen years. McKillip has created believable characters that it is easy to sympathize with. These are the sorceress Sybel, who has the seven beasts of the title under her control, Coren, of the house of Sirle, Drede, the king who is rival to the Sirle lords, and Tamlorn, son of Drede and a relative of Sybel. In a way, the plot is that Sybel unwittingly is drawn from the isolated existence she has always had into the affairs of men. She is given Tamlorn to raise, and she and Coren fall in love. Tamlorn becomes a pawn in the struggle between Drede and the Sirle lords. Sybel and her beasts are tempted to take sides, which causes Sybel to begin to lose her relationships with Tamlorn and Coren. In another way, the plot is summed up in the words of Cyrin, the speaking boar: "The giant Grof was hit in one eye by a stone. The eye turned inward, and he died of what he saw there." In other words, what you are is more important than revenge. Revenge may be accomplished, but it eats away at what you are. Sybel seeks revenge for an awful deed done to her by Drede, but finally saves her beasts, her soul, and her life, by rejecting revenge. The book could be easily read by anyone from sixth grade up.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
I read THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD this past summer, and whenever I recall it, the general essence of the book, it's feel, comes back. It was truly astounding and thoroughly mesmerising; her descriptions and plot are wonderful. It's the kind of book that is surreal and dreamlike, not because of its setting, but because of the writing and the way she uses the English language. It will stay on my Bookshelf of Excellent Books, except for when I'm rereading it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Nov. 1997
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the very best I have ever read (And I have read A LOT). McKillip really brings out the emotions of Sybel, the story's heroine. I liked that even though Sybel was the heroine, she still had flaws and failings. The world and settings are described marvellously and so are the mystical and beautiful animals who occupy the pages. I couldn't put the book down. Something for all fantasy lovers, and even romance lovers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Jan. 1998
Format: Paperback
This book arrived just before X'mas & was possibly the best X'mas present I could have given myself. I actually sent an email to all my friends to tell them to read this. (Very unusual action on my part.) Although it is a winner of the World Fantasy Award, as long as one hasn't given up hope in the living, I believe this timeless fable should appeal to anyone who may or may not usually read fantasy. This book is dreamy, yet feels very contemporary, as the emotional/moral issues encountered by the characters apply even to our realtime everyday world. It reminded me somewhat of The Little Prince by Saint-Exupery or The Alchemist by Coelho, but to me, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is less disturbing, yet more gripping. Afterwards I felt content with a feeling of peace & hope. :-)
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