Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
I'd heard of The Forgotten Beasts of Eld before I saw it on the list. It was one of those things I always wanted to read, but never really got around to.
The idea behind it is definitely appealing. A menagerie of fantastical beasts (a wise talking boar, a loyal and powerful lion, a dragon. etc...) is collected by a feisty independent thinking woman raised in a wilderness.
Sybel; the heroine, is happy amongst her extraordinary creatures and calling new ones, and wants for nothing else, until she is brought a child to look after and bonds with him as if he were her own.
Sybel falls in love not once, not twice, but three times and will also know heartbreak. It's a lyrically written tale and it's rather timeless. There's more to this story than what is on the face of it, although it's quite enjoyable if you simply read it that way, but you can think about it and find more in it's words than what they say at first look.
It's a rather haunting story that stays with the reader long after they finish it.
I did find some similarities with The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and Charles G. Finney's The Circus of Dr Lao, which had an equally interesting and amazing menagerie. Well worth seeking out if you haven't encountered Patricia McKillip before.