Sybel lives alone on Eld Mountain with a fantastic menagerie of animals she gathered with wizardry. By choice, she knows nothing of the ways of men and their politics. But one day a young noble named Coren travels to her mountain with a baby in his arms that needs hiding. She learns to love and raises the child, but when Coren returns a decade later, with the intent of taking back the child for political means, she resists.
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a lovely classic fairy tale fantasy that you probably missed. It’s a story of magic, but it’s prose is magic as well. You will be whisked away to a land and time so foreign, yet so familiar through this delicately refined fable. Bask in Sybel’s peaceful isolation with her animals before struggling with her as she learns to appreciate companionship. She spends so long extolling the virtues of isolation that when she rounds the corner of trust, the darker traits of the human condition prove her correct. So begins a cautionary tale of power and revenge that’s utterly satisfying.
Enter a world of the ice white lady, her loyal cat and falcon, her talking boar who knows the answer to all riddles save one, and a dangerous dragon who lives deep within the mountain.
Recommended for fans of dreamy fairy tales!
“What do you think love is—a thing to startle from the heart like a bird at every shout or blow? You can fly from me, high as you choose into your darkness, but you will see me always beneath you, no matter how far away, with my face turned to you. My heart is in your heart. I gave it to you with my name that night and you are its guardian, to treasure it, or let it wither and die. I do not understand you. I am angry with you. I am hurt and helpless, but nothing will fill the ache of the hollowness in me where your name would echo if I lost you.”