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-->''...her eyes curved slightly in a smile. "Go home to your world of the living, Coren. That is where you belong. I can take care of myself."''
-->''"Perhaps." He gathered the reins in his hands, turned his mount toward the road that wound downward to Mondor. Then he looked back at her, his eyes the color of clear mountain water. "But one day you will find out how good it is to have someone who chooses to come when you call."''

''The Forgotten Beasts of Eld'' is a 1974 WorldFantasyAward-winning novel by Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip; the very first book to win that award. It was her breakout novel. The story has a fairy-tale-like quality, but, as usual with [=McKillip's=] works, the myths and legends mentioned in the story are almost entirely her own invention.

The beautiful young sorceress Sybel (child of the Wizard Ogam and a noblewoman he seduced) lives on a remote mountain deep in the Eldwold. With both her parents dead, Sybel knows little of the world of mankind; she keeps company with the collection of magical beasts started by her grandfather, which includes the wise Boar Cyrin, The Black Swan of Tirlith, the spellcasting black cat Moriah, the Dragon Gyld, and many more. With her powerful magic, Sybel seeks little but to expand her collection, calling beasts out of legend to join her on Eld mountain.

One day a frightened man, Coren of Sirle, shows up on Sybel's mountain with a baby. The baby, Tamlorn, is a possible heir to the throne, and being hunted by the King. It is also a cousin of Sybel's, on her mother's side, so, although she has no experience with or interest in children, she reluctantly agrees to keep it safe, and soon comes to love it as she loves her beasts. Then, when Tam is twelve years old, Coren reappears. Sybel may be drawn into the affairs of mankind after all.
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!! Tropes in this novel include:
* BadDreams: Coren wakes Sybel with his screams and when she goes to wake him, he is babbling of his brothers and a disastrous battle they fought.
* CatsAreMagic: Sybel's magical menagerie includes the huge black cat Moriah, who is legendary for her knowledge of spells and secret charms.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Sybel, of course. Multiple characters refer to her as being white or icy. One of the main catalysts of the defrosting part is [[FieryRedhead red-headed]] [[OppositesAttract Coren]].
* DistressedDude: Sybel is forced to rescue Prince Coren from her own beasts more than once.
* DragonHoard: The dragon Gyld is old and tired and mostly content to live in Sybel's menagerie, but occasionally longs for his old hoard, which ends up causing some trouble.
* FantasticNatureReserve: Sybel's collection referred to in the name of the book.
* FearlessFool: Sybel is too young and too powerful to know fear. She proves the fearless part when she summons The Rommalb, a creature which [[ImNotAfraidOfYou destroys any who fear]]. She proves the fool part when she continues to steal {{Spell Book}}s from other wizards, despite Maelga's warnings.
* FluffyTamer: Sybel's collection includes some monstrous beasts, including the Dragon Gyld and Gules Lyon.
* FullBoarAction: The Boar Cyrin, a major character who is a talking boar with magical knowledge and great wisdom. He knows the answers to all riddles but one.
* GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul: This is the ultimate goal of the MindRape that the wizard Mithran attempts on Sybel. He wants to destroy who she is, leaving her still powerful, but happy and content to serve King Drede in all ways.
* HeirClubForMen: Tamlorn's mother is Sybel's aunt, who married King Drede. His father is either the king, in which case he's the heir, or another man, who the king killed in a fit of jealousy, which is why Tam's life is in danger, especially since in the latter case, he could be a pretender for the king's rivals to gather around.
* IKnowYourTrueName: Sybel must learn the true names of her beasts to bind them to her. This also proves to be her own point of weakness.
* ImNotAfraidOfYou: Sybel summons The Rommalb, a creature which destroys all those who fear. She's simply [[FearlessFool too young and too powerful to understand fear]] though, so the encounter is harmless.
* MagicalSeventhSon: When Sybel asks Coren how it is that an ordinary human knows so much about the beasts in her care, he explains it by telling her that he's a seventh son of a seventh son.
* MindRape: The wizard Mithran tries this on Sybel, in an attempt to destroy who she is, and ultimately turn her into a [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul happy servant of King Drede]]. The horrific assault gives her her first serious taste for [[RevengeBeforeReason revenge]].
* MosesInTheBullrushes: Tamlorn, the child of Queen Rianna, is brought to the sorceress Sybel to keep him safe. She raises him in ignorance of his heritage.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: The Dragon Gyld is a fairly typical western dragon: intelligent, but a rapacious predator, and contemptuous of mankind. But he has not gotten StrongerWithAge. Old and wise, but no longer as strong as in his youth, he is mostly content to live, dreaming, with the rest of Sybel's menagerie. Though he does long for his ancient hoard, which ends up causing some trouble.
* RevengeBeforeReason: After the MindRape that was intended to destroy her personality and turn her into a [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul happy little slave]], Sybel decides that no sacrifice--not even the love and happiness of those closest to her, and certainly not the death of uninvolved third parties--is too great to make if it will ensure that the man responsible suffers the depths of terror and despair before he dies.
* SdrawkcabAlias: Used to speak of The Rommalb. To say his name properly (''Blammor'') is to summon it.
* SpellBook: Sybel steals these from lesser wizards in her quest to learn the [[IKnowYourTrueName true names]] of legendary creatures. Maelga warns her that she may one day steal from the wrong wizard, but she dismisses the notion. Until it's too late.
* SwansASwimming: The Black Swan of Tirlith, who once carried a king's daughter from the stone tower of exile. Larger and stronger than an ordinary swan, the Black Swan is unafraid of mere men.
* TalkingAnimal: Most of the creatures in Sybel's menagerie ''could'' talk at one time, but most have forgotten the languages of man, and speak only with magic now. The wise Boar Cyrin is the exception, who still speaks fluently.
* ThickerThanWater: Sybel, who has no interest in the company of other humans, agrees to keep the baby Tam safe from those hunting him only because he's related to her mother. She also finds the baby appealing and thinks he will go well in the collection.
* WickedWitch: Maelga, Sybel's closest neighbor; one of the only people willing to live near the mysterious and frightening Eld Mountain. She's only a ''little'' bit wicked; she and Sybel end up good friends after Sybel receives the baby, Tam, and turns to Maelga for advice. She does dispense curses and potions to the villagers, though.

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