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Creator: Patricia A. McKillip
Patricia A. McKillip is an American writer known for her unusual and sometimes surreal, dream-like fantasy works (mostly YA). Her breakout novel was 1974's World Fantasy Award-winning The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, a fairy-tale-like story of a beautiful sorceress on a remote mountaintop. She followed that up with the very popular Riddle Master Trilogy, a High Fantasy about a farmer-prince who has three stars on his forehead, and a prophecy calling nameless shapeshifters out of the sea.

She won another World Fantasy Award for Ombria in Shadow and Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards for Something Rich and Strange and Solstice Wood. Her other works include The Sorceress and the Cygnet, and its sequel The Cygnet and the Firebird, as well as The Changeling Sea, The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Winter Rose, Song for the Basilisk, The Tower at Stony Wood, In the Forests of Serre, Alphabet of Thorn, Od Magic, Solstice Wood, and The Bell at Sealey Head. She has also written one Science Fiction novel, Fool's Run.

She was given a special Lifetime Achievement World Fantasy Award in 2008.

Works with a page on this wiki:


Tropes found in other works include:

  • Anger Born of Worry: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, when Tanis was unhorsed and injured, and then had to kill a boar, his brother descends on him dragging him away and pounded him — only when Tanis recovers from his shock does he realize he's saying that he thought Tanis had been killed.
  • Anxiety Dreams: Discussed in "The Kelpie": Wilding suggests that Emma is sleeping poorly because of these; a future of matrimony and children will give her little chance to paint.
  • Arcadia: Mentioned in "The Kelpie": healthy living in the countryside is cited to explain Emma's height.
  • Children Are Innocent: In "Wonders of the Invisible World", Cotton Mather cites this.
  • Cool Gate:
    • In The Sorceress and the Cygnet, the doors in the house of Nyx Ro rarely lead where you would expect.
    • In Alphabet of Thorn, Kane creates a time gate to allow Axis to invade the future.
  • Curiosity Is a Crapshoot: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Saro and her father watched Atrix Wolfe's spell because of her curiosity — and got caught.
  • Damsel in Distress: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Saro is trapped in a spell, rendered The Speechless, and ends up a Scullery Maid in Cinderella Circumstances.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Rois Melior, the heroine of Winter Rose.
  • Distressed Dude: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Tanis is trapped in the Lost Woods. Where a woman reveals that the omninous Hunter is her consort, trapped in a dire spell.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: In "The Kelpie", Emma and Ned, discussing how to know each other better, confide their middle names to each other.
  • The Fair Folk: The fairies in Winter Rose are pretty scary; this is discussed and subverted in the sequel Solstice Wood, however.
  • Fallen Princess: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Saro, after the magic renders her mute and dazed, ends up a Scullery Maid.
  • Fearless Fool: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, they send off Saro to deliver the tray of food to the prince in his half-ruined and haunted towers, on the grounds she wouldn't understand it enough to be afraid.
  • Full Boar Action: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Tanis is dazed in the woods when the dogs harry a boar near him. He kills it on instinct, and everyone is dully impressed — after they get over the fear that he has been killed.
  • Gibberish of Love: In "The Kelpie", Wilding insults women's ability to paint to Emma. Later, he begs her pardon and explains that he was so struck by her looks that he could have said any number of idiocies; she must let him paint her.
  • A God Am I
  • Great Big Book of Everything
  • The High Queen: The Book of Atrix Wolfe has the high queen in the Lost Woods who communicates with Atrix and Burne by Talking in Your Dreams.
  • I Gave My Word
  • Imaginary Friend: In her contemporary novel Stepping from the Shadows the narrator's "ugly sister" turns out to be her alternate personality. And this was published at least a decade before Fight Club.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting
  • King in the Mountain: In Alphabet of Thorn, the Dreaming King will wake to save the kingdom. In the book, he wakes only enough to give the current queen a cryptic warning.
  • Knight Errant: In "The Kelpie", Nice Guy Ned is suggested for this in a painting; he wishes he could be evil for once, and is asked if he can settle for triumphant.
  • The Lost Woods: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, the enchanted forest swallows up Tanis.
  • Love at First Sight: In "The Kelpie", Ned is embarrassed to do it, but admits to Emma at their first meeting that he's never felt about anyone as about her, and she admits the same. They discuss getting to know each other better.
  • The Marvelous Deer: Was a shapeshifting woman in Solstice Wood
  • Nice to the Waiter: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, the Scullery Maid Saro is sent to deliver a tray of food to the prince in the haunted and half-ruined hall. She drops it; he takes the blame for startling her, especially after she had braved the ghosts and owls, and offers her a white lily. She goes back to the kitchen dreaming of him.
  • Rousseau Was Right: A common feature of many of her novels, with The Tower at Stoney Wood as a particularly strong example.
  • Royal Blood
  • Scullery Maid: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Saro, after the magic had rendered her mute and dazed.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: A characteristic of the twisted magic contained in The Book of Atrix Wolfe.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: In The Tower at Stony Wood, a character is revealed to be of selkie origin when she regains her former shape by donning the seal suit she has made.
  • Shapeshifting Lover: A deer-woman was the mother of a character in Solstice Wood.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, the Scullery Maid Saro is sent to deliver a tray of food to the prince in the haunted and half-ruined hall. She drops it; he takes the blame for startling her, especially after she had braved the ghosts and owls, and offers her a white lily. She goes back to the kitchen dreaming of him.
  • The Speechless: Saro in The Book of Atrix Wolfe, after the spell.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, the woman in the woods communicates with both Atrix Wolfe and Burne this way. Later, so does Talis.
  • Tarot Troubles: In "The Fortune-Teller", Merle uses the stolen cards to fake a fortune. It does not sound like a convenient deck, but then Merle is faking all her knowledge with deliberate purpose to reassure.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: In "Oak Hill" Elaine is the sewer. Even Maris borrows a needle from her to do some.
  • Thicker Than Water: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Burne can not bear the thought of losing Tanis, his only living relative.
  • Twice Told Tale: In "Out of the Woods", the heroine plays a minor role in Sleeping Beauty and spots both Merlin and Nimue, and the Lady of Shalott, from King Arthur.
  • Unable To Support A Wife: Inverted in "The Kelpie". Ned confesses to being rich, which is what makes Emma wonder that he's not married.
  • The Voiceless
  • When Trees Attack: In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, an oak tries to bury Talis underground.
  • Words Can Break My Bones

Diana Wynne JonesWorld Fantasy AwardJane Yolen
Ian McDonaldSpeculative Fiction Creator IndexRobin McKinley
Seanan McGuireAuthorsRobin McKinley

alternative title(s): Patricia A Mc Killip
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