The Forgotten Beasts of Eld – Robin McKinley

Ok not a Christmas one but I read it at Christmas time and it has a nice lesson to teach so hold on.

Sixteen-year-old Sybel lives alone on a mountain, with only the mythical creatures that her deceased father Ogam summoned for company. Sybel cares for the creatures and shares a type of telepathy with them. However, in the dead of night, a man named Coren of Sirle gives her a baby to care for. Coren believes the baby is none other than the child of Rianna, the now deceased queen of Eld, and her dead lover, Norrel, although it is later revealed that he is the son of Rianna and Drede, king of Eldwold. Sybel accepts the baby, Tamlorn, on Coren’s conditions that she love it, and cares for Tamlorn with the help of the witch Maelga who lives near the mountain. Twelve years later, Coren comes back for Tamlorn. Sybel refuses to return him, believing that Coren and his brothers would use Tamlorn in their plot against Drede, the king of Eld. She later reluctantly gives Tamlorn to Drede along with the mythical falcon Ter, to watch over Tamlorn. As a result Sybel falls into a depression and resumes her quest to summon the Liralen, a legendary white bird. Instead, she not only finds the Blammor, a creature of shadow that induces fear, but the wizard Mithran who has been paid by Drede to destroy Sybel’s will and hand her over to him. However, Mithran desires Sybel and Sybel manages to escape by summoning the Blammor who crushes every bone in Mithran’s body to splinters.Upon returning to her home, where Coren is recovering from his injuries caused by one of the creatures in Sybel’s care, Sybel induces Coren to marry her, knowing he loves her and she can use him and his love as a tool for revenge against Drede. They journey to Coren’s home and get married. Later in the book, Sybel and Coren transport the mythical beasts and Sybel’s books to Coren’s home. Sybel plans to start a war between Coren’s people in Sirle, who oppose Drede, and Drede. Coren discovers this and is upset with Sybel. The Blammor, whom Sybel held on condition of her fearlessness, comes to Sybel in the night, and she sees in her mind, the Liralen with its neck broken. Sybel flees to the now deserted Eld Mountain and sets all the creatures free. They choose to lure Drede and his army, and the Sirle lords and their army, away from each other, thus defusing the war (although it is unknown at the end of the book whether the lords and armies will return, other than Coren). Tamlorn wakes Sybel up and tells her that Drede had died, that he thinks that whatever killed the wizard Mithran also killed Drede, and he is now king of Eldwold. They go to Maelga’s house where Sybel meets Coren, who asks her why he should return to her. She tells him he is the only person who can bring her joy, and they reunite. On a hunch, Sybel summons the Blammor which reveals itself to be the Liralen. Sybel asks the Liralen to take her and Coren home.

ok that had a lot of spoilers but I love this book. it is adventure, magic, tragety, mystery, and pure awesomeness. My reaction was the exact same as the one that the Nostalgia Critic has to the Never Ending Story, look it up. (Not trying to offend but I love the way he reviews stuff.)  I honestly find nothing wrong with it. It has a perfectly flowing story, love of different types (sibling, parent, romantic, etc.) it has magic. It has consequences, it is nothing but amazing. I know someone will disagree but I think it is the perfect story. Everyone learns a lesson and everything is made right. nothing is held back, even for the kid in the story. He is thrust into his life but he is not just a copy of the prince from Disney’s Snow White. He has a personality, he goes through traumatic events and he recovers. I recommend this to anyone above the age of 14. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

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