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  1. #1
    AuthorTHE BLACK ***'S WAR MosesSiregarIII's Avatar
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    Patricia McKillip, Anyone?

    After telling a friend that I prefer stand-alone works from authors with excellent writing chops, he recommended Patricia McKillip, beginning with Alphabet of Thorn.

    Has anyone read her? If so, do you have any comments on the books you've read? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Goblin Princess Teresa Edgerton's Avatar
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    Patricia McKillip is one of my very favorite writers. Her prose is exceptional, her worlds dreamlike and down-to-earth at the same time, her characters full of endearing quirks.

    Of her stand-alone novels, my favorites are (in no particular order):

    Ombria in Shadow
    The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
    Song for the Basilisk
    The Changeling Sea


    I also quite enjoyed her latest, The Bards of Bone Plain.

    However, I do think her best work is her one trilogy The Riddlemaster of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind.

    Alphabet of Thorn is good, but not one of my favorites and I'm not sure that it's the best introduction to her work. Of course, your friend probably has an idea of your tastes, and I obviously don't.
    Last edited by Teresa Edgerton; August 22nd, 2011 at 12:03 AM.

  3. #3
    So far, I've read only Song for the Basilisk, but it was good enough that I immediately bought every other book by her that I could find. She writes beautifully and efficiently. She doesn't write the fat, gritty, multi-volume stories (which I also love) that currently seem to dominate the market, so for me I expect her stories will make for a nice change of pace between such books. For you, I expect your friend has steered you in the right direction.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Teresa Edgerton View Post
    Patricia McKillip is one of my very favorite writers. Her prose is exceptional, her worlds dreamlike and down-to-earth at the same time, her characters full of endearing quirks [...]

    However, I do think her best work is her one trilogy The Riddlemaster of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind.
    ...exactly echoes my feelings. McKillip is a master in seamlessly combining grand themes / sweeping action with the everyday and personal. Highly recommended.

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.

  5. #5
    Registered User Jeroen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfinx View Post
    ...exactly echoes my feelings. McKillip is a master in seamlessly combining grand themes / sweeping action with the everyday and personal. Highly recommended.

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.
    The Riddle-Master Trilogy. The only Patricia McKillip book I've read, but I recommend it.

  6. #6
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    I have started with the Riddlemaster trilogy, followed by The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. Loved them both, now I plan to read all the rest of her work. my favorite is hard to pick, probably Winter Rose.

    For a similar style, combining beautiful, intimate prose with epic elements, I also like Peter S Beagle.

  7. #7
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    Dang it, one more thing on the list of Things I Haven't Read Since I Was Twelve, But Feel A Sudden Need To Find Again.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JustinfromTexas View Post
    Dang it, one more thing on the list of Things I Haven't Read Since I Was Twelve, But Feel A Sudden Need To Find Again.


    On the bright side - in this case at least there's a very good chance you will not be disappointed!

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.

  9. #9
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    McKillip has a wonderful, distinctive style. She is not an epic writer, though Riddlemaster of Hed is rather epic. She creates these careful jewels of stories, some of them sneakily and subversively dark. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld had a big impact on me when I was young and on a lot of people.

    However, it might be better to start with the more recent Ombria in Shadow.

  10. #10
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Currently reading the Riddle-Master omnibus. As I have posted elsewhere, I find it rather Homeric (i.e. Odyssey) and rich in symbolism and analogy. While only 2/3 into The Riddlemaster of Hed, should the work continue as it has thus far, I will certainly be picking up the rest of McKillip's bibliography.

  11. #11
    McKillip is a really good writer with a distinctive and highly evocative style. I highly recommend her books, especially the Riddlemaster Trilogy and Winter Rose.

  12. #12
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Riddle-Master is an incredibly breath-taking trilogy. I need to revisit it at some point.

  13. #13
    Abstainer from Foolosophy
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    If you are going to "start" it only makes sense to me to begin with her first thematic modern stand alone: The Book of Atrix Wolfe.

    McKillip takes a very distinct and deliberate approach to writing a modern mature complex fairy tale that evolves with each book no matter the quality -- and I find that they are all quite good -- why deprive yourself of McKillip's evolution, both natural and determined?

  14. #14
    AuthorTHE BLACK ***'S WAR MosesSiregarIII's Avatar
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    Thanks very much, everyone. With a couple votes for Ombria in Shadow as a SA, I'll be sure to look at that. Then maybe work up to Riddle-Master. Hearing that the trilogy is somewhat Homeric is a bonus for me.

    I'll be doing some sampling on my kindle. :-)
    Last edited by MosesSiregarIII; August 23rd, 2011 at 07:33 PM.

  15. #15
    boss of several cats... Severn's Avatar
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    I adore her writing. I have several of her books and plan to get the rest of them eventually. She specialises in fairy tale fantasy, and many of her tales are revisionisms.

    I've just recently finished 'In the Forests of Serre', which is her interpretation of Baba Yaga and phoenix mythology. Very mysterious and evocative, but then that can be applied to most of her work.

    The Riddle Master trilogy is superb and I too must revisit it.

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