Title: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
Published: Orbit, 1987
Purchased: Brian Ameringen, 2004-05-01, £2.00
McKillip has not been published much in this country - whether that's lack of output, or just lack of publisher, I don't know. But this is a charming, somewhat wistful tale.
Sybel, born of a wizard and a princess, has the ability to call creatures (including those of the title) and even people to her isolated mountain, commanding their respect. Yet at an early age, she is handed the baby Tam, son of the late Queen and (it appears) her lover. Or perhaps of the King.
Understandably, the child is a potential symbol between the King and the rebel house of Sirle. Sybel doesn't want to take sides. But both sides want her, and fear her. And her power becomes dark and dangerous.
I enjoyed this - the ending works, as Sybel learns in time that the ends don't always justify the means. And the beasts, especially the Boar, are characters in their own right.