The great Patricia McKillip, plus more Merchandise (was Re: DWJ's answers: Harry Potter)

Gross Family argross at
Sat Sep 1 08:44:20 EDT 2001

Melissa wrote:

> My feeling about McKillip is one of idol-worship mixed with frustration.
> She is the most incredible stylist I know of; I read her books in sheer
> at how she puts words together.  But her later books just aren't grabbing
> the way they used to.  I don't know whether she's changed, or I have, but
> it's probably a little of both.  I think she finally got to the point
> Robin McKinley, come to think of it) that she's writing exactly what she
> wants to write, and it's not nearly as conventional as her early books.  I
> mean, _Riddle-master_ is, for all its beauty and strangeness, still a
> straightforward quest story.  Or perhaps I mean that you can read it only
> such, or you can read it as something more, and you're happy either way
> (unless you're the sort of heathen who doesn't like it, but this was my
> formative series, I adore it irrationally, and I just don't discuss it
> because things get Heated and Ugly).  The later books are very different
> not at all conventional.  This is good or bad directly depending on what
> want out of a novel, and specifically out of a Patricia McKillip novel.
> Going from _The Riddle-master of Hed_ or _Forgotten Beasts of Eld_
> to _The Book of Atrix Wolfe_ might be a little weird.

I agree with you about the "Riddle Master" books. They are pure magic.
Actually, I don't think they are conventional fantasy at all; they are too
gut-wrenching emotional for that. At the time they were published, they were
even less conventional, I think.

I agree that McKillip's writing style is amazing. It really is like poetry
in prose, and I agree that this does require some 'work' when you're
reading, so it isn't the kind of book you want when you just want purely
pleaseurable, 'indulgent'-type reading.


To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list