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The Throme of the Erril of Sherill

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  480 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
A knight goes in quest of the non-existent throme of the Erril of Sherill since the king will not allow his daughter to marry without it.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 15th 1987 by Ace Books (first published 1973)
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Dec 26, 2011 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
McKillip's books are often more like poetry than prose, this one more so than most. The story is more like a fable or fairy tale than a fantasy novel, but none the less enjoyable for that. A brave Cnite goes on a quest for a mythical object (the Throme), the price set by the King for his daughter's hand. En route the Cnite loses his traditional accoutrements (horse, sword, armor) but acquires magical replacements (a dog that breathes fire, a golden harp, a cloak of leaves) and, in a sort of high ...more
Douglas Cootey
Jul 14, 2011 Douglas Cootey rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
I found this book fascinating more for the peek into McKillip's development as a writer than for the stories themselves. The prose was sometimes so floral that the narrative seemed tangled and hidden. Ofttimes scenes were beautifully painted, but lacking in concrete details—as if the purpose of the story was the words themselves. Yet the scope of imagination revealed in these two tales made them worthy stories to read. Here was a mind at the beginning of its career that was unlike anything that ...more
Jan 01, 2017 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, own-it, fantasy
4.5 stars. McKillip's work is difficult to describe. She clearly has a great mastery of language and of the structure of folktales and legends, as she plays with both with equal skill. She takes the story structures that I know fairly well, and then slowly, gently, turns them on their heads. She makes up words in order to add a haunting, otherworldly feel to a story, and that is no easy feat to accomplish! Usually invented words feel like they diminish the artistry when overused, but she uses th ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Throme of the Erril of Sherill is perhaps one of the oddest titles I've ever come across, and the cover for my edition features typically ugly eighties fantasy cover art. I'm sure I would never have picked it up if I weren't such a fan of the author, Patricia McKillip. But oh, I am so glad I did.

Throme is one of her earliest books, and unlike most of her later works, it's not a novel, but more of a novella or a chapter book. Like the fantasies of George MacDonald (The Princess and the Goblin
Simon Mcleish
Aug 27, 2016 Simon Mcleish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Review first published on my blog here.

Unusual, poetic fantasy - the first Patricia A. McKillip which I have read, after many recommendations of her as a fantasy author.

This edition also includes The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath, and is still extremely short as books go: it could fairly easily be read in a single sitting. Of that short length, the title story makes up about two thirds. It is the story of a quest undertaken to win the hand of a King's daughter - the very hackneyed theme
I don't know where I got hold of a copy of The Throme of The Erril of Sherrill as a standalone. I have seen such, but I think it was in a library.

This version is bound with the Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath: which is not bad in itself, but is not up to the standard of the first story.

The language in this book is full of obsolete and archaic terms (for example, 'norange' is the original form of the name of the fruit. The change came about through the migration of the 'n' to the indefinit
Feb 09, 2015 Stefanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth-fantasy, sff
Wavering between 3 and 4 here, so probably a 3.5. These two short stories are the first things McKillip wrote and had published, and so as a fan of her work it's fascinating to go back and see how it all began. Certainly the poetic, descriptive writing style is there (sometimes so much so it overwhelms the narrative). These are also closer to fairy tale style of writing than I've ever seen in anything that wasn't explicitly marketed that way, demonstrating McKillip's unique storytelling voice. B ...more
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 Althea Ann rated it it was amazing
Two short but beautiful fairy tales in one volume.

The first is traditional in feel - a young man is in love with the princess, but before he will give his daughter in marriage, the jealous and possessive king sends him on a hopeless quest to find the Throme - a poem of legendary beauty that everyone knows is just that - only a legend.
Simple, but heavy on metaphor (and moral), the tale is perfectly structured, and wonderful to read.
Definitely comes out of the time's "peace and love" philosophy, t
Rich Mcallister
A relic of the past (1973) when fantasy books were sometimes short and did not always come in sets. More of a fairy tale than anything else, and sometimes verges on being a bit twee. But McKillip was already McKillip, and the imagery, mood, and humor carry it along. I was reminded of Lewis Carroll a bit, with the characters often being remorselessly logical and completely mad at the same time: "What better place to find a thing that does not exist" than "a place which is not there?" I would have ...more
Dec 05, 2008 Scott rated it liked it
I recently reread the Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath with my 9-year old daughter. She loved it, though there were a lot of words and concepts that needed explanation. Some of the main points in the book--such as what happened to the island and exactly why, don't get said clearly in the writing; you probably have to read it twice to get meaning. In that respect, it suffers from a lack of clarity that other classic youth writers like C.S. Lewis were gifte with. My 9-year old didn't like th ...more
Dec 13, 2010 Beth rated it it was amazing
This is a very short read, but it's such a sweet story. It's actually two stories in one; I had already read the second one before, and it's also very good. The Throme of the Erril of Sherill is about a knight on a quest for a mysterious throme. Retrieving it is the only way he can be with his lady love. The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath is different from the first story in that there is a more menace and the stakes feel higher. I will definitely read both of these stories again, and an ...more
James Oden
I love Patricia A. McKillip's writing. It's always so picturesque and seems to speak to something deeper than this world. This short story is no exception. This particular one is a simple short story with a twist. It may even be a re-telling of another story; I'm not sure. It was a pleasant diversion.

A second short story was contained within, though, that I think I liked better. It was called "The harrowing of the dragon hoarsbreath". This story by Judith Mitchell drew me further into it. I coul
Aug 08, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
This book is totally random but I really liked the story. It was a very quick read and felt like a Grimm's fairy tale only a little longer. It was a very imaginative story and just really fun.

The second story that was also included in the book, "The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath" was good as well but I didn't like the ending. It just felt too abrupt and I was left wondering what was going to happen to the characters.
Annie Flanders
Sep 13, 2011 Annie Flanders rated it it was amazing
This book -The Throme of the Erril of Sherill - is QUITE delightful. It is a wonderful quest novel.

Living in the Bay Area I felt fortunate that I was able to go to so many science fiction conventions and met so many of the authors that I have listed her on Goodreads. Patricia A McKillip was one of those authors. She is a very lovely lady.

Mar 03, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This was a short, beautiful tale. I love how McKillip's battles are always more about a change of paradigm, or a force of will. The prose is gorgeous, even the author's description of something intended to be ugly is breath-taking. The quest was fantastic in form and the characters met along the way, and the conclusion was so sweet and satisfying.
Nov 16, 2012 Isaac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both fantasy stories are fascinating and full of mind-blowing poetic metaphors. In the second story (also collected in Harrowing the Dragon) McKillip builds an entire lore of Dragons in just about 40 pages! I'm impressed.
The bittersweet endings are probably not for everyone though.
The first story I happily chuckled my way through, and the second I found very sad. Both are wonderful stories.

While the stories are written for a younger audience, there's enough depth to them to appeal to adults as well. And, of course, McKillip's lovely writing style makes it even better.
Jun 01, 2009 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I don't remember exactly how old I was when I read this (maybe 8) but I think it was a bit over my head... I could tell it was humorous, and I did think it was funny, but it was also a bit surreal and confusing to me. I'll have to try it again now that I'm grown up.
Jan 06, 2009 Hirondelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Oh, a treat, McKillip with great illustrations and it is (sort of) a joke. McKillip at her most lyrical and flowing and fantastical and its all meant with humour. Bah indeed, and yay for the Kings Damsen and her speech ( though the Dagon must be returned obviously). So lovely! ...more
Dec 08, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I might choose this as an excellent introduction to McKillip's work if I ever have kids. It's nothing like her later works in terms of complexity and lyricism, but it still has that magic-comes-from-within element that I find so engaging in her other stories.
Feb 10, 2013 Nighteye rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mckillip and fairytale-readers
Shelves: favorites
A nice illustrated book with two small stories in it, beautifully written and with good imagination, like two fairytales :)
A fun tale. Short and sweet. It didn't leave me fuzzy-headed like some of McKillip's other, more dreamlike stories.
MySF Reviews
Mar 26, 2013 MySF Reviews rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I've written a short review over here.
Caroline Kierstead
Caroline Kierstead rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2015
Veronica Kosowski
Veronica Kosowski rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2016
J.H. Fleming
J.H. Fleming rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2012
Jessica Reisman
Jessica Reisman rated it really liked it
Nov 09, 2010
Janice Liedl
Janice Liedl rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2011
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May 18, 2013
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Jun 02, 2008
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Patricia Anne McKillip is an American author of fantasy and science fiction novels, distinguished by lyrical, delicate prose and careful attention to detail and characterization. She is a past winner of the World Fantasy Award and Locus Award, and she lives in Oregon. Most of her recent novels have cover paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft. She is married to David Lunde, a poet.

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