The Throme of the Erril of Sherril
by Patricia A. McKillip
Tempo/Berkley (165 pages, $2.25, January 1984)
Cover by Stephen Hickman; interior illustrations by Judith Mitchell
The Throme of the Erril of Sherril by Patricia A. McKillip reads like a running brook in a quiet forest on a peaceful summer afternoon. You can read it in a trance and still retain its message.
What McKillip means to tell her readers comes down to this: If you want your dreams to come true, you have to make them so. Don’t leave it to an omniscient being. It’s all on you, buddy.
This brings us to Caerles, a Cnite of the possessive King of Everywhere. The King’s daughter, Damsen, weeps within the sepulchral darkness of her father’s castle. Caerles intends to wed her and end her misery. The King, however, demands the Throme before their dreams can come true. But it is the stuff of fantasy. Then surely the Cnite cannot save his lady love from her boundless misery?
Quite the contrary. Accompanied by a mystical flying dog bestowed upon him by a wild little girl, Caerles embarks upon a journey fraught with questions and few answers. On the way, he encounters memorable characters. One such character, a remarkable old man, sagely informs the hero that he must create his own Throme.
Perhaps McKillip means to inform the reader that only you can be the architect of your life, and no one else. Of course, the final sentence encourages you to dash those thoughts away so they can fly on a current of wind. It’s your choice, like so many things. But enjoying this miraculous book should be obligatory.
The Throme of the Erril of Sherril was the first book in the MagicQuest line, a new fantasy imprint created by Terri Windling and published by Tempo Books/Ace/Berkeley. All told there were 16 MagicQuest books published between January 1984 and April 1985, including novels by Tanith Lee, Jane Yolen, Diana Wynne Jones, Nicholas Stuart Gray, and Patricia C. Wrede.
The Throme of the Erril of Sherril contains the title novella, published here for the first time, plus an additional short story, “The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath,” originally published in November 1982 in Elsewhere, Vol. II, edited by Terri Windling, Mark Alan Arnold.
Zeta Moore’s last review for us was Hard to be a God by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. She is exploring work in care for individuals on the autism spectrum, and nerding out when she can.