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As Ombria in Shadow demonstrates, World Fantasy Award winner Patricia A. McKillip (author of Riddle-Master, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, and other novels) ranks with Ursula K. Le Guin and Jane Yolen as one of the great fantasists of the 20th century--and the 21st.
The Prince of Ombria lies dying, and already his sinister great-aunt, Domina Pearl--called the Black Pearl--is seizing power. The Prince's heir is a child, a boy too young to oppose her, and the Prince's nephew is a powerless bastard, an artist preoccupied with sketching the decaying city. No one lives who may stop the Black Pearl's ascent to the throne, or so it seems. But beneath the streets of Ombria lies a second, shadow Ombria, a buried city inhabited not only by ghosts, but by a powerful, mysterious sorceress and her creation, a girl sculpted from wax. But the sorceress is a woman of uncertain allegiances, and her beautiful young assistant has become fascinated by the Prince's bastard nephew--and has caught the malevolent eye of the Black Pearl. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Harking back to some of her earliest works (namely The Forgotten Beasts of Eld), McKillip offers up a ghostly tale of human emotions gone astray in a city that lives and dies in endless cycles. Greed, despair, grief and avarice have all taken their toll on the once-beautiful city of Ombria, but it is the death of its prince that pushes it over the edge into darkness and shadow. Several key players participate in this particular procession of dying and rebirth: Kyel Greve, the new prince-to-be who is too young to rule but old enough to feel the despair of those around him; Lydea, the dying prince's lover who feels the weight of the city resting on her shoulders; Ducon Greve, the bastard prince who sees and feels the change happening but is in no position to alter the coming darkness; Domina Pearl, the sorceress who is pushing the city even further on its path of destruction; and Mag and Faey, two mysterious women who hold some of the past, present and future of Ombria inside them. In tone more gothic horror than straight fantasy, this somber novel lacks a clear protagonist, each character being more intent on finding his or her own path than fighting any clear battle. But the fine prose is nothing less than what one would expect from a World Fantasy Award winner, while the detailed portraits of the dying city coupled with the gloomy attitude of its citizenry are quite chilling.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Editorial Reviews
Ombria in Shadow is a surreal, thoughtful read. McKillip is a strong, imaginative writer, and I'll have to read more of her work.Published 11 months ago by Steven M. Long
I was expecting a soft cover book. I was very pleased with this book! It is in very good condition. I have not had the chance to read it yet, but I love Patricia McKillip's books. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dawn M. Wheeler
It is a book that I would only read a second time if I could get it in hardcover which I did that is how much I loved it.Published 18 months ago by Chris Aura
I think what's ... what's the notion I'm searching for? ... distracting to most readers about this book, to include the title, is that the city itself is the protagonist of the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Nichole Webberring
Amazing as usual. The black pearl is one of the best characters in a while. The contrast of her and faey is wonderful.Published 23 months ago by landward
The book is well written and shares certain qualities in common with the paintings on the cover (which I am crazy for) The girl is romaticized and appealing, but still seems real... Read morePublished on May 23, 2013 by B. Bonta
Ombria teeters on the brink of destruction: a child ruler sits on the throne while a dangerous regent vies for power. Read morePublished on May 8, 2013 by Juushika
I was excited to try my first McKillip book, and was hooked by the beginning, but this turned into a rather frustrating read. Read morePublished on February 11, 2012 by E. Smiley
Having read almost all of McKillip's books, I have come to expect and enjoy a certain style. She has this minimal, vague, poetic way of writing, which I've come to love. Read morePublished on October 30, 2011 by Beth