Cover image for Ombria in shadow
Ombria in shadow
McKillip, Patricia A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ace Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
298 pages ; 19 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



"Ombria. It is a city that echoes with the footfalls of sapphire-heeled shoes...that holds its breath as a straw-haired apparition glides through its streets...that sees its dreams - and nightmares - take shape in the drawings of a bastard-heir. It is an enchanted time and place envisioned by World Fantasy Award winner Patricia A. McKillip, acclaimed author of The Tower at Stony Wood." "When Ombria's prince, Royce Greve, breathes his last in palace rooms high above the city, he leaves his young son at the mercy of his ancient great-aunt, Domina Pearl - a woman who has plotted her rise to power in Ombria for far too many years to allow a little boy to stand in her way. Already she has thrown Greve's pretty mistress out into the streets, where no one would expect her to live an hour. The boy will take her a little longer." "Meanwhile, in a dreamlike underworld peopled by Ombria's ghosts, a sorceress weaves her spells and brews her potions, never revealing her real face - or true heart. And somewhere in between, the struggle to rule the whole of Ombria - both its light and shadows - will rest in the hands of those whose fractured lives align like the pieces of a magical puzzle."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Patricia A. McKillip is a winner of the World Fantasy Award, and the author of many fantasy novels, including The Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy, Stepping from the Shadows , and The Cygnet and the Firebird . She lives in Oregon.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Jan. 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The death of Ombria's prince places the city and its child-heir in the hands of a ruthless regent. Only the late prince's former mistress, a bastard nephew, and a sorcerer's apprentice stand between the machinations of the ageless and apparently deathless Domina Pearl and the true heir to the city. In her latest novel, award-winning fantasy author McKillip (The Tower at Stony Wood) creates an intriguing and compelling portrait of a city born of light and shadow, whose citizens may discover the means to cross the borders between the real and the merely possible. The author's graceful prose and remarkable depth of characterization bring to life a tale of love and loyalty that transcends time and space and belongs in most fantasy collections. Highly recommended for both adult and YA readers. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.