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Ombria in shadow
Patricia A. McKillip
Adult Fiction MCKILLI

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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

From Library Journal:

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.

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main characters Domina Pearl, aka "The Black Pearl"
Great-aunt of the dying Prince of Ombria; determined to seize the throne.

Kyel Greve
Age: Child
Powerless; too young to rule; son of the Prince of Ombria.

Ducon Greve
Powerless; silver-eyed; nephew of the Prince of Ombria; obsessed with sketching the city.

Lover of the Prince of Ombria; determined to defeat Domina and save Kyel.

Age: Child
Created by a sorceress; made of wax; lives in the city beneath the city.

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