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Ombria in Shadow by Patricia McKillip

Review by Alleandra

Wow...its been a long time since I have done a book review!

The setting for the book is in the city of Ombria. Ombria was a once beutiful and prosperous city that has fallen into some evil times.

Royce Greve, Prince of Ombria, his 5 year old son Kyel, his mistress Lydea, bastard nephew Ducon and great-great ? aunt Domina Pearl. Camas Erl, the tutor for the young prince. There is also Faey, the Sorceress and her assistant Mag.

Prince Royce has suffered from mysterious illnesses for the past few years, and finally succombs to one og them. The sweeping changes initiated by the self-serving Domina Pearl, who will serve as the regent to the young heir Kyel cause all sorts of ramifications throughout the city. All fear to go up against her, and it remains to be seen if Ducon will stand with her or against her. Either way, his life could be in much danger.

Meanwhile, Camas the tutor delves into the mysteries of Ombria's past to see if a child's tale of the shadow city is true.

This book represents McKillip at the height of her powers and features some of her most memorable characters ever. Lydea, the mistress cast out after the death of her lover, proves to have dome inner steel. Ducon is a wild card...no one knows what really matters to him. Domina Pearl is evil incarnate, but is never trite. Faey is another unknown entity. Will she stick up for the girl she calls 'her waxling'? Or will she stay in her Underworld out of harm's way? And Mag...she is one of the coolest characters ever.

McKillip's prose is very distinct. Reading her work reminds me of having an exceptionally vivid dream. Ombria is no exception, especially when the setting itself mixes present and past as overlapping worlds. Its a wonderful read, and I highly recommend it.

5 out of 5 amulets

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