cover image Ormeshadow


Priya Sharma., $3.99 e-book (176p) ISBN 978-1-250-24143-6

British Fantasy Award–winner Sharma’s short novel reads like an old-fashioned idyll of rural life in Georgian England, but there is nothing idyllic about a hardscrabble family farm in the shadow of a hill that supposedly covers a sleeping Orme—a dragon. Young Gideon Belman’s life is upended when he and his parents are forced to leave their easy life in Bath, England, for reasons that are not at first clear to Gideon, and move in with his father’s rough-hewn rural family in Ormeshadow, but he’s intrigued by the stories of the dragon and the Belmans’ age-old responsibility to “shelter her and be there for her when she wakes.” Fear, abuse, tragedy, and heartbreak over the years ultimately push Gideon to see whether the legend is real or a bitter delusion. The story is episodic and the episodes don’t always seem to connect, but they gradually lead to a storm breaking over all of Ormeshadow. Gideon is the charming center in this fantastic but often grim pastoral. He clutches romantic ideals as both hope and self-defense, proving his worth to the reader before he seeks to prove it to the dragon. This short, sharp tale is often wrenching and worth savoring. (Oct.)