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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  39 reviews

Acclaimed author Priya Sharma transports readers back in time with Ormeshadow, a coming-of-age story as dark and rich as good soil.

Burning with resentment and intrigue, this fantastical family drama invites readers to dig up the secrets of the Belman family, and wonder whether myths and legends are real enough to answer for a history of sin.

Uprooted from Bath by his

Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  114 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book is for people who liked Wuthering Heights--who love books about horrible people brooding on moors and everything being awful. But in a beautiful way. I love dark and achy, but bleak isn't my thing, and Ormeshadow has bleak down to an art.

The prose is absolutely gorgeous, graceful and flowing from one chapter--vignette?--to the next with a lyrical darkness I've rarely experienced outside of
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read my fall 2019 interview with the author @, On her Fabulous Beasts, Ormeshadow, and writing.

With mention of gallows and dragons you feel the age in this tale, with the transportation to a village in ormeshadow England, Ormesleep farm, from townhouses of Bath,
in days of old, a family of three, with a young boy with aspirations, wonderment, enchantment and mystery, the searchings in a place where peace and solace may or may not be found.

Complexities of new terrain with new
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not using Goodreads to the extent I once was but wanted to pop over and leave a review and rating for this fabulously bleak little Gothic novella.

I'm a bit biased at this point, as Sharma is one of my favorite active writers, but this flipped all my usual switches. If you're looking for something short and not-sweet, simmering with emotion and jealousy and atmospherically dismal moors, here's your thing!
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely, sad, wonderful book.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A short but powerful tale of the dark emotional lives of a family, Ormeshadow is an exceptional novella with the promise of magic just around the corner.

I had no idea what to expect when I started Ormeshadow , but I have to say this was a surprise of the best kind. Priya Sharma has written a dark and dangerous family drama
Oct 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, fantasy
Oh nooo.

I thought we were past this, as a literary nation. I thought that we had (mostly) put the old sexist tropes to bed and moved on to better things. Apparently not.

Ormeshadow is about a nice and long-suffering boy who must put up with his mother, who is a slut who enjoys sex and wears pretty dresses even though she knows it attracts the attention of other men.

Yes, really. That’s the plot of this garbage book.

I read a lot of books. Some are good, some are bad. I’m not usually offended by the
Ross Jeffery
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, here at STORGY we’ve been following the career of Priya Sharma with great attention and her collection All The Fabulous Beasts was a highlight of our recent reading – which let us just add went on to win the Shirley Jackson Award for singled-authored collection in 2018. So, when we heard that she’d upped the ante and gone and written a novella, we had to get ourselves a copy to review for you fine folks here.

Ormeshadow is quite different from All The Fabulous Beasts, and I mention this
Happy book birthday to this lovely little dark novella!

I had to do a little digging around for clarification about whether this was or was not a debut, and long and the short of it is, this is Priya Sharma's debut standalone novella, although it's certainly not her first book (her collection of short stories, All the Fabulous Beasts has received wide acclaim, as well as individual short pieces collected here and there by Ellen Datlow and others). To put it simply, Sharma's is a name you might
Hmm. This book, as others have mentioned, is bleak. What I wasn't expecting was the scope of its bleakness - unrelenting, swamp-like. The writing itself is quality (apart from a few flubs that the editing should have caught) and the author is great at establishing mood and generating a cast who burst at the seams with resentment and unhappy life choices. But overall it left me wanting more. I find it interesting that other people compare this to Thomas Hardy or the Brontës, but while this book ...more
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I preordered this novella after enjoying the author’s previous short fiction. Ormeshadow is somewhat different in (genre?) from many of those but in an equally wonderful way.

There are so many reasons to like this book, to love this book, and above all, to buy this book.

Ormeshadow could be called ’fantasy’ but I would call it a “story” in its fullest sense. This is the kind of story you imagine you’d find in a history before rigorous fact-checking robbed humanity of its best lies. This is the
This novella was beautifully written and lyrical. For such a short piece the world it built was rich, morose, and complicated. The reason I'm not giving it more stars is because, for a piece that focused so much on feelings and the emotional fallout of things, the end left me a bit wanting. In fact, though the vast majority of the book relied on a single POV narrator (that of the protagonist), after the climax we never went back into his head, and had a series of scenes seen from multiple ...more
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very sweet novella, mostly about a young man trying to grapple with a change in his family's circumstances -- supported by a beautifully magical ending.
Abi Walton
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this novella so much and devoured it in one sitting. Ormeshadow is a fragile beautiful novel about magic and loss.
I went into Ormeshadow with no idea what this novel was about I hadn't even read the blurb I just loved the front cover. And I loved it!
Although this novel is classed as fantasy it is set in a bleak Victorian England, where life was turmoil and claustrophobic, where magic struggled to survive. The fantasy element of this novella are subtle and weaved into the tale bringing
Dan Coxon
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing combination of landscape fiction and historical fantasy (Here be dragons...), the end result is both weirdly unsettling and emotionally engaging. There's an element of folk horror too, as a family's escape to the countryside quickly turns sour, and family jealousies rise to the surface. If the Brontes had read Lord of the Rings, they might have written something like this.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: novella
This novella (c,32,500 words) is a brooding gothic tale, as a family returns to the farm and the landscape of the father's youth, and his son tries to find his place. There's a strong sense of the mythic in the landscape, said to be formed from a sleeping dragon, and that of course forms the fantastical element of the tale. However, it broods and teases for too long before erupting into a final sequence that isn't really satisfying.

(Also, there seems to be a side-theme where various female
Thomas Mcphee
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it

Woof this is one he'll of an intense story. Excellent, but thick, worth a lot of thought and intense investment.
Becky Spratford
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review will be appearing in the October 2019 issue of Library Journal

Here is the link:
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Ormeshadow is the latest novel from the mind of Priya Sharma, and once again readers will find themselves transported to a fantastical world. This novella is a blend of coming of age storytelling, and magical lore. It’s beautiful, powerful, and just ever so slightly dark.
Gideon Belman has had his entire life uprooted. He and his parents have had to suddenly move back to the Ormeshadow Farm – the family farm. Gideon isn’t happy about that, being that he was never well suited to that sort of
Traveling Cloak
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gideon Belman is content with his life in Bath, where his father has a good job as a secretary. But, when Gideon’s father loses his job, the family is suddenly uprooted and returns to Ormeshadow - where Gideon’s father grew up - to work the family farm. When Gideon learns there is a family history in Ormeshadow that involves an ancient dragon, his life suddenly gets more interesting.

I found this book to quite endearing. The premise of a family returning home and the history that comes to light
Douglas Summers-Stay
A novella I read in one afternoon. A boy's father returns home to the family farm in Bath, in the shadow of a hill some call a sleeping dragon, and everything is tragic. The writing was gorgeous, and the characters complex and well-thought-out. The main character is young and is swept along by events, not really driving the plot. The fantasy is hidden through most of the book, and when it comes out it may well just be a metaphor. I think the message is a little off. It seems to be saying that if ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well. I really don't know how to rate this. On the writing (except for the occasional muddling of "like" and "as", which drives me crazy) this is a solid five stars. It's just gorgeous. And also grim, grim, grim. But I could not put it down, and I won't soon forget it. Still, because of the relentless cruelty and the amorality of the ending, it's not a book I'd actually want to own or reread. Thus the four-star rating.

If you are feeling strong enough, have any taste at all for both Le Guin and
Dec 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oh-my-goth
Hamlet via discount bin Thomas Hardy but with maybe dragons and we get to see Claudius shag Gertrude.


I waited half a year to read this and I was bored and occasionally annoyed when I finally did. There's something distinctly old fashioned and prissy about the whole thing; lots of uncomplicated pearl clutching about sexual infidelity and women who like sex. Sharma can do better than this, so I'm going to blame Ellen Datlow, who was apparently the guiding editorial light of this whole mess,
Lee Franklin
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A deluge of sadness, heartbreak and hope.

I can easily understand why this book has received the great reviews it has. Sharma effortlessly paints a story that is so haunting, yet so vivid. No words are wasted, a lessor Author would of fluffed it out but Sharma hits every note on point.

Families are complicated, even more so on Ormeshadow farm. Characters are real and the mood is cast like a thick fog from the first sentence.

Treat yourself.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully written novella does a great job of balancing on the line between straight fiction and fantasy, never letting the reader quite know where they stand for most of the story. I found that the more I let myself be captured the telling of the story rather than thinking too much about the tropes at play in the story, the more I enjoyed it.
Just the kind of atmospheric sheep-farming folktale I wanted to read in October. It arrived on my birthday; I read it all in one day. Also, I’ve preordered three books this year and they were all from Tor, so clearly they’re doing something right.
Kerry Pickens
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading this book more than any other book I have read recently. It's the story of a family conflict between two brothers, and told from the viewpoint of the young son. There is also magical realism from the stories that the boy's father tells him about the countryside that they grew up in - "The Orme" and show there are sleeping dragons underneath the hills with stocks of gold. It's a wonderfully written story, and I am looking forward to reading more books by ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful, yet bittersweet story. So many feels! ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short, dark, fairy-tale-ish novella. Lots of bad things happening to kids and bad wives. Not my favorite despite a good ending.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mills College Library
Fiction S3235p 2019
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Priya Sharma’s fiction has appeared venues such as Interzone, Black Static, Nightmare, The Dark and Tor. She’s been anthologised in several of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year series and Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series, among other. She’s also been on many Locus’ Recommended Reading Lists.

“Fabulous Beasts” was a Shirley Jackson Award finalist and won a British
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