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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  237 ratings  ·  71 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
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  237 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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This is another one of those incredible Tor Publishing novellas that not only introduced me to a wonderful writer, but which also took me completely by surprise. I went into this cold, and had no idea even that it was a version of high fantasy.

Publishers Weekly comments that it “reads like an old-fashioned idyll of rural life in Georgian England.” With so much contemporary fantasy, and SF as well, harping on complexity and darkness as their main ingredients, it is so refreshing to read something
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it

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
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
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!
Jen (Book Den)
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm so happy I took a chance on this novella. After seeing Tammy's praise for it and finding out it was a coming of age story with dragons, I had to have it.

The dragon elements are light in Ormeshadow, but they are so beautifully done. Ormeshadow is a dark, folklore kind of fantasy story, but also beautiful and heartbreaking. There was the perfect amount of darkness balanced by the perfect amount of imagination.

Priya Sharma is now an autobuy author for me. I must have more of her stories.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Dark and atmospheric, Ormeshadow is an gothic family drama simmering with emotions.

Set in the early 1800s, the story revolves around Gideon Belman as he moves with his parents to live in his uncle's house in Ormeshadow, a village named after a sleeping dragon.

Priya Sharma's writing is beautiful, and excels at creating the bleak atmosphere that permeates this novella. The chapters are titled rather than numbered, and each functions almost as a short story; impactful and seemingly unimportant
A historical farming family drama with background notes of constructed mythology. A coming of age story in which a young man realises his family are shits and that he really is as naive as his horrible uncle says he is.

This is one of those reads it's hard for me to rate. I didn't enjoy it at all, but there's nothing wrong with it per se - it's just not quite what I expected, and not my cup of tea. It is a cup of tea, though, and some of you may enjoy drinking it.

That said, I specifically
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely, sad, wonderful book.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-read
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
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, age-adult, 2019
Gideon and his parents are returning to his father's hometown of Ormeshadow to live with his uncle's family. Gideon's father, a scholar, doesn't seem to fit in at Ormeshadow anymore, but he tells Gideon tales of the Orme (an ancient dragon) which fell asleep and how the hills grew over where the dragon lies. When Gideon's father dies suddenly, Gideon begins to wonder if the tales of the Orme are just tales or if they might be real.

I first heard of this book on a Book Riot booklist, but I had
Ash | Wild Heart Reads
Ormeshadow is an atmospheric treat that you can devour in a single sitting. A story of dragons, legends & the shadows in families. This has whispers of fantasy but is grounded in the bleak Victorian England countryside. Gideon's tale isn't necessarily a happy one but Sharma weaves an engrossing tale that's hard to pull yourself away from.

"The Orme slept for hundreds of years. Grass grew along her back. Most people forgot her. A village sprung up in her shadow and still she sleeps on."
Ross Jeffery
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
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
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Steve Westenra
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's so rare anymore that I can't put a book down. I couldn't put this one down.

The ending felt a little rushed and abrupt, but otherwise a pitch-perfect novella.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition

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 will be appearing in the October 2019 issue of Library Journal

Here is the link:
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
The only bad thing about this story is that it is not longer. I loved the time spent in the world Sharma created in Ormeshadow.
I was immediately pulled in by the beautiful writing and strong sense of place created. We know right off we are to be of the land, among the animals and the plants and the lives they support.
Interwoven with this reality is the fabled Orme, the Dragon, from which the land and its surrounds take their names. I savored the tale of the dragons, their internecine battles,
Annie Yotova
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, novellas, 2020
Somewhere out there, away from the big city of Bath, there is a land where a dragon sleeps. That's how Priya Sharma starts this novella - with the legend heard by a 7 years old boy called Gideon. His father used to be a scholar but after some not very nice experiences, he had to go back to the land where he grew up - and help run the family farm again. Except that the family is special - because once a upon a time, a great dragon called Orme chose them as her guardians.

Gideon grows up on the
Oswego Public Library District
Gideon and his family relocate from Bath, England to his father’s childhood home, the Ormeshadow, which is a rural community. His father has a stake in a sheep farm there, but they have to share the home with Gideon’s cruel uncle and his rowdy cousins. Gideon struggles to adjust, and his father’s story about the long-sleeping dragon that lies upon the land is all that sustains him. But then tragedy strikes, and what follows is a chain reaction that escalates into horrors and wonders.

Traveling Cloak
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Carina Bissett
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Priya's work for a while now. I always want the experience of reading her stories to linger, so I couldn't resist when the novella Ormeshadow came out at Tor. At first, I was surprised by the narrator's youth when the story opens, but I soon fell into the rhythm of Gideon's perceptions of a life that has been uprooted from the comfort of Bath and its libraries and replanted in the barren soil of his family farm near the sea. Although Gideon's father is set to make amends with ...more
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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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