Annal: 2003 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

Results of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in the year 2003.

Book:Ombria in Shadow

Ombria in Shadow

Patricia A. McKillip

Ombria. It is a city that echoes with the footfalls of sapphire-heeled shoes…that holds its breath as a straw-haired apparition glides through its streets…that sees its dreams—and nightmares—take shape in the drawings of a bastard-heir. It is an enchanted time and place envisioned by the acclaimed author of The Tower at Stony Wood.

When Ombria’s prince, Royce Greve, breathes his last—in palace rooms high above the city—he leaves his young son at the mercy of his ancient great-aunt, Domina Pearl—a woman who has plotted her rise to power in Ombria for far too many years to allow a little boy to stand in her way. Already she has thrown Greve’s pretty mistress out into the streets, where no one would expect her to live an hour. The boy will take her a little longer.

Meanwhile, in a dreamlike underworld peopled by Ombria’s ghosts, a sorceress weaves her spells and brews her potions, never revealing her real face—or true heart. And somewhere in between, the struggle to rule the whole of Ombria—both its light and shadows—will rest in the hands of those whose fractured lives align like the lost pieces of a magical puzzle…

Book:The Fall of the Kings

The Fall of the Kings

Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman

This stunning follow-up to Ellen Kushner’s cult-classic novel, Swordspoint, is set in the same world of labyrinthine intrigue, where sharp swords and even sharper wits rule. Against a rich tapestry of artists and aristocrats, students, strumpets, and spies, a gentleman and a scholar will find themselves playing out an ancient drama destined to explode their society’s smug view of itself–and reveal that sometimes the best price of uncovering history is being forced to repeat it…

Generations ago the last king fell, taking with him the final truths about a race of wizards who ruled at his side. But the blood of the kings runs deep in the land and its people, waiting for the coming together of two unusual men, Theron Campion, a young nobleman of royal lineage, is heir to an ancient house and a modern scandal. Tormented by his twin duties to his family and his own bright spirit, he seeks solace in the University. There he meets Basil St. Cloud, a brilliant and charismatic teacher ruled by a passion for knowledge–and a passion for the ancient kings. Of course, everyone now knows that the wizards were charlatans and the kings their dupes and puppets. Only Basil is not convinced–nor is he convinced that the city has seen its last king…

Book:A Fistful of Sky

A Fistful of Sky

Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Gypsum LaZelle had nearly given up. She’d already watched her two older siblings experience the transition—the sudden, debilitating process that turned them from ordinary children into mages, gifted spellcasters like their beautiful mother. Perhaps she was a late bloomer, she thought—until her younger siblings came into their powers as well. Now, at twenty, Gypsum fears that she must accept her fate: a mundane life without magic.

She can live with being ordinary, an outsider. After all, someone in the family had to take after her father…But one day, alone at home with her family away, Gypsum falls terribly ill. And when the symptoms pass, something has changed. Something she’s dreamed of for such a long time—and suddenly isn’t ready for at all.

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