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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…
When her father dies, 16-year-old Sybel’s only companions are the magical menagerie called to Eld Mountain long ago by her reclusive grandfather, the progeny of a powerful wizard and a mortal. The animals provide Sybel’s only sense of family until a man brings her the infant son of her mother’s sister, forcing Sybel to return to the world of humans—a world where she learns the intricacies of guile and treachery as well as the power of human love.
Sorrow and trouble and bitterness will hound you and yours and the children of yours…
Some said the dying words of Nial Lynn, murdered by his own son, were a wicked curse. To others, it was a winter’s tale spun by firelight on cold, dark nights. But when Corbet Lynn came to rebuild his family estate, memories of his grandfather’s curse were rekindled by young and old—and rumors filled the heavy air of summer.
In the woods that border Lynn Hall, free-spirited Rois Melior roams wild and barefooted in search of healing herbs. She is as hopelessly unbridled—and unsuited for marriage—as her betrothed sister Laurel is domestic. In Corbet’s pale green eyes, Rois senses a desperate longing. In her restless dreams, mixed with the heady warmth of harvest wine, she hears him beckon. And as autumn gold fades, Rois is consumed with Corbet Lynn, obsessed with his secret past—until, across the frozen countryside and in flight from her own imagination, truth and dreams become inseparable…
In the midst of conflict and unrest the Prince of Hed solves the puzzle of his future when he learns to harp the wind, discovers who the shape changers are, and understands his own relationship to Deth, harpist of the wizard Ohm.
No stranger to the realms of myth and magic, World Fantasy Award winning author Patricia A. McKillip presents her first contemporary fantasy in years. Solstice Wood is a tale of the tangled lives we mere mortals lead, when we turn our eyes from the beauty and mystery that lie just outside of the everyday.
When her beloved grandfather dies, bookstore owner Sylvia Lynn knows she must finally return to her childhood home in upstate New York and face the grandmother who raised her and the woods which so beguiled- and frightened-her. But it’s not until she meets the Fiber Guild-a group of local women who meet to knit, embroider, and sew-that Sylvia learns why her grandmother watches her so. A primitive power exists in the forest, a force the Fiber Guild seeks to bind in its stitches and weavings. And Sylvia is no stranger to the woods.
With “her exquisite grasp of the fantasist’s craft” (Publishers Weekly) Patricia A. McKillip now invites readers to discover a place that may only exist in the mystical wisdom of poetry and music.
Scholar Phelan Cle is researching Bone Plain-which has been studied for the last 500 years, though no one has been able to locate it as a real place. Archaeologist Jonah Cle, Phelan’s father, is also hunting through time, piecing history together from forgotten trinkets. His most eager disciple is Princess Beatrice, the king’s youngest daughter. When they unearth a disk marked with ancient runes, Beatrice pursues the secrets of a lost language that she suddenly notices all around her, hidden in plain sight.
Sealey Head is a small town on the edge of the ocean, a sleepy place where everyone hears the ringing of a bell no one can see. On the outskirts of town is an impressive estate, Aislinn House, where the aged Lady Eglantyne lies dying, and where the doors sometimes open not to its own dusty rooms, but to the wild majesty of a castle full of knights and princesses…
Brenden Vetch’s unique gift for connecting with the agricultural environment has brought him to the attention of the enigmatic wizard Od. Recruited as a gardener, Brenden suddenly finds himself at the wizard’s school in Kelior, where every potential mage is required by law to serve the Kingdom of Numis.
But unknown to the rulers of Numis, Brenden is far more than he seems-and his presence just may tip the balance of power back into the hands of the wizard community.
Deep inside a palace on the edge of the world, the orphan Nepenthe pores over books in the royal library, translating their languages and learning their secrets. Now sixteen, she knows little of the outside world—except for the documents that traders and travelers bring her to interpret.
Then, during the coronation of the new Queen of Raine, a young mage gives Nepenthe a book that has defied translation. Written in a language of thorns, it speaks to Nepenthe’s soul—and becomes her secret obsession. And, as the words escape the brambles and reveal themselves, Nepenthe finds her destiny entwined with that of the young queen’s. Sooner than she thinks, she will have to choose between the life she has led and the life she was born to lead.
Returning from war astride his horse, Prince Ronan of Serre accidentally tramples a white hen in the road—and his inattention earns him a witch’s curse. It seems not much of a threat, though, to a man so shattered by grief that his life is worth nothing to him. What curse is worse than already having lost your wife and child?
But the witch’s words come to pass when Ronan’s homecoming is ruined by his father’s pronouncement of an arranged marriage. Numbed by shock and despair, Ronan casts his gaze toward the forest and glimpses a wondrous sight: a firebird perched on a nearby branch. Filled with an unexplainable yearning, Ronan follows the firebird—and slips into a sideways world where the palace no longer exists. But his intended, the beautiful Princess Sidonie, is on her way to that palace. And her fate depends on Ronan wanting to find his way home…
During the wedding festivities of his king, Cyan Dag, a knight of Gloinmere, is sought out by a mysterious bard and told a terrifying tale: that the king has married a false queen-a lie cloaked in ancient and powerful sorcery. Spurred on by his steadfast honor and loyalty, Cyan departs on a dangerous quest to rescue the real queen from her tower prison, to prevent war, and to awaken magic in a land that has lost its way.
As a child, Rook had been taken in by the bards of Luly, and raised as one of their own. Of his past he knew nothing—except faint memories of fire and death that he’d do anything to forget. But nightmares, and a new threat to the island that had become his own, would not let him escape the dreaded fate of his true family. Haunted by the music of the bards, he left the only home he knew to wander the land of the power-hungry basilisk who had destroyed his family. And perhaps, finally, to find a future in the fulfillment of his forgotten destiny.
Once, Atrix Wolfe was a great and powerful mage. Then the invaders descended upon his kingdom. Defending his people through magic, Atrix Wolfe brought to life a legendary Hunter—a savage, uncontrollable force that destroyed both armies and killed his beloved king.
Now, after twenty haunted years among the wolves, Atrix Wolfe has been summoned to the timeless realm of the Queen of the Wood. She asks him to find her daughter, who vanished into the human world during the massacre he caused. No one has seen the princess—but deep in the kitchens of the Castle of Pelucir, there is a scullery maid who appeared out of nowhere one night. She cannot speak, and her eyes are full of sadness. But there are those who call her beautiful…
The firebird came at night—a magnificent creature whose magical cry seemed to transform objects at random. Gifted with powers of her own, Meguet tried to reach out to the bird. But at moonrise, the firebird became human, a prince cursed by dark magic. Meguet vowed to help him. But then the mystery carried her away, on alien winds, to a land far from her home…
At the edge of the world, the Luxor Desert awaits—a barren land where a sorcerer’s war rages. Where invisible dragons cast shadows over ruined castles. And where Meguet’s own fate depends upon a secret locked away in a tower for centuries…
With hair the color of the moon, Corleu was different from the other Wayfolk. He alone tried to free his wandering tribe from the unearthly swamp that ensnared them—and he alone dared to cross the forbidden threshold. There he found a strange dark house, a place of legends and gods, forseen in the stars. And there, to save his people, began Corleu’s search for the heart of the Cygnet—an impossible treasure…
But if legends are real, nothing is impossible.
Since the day her father’s fishing boat returned without him, Peri and her mother have mourned his loss. Her mother sinks into a deep depression and spends her days gazing out at the sea. Unable to control her anger and sadness any longer, Peri uses the small magic she knows to hex the sea. And suddenly into her drab life come the King’s sons—changelings with strange ties to the underwater kingdom—a young magician, and, finally, love.