Ombria in Shadow (2002) is the story of Ombria, and its shadows. On the surface sinister Domina Pearl weaves her spiderwebs, and princes die. Under the surface of Ombria the sorceress Faey creates poisons and antidotes impartially. Most of Ombria only know of one plane of existence.

Faey has made a girl Mag out of wax. Mag roams freely between shadow and light and shadow, but one day Mag swallows a golden heart and changes for ever.

No-one knows Ducon's father. Ducon draws pictures of the shadows, of the darknesses in alleyways and doorways. As Ducon draws he draws into Ombria things out of the shadows.

Ombria is a rich and complex work. On one level it is about evil and good, innocence and corruption. On another level it is about much more, about the shadows that history and art and desire cast. About the shadows that the years cast inside us.

McKillip does not describe everything to the last detail, does not explain what happens. But her writing is full of poetry and lyricism.

A deserving winner of an award for fantasy.