Gideon Belman's life is abruptly uprooted when his family is forced to leave Bath and move to Ormesleep Farm. It's an ancient and agrarian homestead that harbors resentment, jealously, and possibly, at least according to legend, a sleeping dragon. Grounded in realism, Ormeshadow is a remarkable story about family legacy, the depths of what it means to be human, and the power of storytelling. It's part complex coming-of-age drama and part enchanting fairytale.
— From Rachael
Winner of the 2019 Shirley Jackson Novella Award
Winner of the 2020 BFS Award
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 father's failures, Gideon Belman finds himself stranded on Ormeshadow farm, an ancient place of chalk and ash and shadow. The land crests the Orme, a buried, sleeping dragon that dreams resentment, jealousy, estrangement, death. Or so the folklore says. Growing up in a house that hates him, Gideon finds his only comforts in the land. Gideon will live or die by the Orme, as all his family has.
About the Author
Priya Sharma is a doctor who lives in the UK. Her short stories have appeared in several magazines including Black Static, Interzone, Albedo One, and On Spec. She's been reprinted in Paula Guran's Best Dark Fantasy and Ellen Datlow's Year's Best Horror Volume 4.
"This novella reads like something torn out of the pages of Charles Dickens or Thomas Hardy—a dark coming-of-age saga set in the pastoral, pre-modern English countryside."—Aurealis Magazine
"I love the structure of Ormeshadow—each chapter a kind of story unto itself and yet all flowing smoothly together. If you like graceful writing in your fantasy fiction, depth of character, and a connection to real life issues, this is a perfect read." —Jeffrey Ford
"This is exactly the kind of book that I enjoy. The skillful creation of atmosphere, the touching and painful interaction of characters, the sense of creeping dread, and the sheer beauty and skillfulness of Sharma's prose prove what I thought when I read her short stories: that she is one of the most powerful writers of fantastical fiction working today. The complexity of Ormeshadow's narrative is underscored by Sharma's use of THE telling detail, but not much else. This is a fully-realised world populated with living, breathing characters whose emotions positively seethe." —Tade Thompson