Reviews: Ormeshadow

Hello readers!

Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma was exactly what I was looking for when I sat down to read it. Dark and uncomfortable. Relentlessly tragic in that uniquely Priya Sharma way. Family drama, dark secrets, dreary moors. I rarely find a piece of modern Gothic fiction that truly pushes all my favorite buttons, but here it is!


I was promised that there was a dragon in this book, so when Allison passed it off to me, I was intensely excited. I was not prepared for it to be–well. I should have known. This book was gorgeous and beautifully written, dark and achy and Gothic–and not for me.

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.

But here’s the thing: I kept reading it and I kept reading it until I’d somehow suddenly finished it, and I didn’t hate it? The further I get from reading it, the more convinced I am that I actually liked it? Which is weird, because I hate family drama, and I hate bleak narratives about people being terrible to each other, and I hate ambiguous endings–but somehow, Sharma’s writing was absolutely gripping to me, and it made all the bleak, terrible things bearable. I loved it.

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 books written in the 1800s. The slow, delicious reveal of characters and their true natures, the peeling back of layers until you see the rot beneath the floorboards is so well done. The mist and atmosphere, the haunting legacy of this family, their village, and their drama absolutely permeate the soul, and this book eats at the mind to make you think about these characters and why they are the way they are.

It’s small and dark and unhappy, atmospheric and aching, and though family drama isn’t my thing and the Wuthering Heights vibe was real, I…didn’t hate this book? I really didn’t. Which is shocking, to be honest.


Ormeshadow is out next week, and you can preorder it online or call the store to reserve a copy!

Happy (?) reading!

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