Moments after the Prince of Ombria dies, Domina Pearl, his ancient great-aunt, begins taking over the city and removing her adversaries from the palace. The prince’s five year old son is all that stands between Domina Pearl and the throne. The only people who can protect the young heir are his dead father’s mistress, his bastard-born cousin, and a girl made out of wax who lives beneath the city.

(My version of the book was purple, not blue. I think the purple suits it better – I really loved the cover).

Ombria, the most beautiful, powerful and richest city in the world, is crumbling, sinking into history. A powerful sorceress lives in its past with the wax girl.

The bastard-born cousin, Ducon, wanders the streets painting things, searching for something.  Meanwhile Domina Pearl, who has lived longer than anyone can remember, searches for the shadow city hidden in Ombria’s past.

The city has a dream-like, magical quality to it, which pervades the whole story. If I was going to say something critical about it I’d say the middle meanders a bit, as none of the heroes have much of a plan. It’s an enjoyable, magical story though. It’s a short book, no longer than it needs to be, and the sense of wonder and mystery lingers on after.

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