Mythopoeic Fantasy Award nominee 2009, Locus Award nominee 2009.
With "gentle elegance" (Library Journal) Patricia A. McKillip has crafted such beautiful novels of magic and myth as Solstice Wood and Od Magic. Now the World Fantasy Award-winning author invites readers to visit a most extraordinary village...
Sealey Head is a small town on the edge of the ocean, a sleepy place. The prominent families in town are the Blairs, wealthy merchants, and the Sproules, gentleman farmers. It might be possible, just barely, to count the Cauleys, who own the Inn at Sealey Head. Raven Sproule, who speaks of nothing but horses, is courting Gwyneth Blair. Gwyneth, who prefers to speak of books, fancies Judd Cauley.
On the outskirts of town is the one truly great house, Aislinn House, where the aged Lady Eglantyne lies dying in spite of everything her doctor, her maid, and her maid's mother, the eccentric herbalist, can manage to do for her.
All of them – and a few intriguing strangers – have a role to play in an ancient story of magic that will explain why at sunset everyone in Sealey Head hears the ringing of a bell no one can see. And why sometimes the doors at Aislinn House open not to its own dusty rooms, but to the wild majesty of a castle full of knights and princesses...
Patricia Anne McKillip (born 1948) is an American author, distinguished by lyrical, delicate prose and careful attention to detail and characterization. She is a winner of the World Fantasy Award (The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, 1975, Ombria in Shadow, 2003) and Mythopoeic Award (Ombria in Shadow). Most of her recent novels have cover paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft. She is married to a poet David Lunde and lives in Oregon.