cover image Sebastian


Anne Bishop, . . Roc, $23.95 (437pp) ISBN 978-0-451-46073-8

Sweeping onto the scene with flair and grace, this latest page-turner from bestseller Bishop (Dreams Made Flesh ) flutters its eyelashes at you like a shy country maid and then sinks its teeth in like a hungry succubus. The maid is Lynnea and the succubus is Sebastian, and their unlikely romance is at the heart of the impressively unclichéd battle between light and dark raging through the world called Ephemera, where the land changes in response to the deepest desires and fears of the inhabitants. When the Eater of the World came into being, the Guides of the Heart shattered Ephemera into myriad pieces, each shaped by the will of a Landscaper and linked to other pieces by Bridges; they also cornered the Eater in a Landscape unconnected to the rest of the world. Now a foolish student has set it free, and Sebastian must help his cousins, Glorianna and Lee, a Landscaper and a Bridge of unusual power and talents respectively, to trap or destroy it. Bishop's pure originality and lyrical prose bolster the occasionally uneven characterization, and the tender romances and friendships will delight fantasy readers tired of gore and lust. (Feb.)