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(Ephemera #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  9,531 ratings  ·  416 reviews
A world of shifting lands connected only by bridges, Ephemera has been kept stable by the magic of the Landscapers. In one land where night reigns and demons dwell, the half-incubus Sebastian revels in dark delights. But then in dreams she calls to him: a woman who wants only to be safe and loved-a woman he hungers for while knowing he may destroy her.

But a more devastatin
Mass Market Paperback, 436 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Roc (first published February 7th 2006)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  9,531 ratings  ·  416 reviews

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Feb 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one!
This was really terrible. Anne Bishop is known for writing id-fulfillment in fantasy novels, complete with as many abused Mary Sues as possible. I expected lots of fluffy titilation with very little substance (no real plot or cohesive world building, I mean), but I was annoyed at how boring and dull the would-be-titilation was. Sebastion is an incubus living in a world created specifically to cater to "dark desires", and yet all he does is have bland sex with women. No kinks, no gender-play, cer ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked the Dark Jewels books
The thing about this book is, several of the characters are (more or less) characters that existed in the Jewels books, but brought into a new story. It's like...if I were a fanfic writer, and really loved the characters in the Jewels books, but wanted to see them in a different setting, this is what I'd write.

Well, I love the characters in the Jewels stories, so spending time with them again is a lot of fun.

Did you like Daemon? Well, you'll love Sebastian!

Felt like Jaenelle was a little too eve
Apr 20, 2016 rated it liked it
2 stars for the first half, I struggled to stay focused and interested. there was a lot of telling, lectures form characters, little action.
3.5 stars for the second half. All the issues they lectured about, talked about, worried about, wondered about stated happening. They happened fast, and the characters were forced to make a choice. I was engaged. I needed to know what this great evil thing happening was and how far it could go. Could it win ? It was bad, really bad, which I loved t
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
A friend lent me her copies of Sebastian and Belladonna after we had trawled a bookstore looking for good fantasy. I’d tried to read the first book in Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series several years ago and couldn’t get into it, so I was a little wary of the Ephemera books. She agreed that Black Jewels wasn’t her cup of tea, either, but she said that she loved the Ephemera series, so I decided to give it a try.

I have to confess, I did some serious procrastination on school stuff so I could finis
Chelsea Kumer
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Sebastian is set in the world of Ephemera, which is really a bunch of little self contained worlds that are connected by (for lack of a better term) magical bridges. The worlds are called landscapes, and they are subject to alteration based on the emotions of their residents. Landscapers (as I understand them) are women who can channel the power of human hearts to help shape landscapes. Sebastian is an incubus who lives in a landscape called the Den of Iniquity. The Den was made by a rogue lands ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. It had more of a romance feel than I expected though it was in no way a romance. I adored Sebastian. He was smart, a little dark, but the human in him truly made him something interesting. The world was different and hard to keep track of at first, but the differences between worlds made things interesting. I also adored how the Den of Iniquity really was a kid's heart and how the world changed to reflect Sebastian's aging. I definitely want to read the next book, Bell ...more
Tutti Dolci
Well...I expected this story to be a sexy Paranormal Romance.

It's not.

Instead, I got a Fantasy (with Paranormal elements) that included light threads of romance (and I mean LIGHT). Which left me wondering if this book belongs in a "clean"/sweet/philosophical sort of category. Sure, there are Incubi, demons, and "Phallic Delights" there. But as I read more and more, I couldn't help but feel that it was all a tool for teaching the reader about the nature of the heart and its resonance.

Lots of go
Cheryl Archbold
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I ended up naming my son after this book :)
I loved Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series and was looking forward to reading more of her work. I was certainly not disappointed with this first book of the Ephemera duology.

I loved so many things about this book, my favorite being the world of Ephemera. Anne Bishop has done such an amazing job of bringing to life the magic of the world itself, Ephemera is created by the feelings and beliefs of the residents, and crossing a bridge will take you to the landscape that reflects the person you truly
Jul 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: romantics
Shelves: fantasy
This was a sweet read. I like the concept of Ephemera, which is reminiscent of C.S. Friedman's Coldfire (one of my favorite fantasies). It's not very scary or dark for a gothic fantasy -- pretty much a straight romance. But the world is intriguing. The Eater of the World is promisingly menacing.

One of my quibbles -- most of the characters get familiar names, western-sounding names -- Sebastian, Lee, Glorianna. Except the bad guy -- Koltak. Heck, even Koltak's brother is named Peter. I guess his
Like a 3.8 because it started out just ok to me and there was so much information to process. Once it got going, I could appreciate and love the world building. The story was fantastic and inventive. I've never read anything like it. Anne Bishop is quickly becoming a favourite author. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series and her other work. ...more
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it
A different series from the Black Jewels series the author is best known for.

I didn't think the book was as good as the Black Jewels novels. It took me a long time to get into the characters and I really struggled at the start. There was a lot of scene setting that got a bit monotonous. The second half of the book I found much better. The characters seemed to develop a bit more and had a bit more motivation than "I am a bad person so belong in the Den" thinking.

It is fairly light so you don't ha
Allison Sesame
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-or-ya
Light and fun and vaguely sexy. Probably more of a 3.5 stars at this stage. It could have had more passion and probably more world building. But it was quick and enjoyable enough for me.
Mar 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, fantasy
Ephemera is a world of fractured landscapes linked by stationary or resonating bridges that take you where your heart wants to go more often than where your will intends. It is a world of humans, demons, wizards and Landscapers, a world that listens to the hearts of its creatures all, resonating with those hearts and responding to them. It is a world of Dark and Light and a long history of manipulation, ambition and trouble.

Sebastian is a demon, half incubus and half human. He lives in a landsca
Jan 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebekah Tower
Mar 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is horrible. I couldn't get past the first page. It reads like a very badly written episode of Buffy the Vampire slayer, with the character openly conversing about being a succubus. It's hard to suspend disbelief. Whoever edited this should be fired, as the author decided (for no reason I could see) to spell the word "coffee" two different ways on the first page. Why is it spelled "koffea" and then "koffee" two sentences later? This seriously turned me off, as well as the author's blat ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
I grew extremely frustrated with this book (even more so when I bought the sequel at the same time. I loved the Black Jewels Trilogy in spite of all the faults, so I thought it'd be the same with Ephemera. I shouldn't have assumed). I wish Bishop had at least sort of explained what Landscapers and Bridges did early on so I didn't have to read the entire book before I realized what the heck they actually did (it was just handled very clumsily, and if she did explain it sooner I completely missed ...more
Ann Gimpel
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book has gotten its share of spotty reviews, but I loved it. Anne Bishop's strength is in her world building and this book didn't disappoint. Ephemera is one of the most complex UF worlds I've come across and Bishop handled it with great consistency. I had no trouble visualizing the shifting landscapes and the different types of bridges between them. I also appreciated Ephemera's link to people's emotional state.

Sebastian is a great character. Part incubus, part wizard, he comes into his ow
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Good story about Ephemera, a world of landscapes connected by bridges, where it listens to hearts wishes and responds! It's a world of Light and Dark! The beginning was slow and the story didn't grab me until halfway thru. ...more
Jul 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-urban
Considering this was the very first book I've read by Anne Bishop, I found this book to be very complex and brought new meaning to the hearts true desires. The war between light and dark forces in this world set a strange balance in my views of good and evil. ...more
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of The Black Jewels trilogy
Currents of power dance through Ephemera, this living, ever-changing world. Some of those currents are Light, and some are Dark. Two halves of a whole. Nothing has one without some measure of the other.
That is the way of things.
And there is no vessel for focusing the Light and the Dark that can compare to the human heart.
How do we tell people, who are still shaken by the horrors the Eater of the World set free in Ephemera, that this thing they fear cannot be destroyed completely because It wa
Kathy Martin
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The main character in this story is Sebastian. He is the child of a wizard and a succubus whose mother gave him to his father to raise. His father hates him because he is the living proof of the mistake he made sleeping with a succubus. Luckily, he has an aunt and cousins who try to make up for his father's abuses.

Sebastian's cousins are a Landscaper named Belladonna and a Bridge named Lee. His cousin Belladonna runs afoul of the wizards by being too powerful and also for creating a landscape t
5* story 5* narrationThere are already some great reviews for this fantastic book, this is just to let other U.K. fans know that the whole series has at last come to Audible U.K. Many other books by this author are now available too, so fans might want to grab them.

Audible U.K. have put this in Chick lit and romance. If you don't know this author I would emphasis that despite what you might expect from the premise, Anne Bishop writes romantic epic fantasy with hints of horror and lots of folk l
Isis A.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
First of all, I loved this book! But it’s a little hard to express an opinion regarding this book because I understand it as two different tales. Obviously there is the sweet tale of a couple that manage to met against all odds which is very cute and lovely! But what truly put an spell on me was this world, the way Ephemera’s characteristics lay open people’s heart wishes. This world will take you to where you belongs and will force you in the path of your heart, it’ll show you only what you can ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An unconventional fantasy romance! No beastial animal shifters here, just a man and a woman who find themselves strangely drawn to each other. There's actual plot besides, and family bonds, and reality-shifting powers, and a threat to all the joined worlds that may or may not be defeated - tune in for the sequel!

I really liked the world of Ephemera. Once I figured out the roles and rules, it all made sense. Although it is kind of ridiculous to see an incubus mooning over a young woman trying to
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sebastian is surprisingly clean for a book that features an incubus as the main character. I expected some hot, dirty, detailed sex because of the book cover (and my own presumptions) so I'm kinda disappointed there wasn't any. I mean, come on, he's an INCUBUS.
But I'm not entirely heartbroken over it because of the sweet, lovey dovey feel good sensations this book pumped into my system. Add that with all the genuine funny bits and the simple fact that this is a fantastic read with a complex plot
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not my type of fantasy. Too many plots and characters thrown at you with POV changing. After getting the gist of the world and players, I was pretty bored with the pacing and main storyline. I started just liking the Linea and Sebastian plot line when we get a twist for the ending... 'battle'. I just hated the twist. (view spoiler) ...more
Tokio Myers
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it

No really, don't

I picked up Sebastian because I was in a romance trash mood (we all have them, don't deny it). I saw the cover and the blub which describe the book as "Erotic, fervently romantic" plus it was about a incubus,(how much more romance trash can you get) so I decided to pick it up. I have to say for a romance book this is one of the worst ones I have read. I say that because the romantic relationship this book foc
May 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-my-copy, fantasy, 2009
Sebastian focuses on a fantasy land called Ephemera that was broken up into different "landscapes." One of the landscapes is called the Den of Iniquity, home to incubi, succubi, and other demons. It's also home to Sebastian, a half-incubus who longs for something other than carnal pleasures. Now, a great evil has returned to Ephemera, and Sebastian and his powerful cousin, Glorianna Belladona, are to play a pivotal part in stopping it.

I didn't expect to love this book when I started it, but I'd
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Anne Bishop lives in upstate New York where she enjoys gardening, music, and writing dark, romantic stories. She is the author of over twenty novels, including the award-winning Black Jewels Trilogy. She has written a new series, the Others, which is an urban dark fantasy with a bit of a twist.

Crawford Award (2000)

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this na

Other books in the series

Ephemera (3 books)
  • Belladonna (Ephemera, #2)
  • Bridge of Dreams (Ephemera, #3)

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