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Belladonna (Ephemera, Book 2) Hardcover – March 6, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Ephemera Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mystifying forces of light and dark continue to rend Ephemera, a shattered world of extraordinary, interconnected landscapes that can be altered by strong emotions, in Bishop's challenging sequel to Sebastian (2006). The Eater of the World spreads its corrupting darkness, and Glorianna Belladonna, disdained and declared rogue for her powers that blend both the Light and the Dark, is the only one who can halt its evil influence. Caitlin Marie, a friendless young sorceress with dark blood, also faces great danger, while her brother, Michael the Magician, is drawn through many perils to Glorianna's side by dreams of a dark-haired lover. Even as their love is kindled, the key Michael brings to cage the Eater of the World may doom Glorianna and take her away from him. Readers encountering Ephemera for the first time may be confused by the complicated, fantastical world, but fans of the preceding installment will revel in Bishop's imaginative powers. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"The work of a master... thought-provoking."

"A shattered world of extraordinary, interconnected landscapes."

"A fantastic read. Ms. Bishop has a very fertile imagination... Belladonna is worth reading on so many levels."

"Set against a unique fantasy background and filled with intriguing characters, [Belladonna] is another tale of enchanted worlds."

"Those who enjoy sophisticated, mature and original epic fantasy will be well rewarded by spending time in Ephemera. Strongly recommended." --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Ephemera, Book 2 (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Roc Hardcover (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451461266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451461261
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,302,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As the Eater of the World sets out to destroy the already-shattered world of Ephemera, the last-known Landscaper is also the most feared. Glorianna Belladonna is a woman who embraces both the Light and Dark currents through her landscapes [for a broader explanation of landscapes and Ephemera, please see my review for SEBASTIAN]. Shunned by those she must help, she is determined to save the world, for she understands that she is the only hope.

In another place, far away, the people know of nations and countries. They are unaware of the shattered landscapes that surround the area where the Eater of the World was imprisoned long ago. This is where Michael the Magician plays his tin whistle to bring the land into balance, and his younger sister tends a garden that holds more meaning than either of them can imagine.

Belladonna and Michael are thrown together by chance when the Eater appears in Michael's part of the world. Together, and with help from powerful family members and friends, they must piece together the puzzle that will allow them to defeat an evil darker than their worst nightmares. If they fail, it will be the end of all good things. Forever.

In the sequel to the stunning novel SEBASTIAN, BELLADONNA brings readers back into a world that has learned to cope with its shattered nature. Ephemera itself is semi-sentient, relying on heart wishes and desires to know how to shape its many landscapes. For readers who take the time to read and understand the nature of this world, there is a great deal they will find to like. There are more characters in this novel, but they seem to blend in to the preexisting cast quite well.

A few minor hitches and childish family banter might be a bit of a turnoff, but this truly is fascinating.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
From other reviews you can easily get the basic concept of the plot so I'm not going to repeat the plot summary here. Anne Bishop is one of my favorite authors and, in my opinion, one of her greatest strengths is making her characters 'real'. The heroes have flaws that only make the characters more believable.

Unfortunately the Ephemera duology does not live up to Ms. Bishop's usual standard. The banter between family members was often too immature for their ages. I have to admit to similar banter, but we grew out of it well before we reached the ages of the main characters in Belladonna. It was initially somewhat amusing, but quickly became a bit annoying. This seemed to sum up many aspects of 'Belladonna'. A good concepts were either never fully developed or fell flat.

So how do I rate a book like 'Belladonna'? I had to think - if this was not an 'Anne Bishop' book would I have liked it? Yes, I think I would have. The universe was interesting and although it seems to have confused some, I didn't have this particular problem. If this book had been from another author, I would have suggested improvement and felt that reading other books by the same author would be well worth my time. I would have wanted to see a book of short stories to tie up some of the loose ends that weren't covered in the main plot. As a book by Anne Bishop, I was disappointed because she is not a new author and I expected better. I would have rated this book as a 3.5 given more freedom. It was better than average - but not much.
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By AK on March 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Eater of Worlds is on the verge of being unleashed and drowning Ephemera in a soul killing darkness. The only ones who can stop him and reclaim their world for the Light are a trio of beings united in love; Glorianna Belladonna, the most powerful of all Landscapers who has cut herself off from her own kind, Michael the Magician who loves her, and his sister, Caitlin Marie, who has her own gifts. Meeting Glorianna and her incubus brother, Sebastian, opens a new perspective on the world to Michael. He discovers that he did not know half as much as he believed about even the most basic things. One of them must face the darkness head on if they are to achieve victory.

**** I'm sure that those who have read Book I in the series will find the action a bit easier to follow. Yet, despite the lack of information, the poetry built into the prose reaches out and grabs you. Ms. Bishop has a gift of language and creating beauty with her words that is easy to appreciate. The world is peopled with interesting characters who make the plot flow rapidly. ****
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Format: Hardcover
Generations before, the true world was torn into pieces in an attempt to isolate and weaken The Eater of the World, a mysterious entity who creeps into people's minds, whispers their darkest nightmares, and gradually blots out their existance--sometimes not so gradually. The landscapers who split the world are mostly gone now and those who remain fear Glorianna Belladonna and others with the power to confront the Eater. Belladonna has largely reconciled herself to never knowing love--largely but not completely.

Michael is a magician, a luck-giver for good or for ill. He makes his rounds, traveling through the world, singing his songs and playing his flute, trying to bring balance wherever he goes. But the Eater is whispering and a man who travels, who seems to have no connection, who has odd powers, is the perfect victim of the secret fears the Eater can plant. When Michael has a chance to find Belladonna, to connect with someone who won't find his magic frightening but rather empowering and even sexy, he can't resist. What he doesn't know is that this may just be what the Eater is waiting for.

Author Anne Bishop creates a wonderful universe in her Ephemera series. The concept of thousands of miniworlds, connected by the magic of bridges which sometimes take the person who walks them to a completely different place works well, as does Bishop's extended metaphor of gardening, with the landscapers literally controlling their sections of the broken world through a linkage to their gardens.

Bishop delivers a pretty good book but it doesn't quite live up to the promise of the universe she's created.
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