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Authors: Anne Bishop

Bridge of Dreams

BOOK: Bridge of Dreams
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Bridge of
Dreams

ALSO BY ANNE BISHOP

 

THE BLACK JEWELS SERIES

 

Daughter of the Blood

 

Heir to the Shadows

 

Queen of the Darkness

 

The Invisible Ring

 

Dreams Made Flesh

 

Tangled Webs

 

The Shadow Queen

 

Shalador’s Lady

 

Twilight’s Dawn

 

THE EPHEMERA SERIES

 

Sebastian

 

Belladonna

 

THE TIR ALAINN TRILOGY

 

The Pillars of the World

 

Shadows and Light

 

The House of Gaian

 
 

ANNE
BISHOP

 

 
Bridge of
Dreams
 

 

A ROC BOOK

 

ROC

Published by New American Library, a division of

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,

Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,

Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,

Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,

New Delhi - 110 017, India

Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632,

New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,

Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:

80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

First Printing, March 2012

10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

Copyright © Anne Bishop, 2012

All rights reserved

 
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA

Library of Congress Cataloging-In-Publication Data:

Bishop, Anne.

   Bridge of dreams: an Ephemera novel/Ann Bishop.

      p. cm.

   ISBN: 978-1-101-57683-0

   I. Title.

   PS3552.I7594B75 2012

813′.54—dc23  2011044771

Set in Bembo

Designed by Ginger Legato

Printed in the United States of America

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

For
Lorna MacDonald Czarnota
Merri Lee Debany
and
Barb Markello

Fellow travelers in the landscapes

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

My thanks to Blair Boone for continuing to be my first reader, to Debra Dixon for being second reader, to Doranna Durgin for maintaining the Web site, to Adrienne Roehrich for running the Facebook fan site, to Nadine Fallacaro for information about things medical, to Anne Sowards and Jennifer Jackson for all their help in bringing this story to life, to Pat Feidner just because, and to all the readers who make this journey with me. May your hearts travel lightly.

Long ago, in a time that has faded from memory, a mother’s tears forged the bridge that, ever after, connected the power of the living, ever-changing world to the human heart.

—MYTH

 

Is the sight that matters most the kind that is seen with the eyes or with the heart?

—SAYING IN VISION

 
 
Table of Contents
 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

B
elladonna stripped away our human masks, revealing the Dark Guides for what we are—the whispering voices that encourage hearts to turn away from the Light and feed the Dark currents of the world with selfishness and greed and, best of all, violence.

While I wore that mask, I walked among the people of Ephemera as a wizard, as one who was feared and revered because I was a Justice Maker for the most prominent citizens in my assigned landscapes—the kind of citizens who, with whispered persuasion, could do the most harm, snuff out the most Light in other hearts.

But Wizard City, the Dark Guides’ stronghold, is gone, taken out of the world and locked away with the landscapes that belong to the Eater of the World. Because the city is no longer within reach, the pureblood females we kept as breeders are also gone. Only a few of us were in other landscapes when Belladonna did that reshaping of the world. Only a few of us escaped that cage. So few of us, hiding now in the pieces of the world.

Of course, we still have some wizards—those descendants of Dark Guides who polluted the bloodlines by mating with humans. Despite that pollution, wizards have the powers that were the gifts from the Dark aspects of the world and, more important for my purpose now, they still look human.

When my true face was revealed, it was the wizards, eager to prove their loyalty to me, who found and booked passage on the various ships that eventually brought us to this city. It was the wizards who found us lodgings that allowed me to study the particular nature of this city and understand how to use it to our advantage.

I can create another stronghold here, another place like Wizard City. Quietly, carefully, I can take part of this city away from its present guardians and turn that piece into a dark landscape where we can rule again.

In the pieces of world we knew, Landscapers were Ephemera’s bedrock—the hearts through which the currents of Dark and Light flow, the sieves that keep Ephemera from manifesting the turmoil in all the other hearts. Here the Landscapers are called Shamans. They guard and guide all they can see with the complacency of those who believe they have no rivals.

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