‘Sebastian’ was the first book by Anne Bishop I ever read. Since then I’ve re-read it a few times, and ‘The Landscapes of Ephemera’ Duology has become one of my favourite series.

Image from: harpercollins.comThe idea behind it is quite original. I haven’t met a world quite like it in all of my reading so far. In Ephemera people’s emotions and feelings change the landscape and the way you travel through it. People called Landscapers can change the landscape and are supposed to lend it stability, so the world doesn’t change when someone has a bad mood.  The idea of emotions changing the world is the foundation for the entire story: a creature (The Eater of the World) escapes from the Landscapers School and starts changing landscapes from nice places to scary, bad places. The fear it inspires in the people also reinforces the changes it makes, and the situation just gets worse.

As well as having a great premise, the characters are also likable. In some ways ‘Sebastian’ almost stands on its own. At the end of the book most of the loose ends in Sebastian’s (the character, not the book) life are tied up, and book two focuses on different characters and the Eater of the World. I didn’t enjoy book two, ‘Belladonna’, as much as ‘Sebastian’, as my favourite characters didn’t appear too much and I didn’t like the new characters as much (particularly Glorianna’s love interest). Despite that, book two was still good, and the ending was worth waiting for.

I prefer this series to Anne Bishops ‘Black Jewels’ Trilogy and the ‘Tir Alainn’ Trilogy. If you haven’t read it yet, and enjoy fantasy, think about giving it a go.

Anyone else a fan of ‘The Landscapes of Ephemera’?