Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest

Four and Twenty Blackbirds (original 2003; edition 2005)

by Cherie Priest

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6192915,730 (3.81)62
Title:Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Authors:Cherie Priest
Info:Tor Books (2005), Edition: 1st Tor Ed, Paperback, 285 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:2013, Fantasy, From BookMooch, Given Away

Work details

Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest (2003)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 62 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. It’s one of those books that tends to give you a lot of questions and reveals the answers slowly as the story proceeds. I had trouble putting the book down both because the story was interesting and because I wanted to know all the answers.

This is a paranormal-type story told entirely from the first-person perspective of a young girl named Eden. From the time she was a child, Eden has been aware of three female ghosts. On rare occasions, these ghosts show themselves and/or talk to her, and warn her of danger. We meet her when she’s about 5 years old, and we’re given little bits of relevant snippets from her life as she grows up. Once she’s an adult, I think in her early twenties, the meat of the story begins.

Eden has a mysterious past. Or, more accurately, it’s her ancestors who have a mysterious past. Naturally Eden wants to know more about this past, but she has trouble getting any straight answers from the people close to her. And of course this just makes her more determined to get answers, so she tries to find them on her own. I think, if I read the paranormal genre more often, I might have been annoyed by the cliché of the “mysterious past” with people refusing to give the main character any answers, and the main character who’s bound and determined to find answers despite all the dire warnings. However, I haven’t read many paranormal type books since I was a teenager, so I wasn’t as bothered by it as I might have been back when I saw this device used more often.

The story was interesting. There was a very slight creepiness factor perhaps, but it wasn't strong at all. The main character isn’t intimidated by much, and she could take care of herself, which I liked better than the type of main character who’s always terrified by what’s happening and is desperately looking to other people to help them deal with things. Eden didn’t always make the best decisions, but she made her own decisions and dealt with the consequences.

I liked Eden quite a bit, but one thing that bothered me was that she seemed to have almost no thoughts for her future. She’s still living with her adoptive parents, she has no job, and at no point do we see her give any long-term thought to how she’ll make a living and support herself. Her current source of funding for her adventures is explained, but she never seems to think beyond the current moment. It would have made Eden feel more realistic if the author had let us hear a few stray thoughts from her as she mulled over possibilities for her future.

Although this book is part of a series, it told a complete story and didn’t end in a cliff hanger. There were a few characters I wanted to know more about, but the major plot thread was pretty well tied up. I enjoyed the book enough that I plan to read the next book in the series. ( )
  YouKneeK | Mar 29, 2015 |
Lost interest in story
Maybe a YA book
Just too much dialogue ( )
  sogamonk | Nov 15, 2013 |
I didn't like this as much as I'd hoped to. I was ambivalent toward Boneshaker, but I really love Bloodshot and Hellbent (my girlfriend is in the doghouse a little bit for finding them boring), so I had high hopes about this one. I know it was her debut novel, but still. There's something compelling about this -- the mix of races involved, the use of the location, history, etc... But the narrative voice isn't that different from the later Raylene of the Chesire Red books (except she has less of an issue with OCD, and she rambles a bit less!).

Some bits of it were a bit creepy, but mostly the ghosts felt fairly benign. I want to know more of the whys and wherefores of this world, though, so I'm definitely sticking around: it may well grow on me. Lulu, for one thing, is an amazing character -- I hope she has more to do in future. ( )
  shanaqui | Aug 19, 2013 |
I got this book from the library on a whim - I was looking to see if they had any Christopher Priest books and walked away with a book by Cherie Priest instead.

It's rather Anne-Rice's-Witching-Hourish in that it's a "southern gothic" story about a girl who can see ghosts, and her mysterious ancestors. It's the first in a trilogy, and hopefully it won't all go downhill into a fiery disaster the way Anne Rice's trilogy did, because Four and Twenty Blackbirds is really awesome. It's mysterious and eerie and really keeps you guessing until the last page. What's really promising is that it's Cherie Priest's debut, and surely she can only get better from here. ( )
  BrookeAshley | May 23, 2013 |
To really understand this first book, I think I need to read the second one in the series. There was too much set-up here; I'm hoping the next book will distill the character down and allow the mystery/ghost story to happen a bit more naturally. ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
This book is dedicated to the kids in my life—
my little mortality markers,
Alex and Chelsea.
Now you two are getting old enough to hear
my really good spooky stories.
First words
"Draw me a picture of someplace you've been that you liked very much," Mrs. Patterson suggested, pronouncing each word with the firm, specific articulation peculiar to those who work with children.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765313081, Paperback)

Although she was orphaned at birth, Eden Moore is never alone. Three dead women watch from the shadows, bound to protect her from harm. But in the woods a gunman waits, convinced that Eden is destined to follow her wicked great-grandfather--an African magician with the power to curse the living and raise the dead.

Now Eden must decipher the secret of the ghostly trio before a new enemy more dangerous than the fanatical assassin destroys what is left of her family. She will sift through lies in a Georgian ante-bellum mansion and climb through the haunted ruins of a 19th century hospital, desperately seeking the truth that will save her beloved aunt from the curse that threatens her life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Although she was orphaned at birth, Eden Moore is never alone. Three dead women watch from the shadows, bound to protect her from harm. But outside her aunt's house a gunman waits, convinced that Eden is destined to follow her wicked great-grandfather, an African magician with the power to curse the living and raise the dead." -- Back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
113 wanted4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.81)
1 4
1.5 1
2 11
2.5 4
3 32
3.5 18
4 66
4.5 10
5 43

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,847,573 books! | Top bar: Always visible