This is a work ofﬁction.All the characters and events portrayed in this novel are eitherﬁctitious or are used ﬁctitiously.
four and twenty blackbirds
by Cherie PriestUnrevised,shorter version published in
by Marietta PublishingAll rights reserved,including the right to reproduce this book,or portions thereof,in any form.Edited by Liz Gorinsky
Book design by Nicole de las Heras
A Tor Book Published by Tom Doherty Associates,LLC
Fifth AvenueNew York,NY
www.tor.com Tor® is a registered trademark ofTom Doherty Associates,LLC.Library ofCongress Cataloging-in-Publication DataPriest,Cherie.Four and twenty blackbirds / Cherie Priestp.cm.“A Tom Doherty Associates Book.”1.Orphans—Fiction.2.Young women—Fiction.3.Blessing and cursing—Fiction.4.Racially mixed people—Fiction.5.Signal Mountain (Tenn.)—Fiction.6.Birthfathers—Fiction.7.Georgia—Fiction.I.Title.PS3616.R537F685 2005813'.6—dc2220050405840987654321Cover art by John Jude Palencar