* CompleteMonster: The Duke of Ch'in. He's introduced as a tyrant who only cares about money, power, and obtaining immortality. To do so he [[spoiler: tricked three gullible handmaidens into giving the feathers of the Princess of Birds' crown to him (thus rendering her unable to meet her lover in Heaven) and then murdered them so that they couldn't ask for them back]]. The Duke then [[spoiler: ''drowned a city'' just to be able to hide his SoulJar there, and cursed the three aforementioned handmaidens to guard his SoulJar, essentially binding them to protect their murderer's heart for eternity]]. Ten Ox declares that the Duke "must have the coldest heart in the world!"
* CrowningMomentOfAwesome: The sword dance, as well as the titular [[TitleDrop Bridge of Birds]].
* FridgeBrilliance: The book practically runs on it. Master Li's slowly growing understanding of the true nature of their quest (and who's pulling the strings) counts as an in-story example.
* MagnificentBastard: Master Li - a rare heroic example.
* NightmareFuel: A good-sized helping of it... things like No. Ten Ox's description of the results of eating inaccurately prepared porcupine meat have a way of sticking in the memory.
** [[InvisibleMonsters The Hand That No One Sees]]. The name's bad enough...
* TearJerker: [[spoiler:Miser Shen's prayer to his dead daughter]] is incredibly poignant.
* UnfortunateImplications: You can count the number of positive female characters in this book on one hand. Okay, one hand plus one extra finger. Take away the ones who are treated solely as love interests or sex objects. Now take away the ones who are brainwashed and/or dead. Do you have any fingers left?