Pages: 368, hardcover
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Release Date: April 4th, 2011
Genre: YA / fantasy / romance
Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.
Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.
(Taken from Goodreads)
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This story starts on a sombre and interesting note. The first two lines are:
"I've confessed to everything, and I'd like to be hanged. Now, if you please."How could anyone not be sucked in with lines like that?
This book is weird, in both good and bad ways. I feel that this is one of those books that you either love or hate. If you're into weird, then this may be the one for you. The writing, and the eccentric characters may take some getting used to, though. I personally loved the weirdness. And it's not just weird for the sake of being weird. The weirdness actually makes sense, it's all explained in the book.
I loved Briony's character. She's an unreliable character, and I have to admit, I have a massive soft spot for unreliable characters.
She tries to convince the reader and herself that she is strong, that she doesn't need to depend on others, mentally and physically. She learns that it's alright to lean on others when times are hard. She learns to love herself and others, that she wasn't born evil. And it's this journey that's beautiful.
The writing is the most beautiful part of the book. It is so delicious, flows so well. It's a book lover's wet dream. Just like everything else in this book, the writing is weird, too. It has a very peculiar flavour that mightn't be appreciated by everyone, but is worth a try.
10 Second Review: A grim, weird, original fairytale that could be a hit or a miss.
Cover Art: 3
Level of Interest: 5
Total Rating: 5/5 stars