"Part mystery, part fantasy, this beautifully-written page turner explores guilt, mercy, and love."—New York Times bestselling author Holly Black
Briony has a secret. It is a secret that killed her stepmother, ruined her sister's mind, and will end her life, if anyone were to know. She has powers. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and a great mane of tawny hair. He is as natural as the sun, and he treats her as if she is extraordinary. And everything starts to change . . .
A National Book Award Finalist
★ “Exquisite to the final word.”—Booklist, starred review
★ “Both lushly sensual and shivery.”—School Library Journal, starred review
After too long of an absence, Billingsley (The Folk Keeper) returns with the quirky but rich tale of 17-year-old Briony, who is convinced that she's a witch. Not only is Briony responsible for her twin sister Rose's disabling fall from a swing years earlier, causing brain-damage, she also believes she caused her stepmother's death. The 20th century has arrived in backwater Swampsea, England, and with it such wonders as railroads, motorcars, and pumping stations to drain the bog. But the supernatural Old Ones are unhappy with technology and have sent a fever to punish the children of Swampsea, including Rose. Desperate to save her sister's life, Briony is torn between her painful belief in her own irredeemably evil nature and her attraction to handsome, newly arrived bad boy Eldric Clayborne. "How could I bear it, Eldric living with us, this non-child, this boy-man? I'd have to keep on my Briony mask.... I'd have to keep my tongue sharp and amusing. Already I was exhausted." Filled with eccentric characters self-hating Briony foremost and oddly beautiful language, this is a darkly beguiling fantasy. Ages 12 up.
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Jane Eyre meets Harry Potter. I loved it!
Breath of fresh air in bog of twilight clones.
This book has restored my faith that there are still books worth reading in young adult fiction after all the twilight clones that we've been seeing. The writing style is pretty unconventional but is easy to get used to and works well to convey a unique mood. The plot kept me guessing to the end which has also lead me to hope that I can still be surprised by a supernatural murder mystery. This is definitely a new favorite!
Clever, witty dialogue. Great characters. An entire book of quotable quotes. The plot was confusing at times and I thought the setting could have been explained better. That said, it was the best book I've read in a great while. A breath of fresh air in the YA genre. Loved it!