by Franny Billingsley
"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."
Like The Dark Hand, the magic of this book reaches out and grabs you in. The writing is so beautiful that when I finished I got a little teary; not because it was sad, but because the experience was over. This is not a book to read all in one sitting. It needs to be savored and absorbed. There is humor, tragedy, mystical intrigue and romance. I will be thinking about this book for a long time to come, and I will definitely be reading the author's other books. Thank you, Franny Billingsley, at a time when I was so sick of YA lit that I never wanted to read anymore, you stepped in and saved me.
No bad language, no sexual references.
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12 +
School Library Journal - Grades 7 +