Challenges: Support Library, Once upon time
Publication Date: March 2011
Short synopsis (Goodreads): 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.
My Review: I really, really, really, REALLY liked this book. I like it enough to have read it, want to buy it, and want to read it again. Franny is so imaginatively creative and yet so spot on. It took a little while for the story line to progress to a point where I was actually able to start figuring out what was going on, but rarely am I surprised in books and this one came pretty close. It's such an interesting world that Ms. Billingsley creates. Briony has such a unique way at looking at the world and I LOVED seeing her and Eldric's relationship progress.
I really liked Ms. Billingsley's 'The Folk Keeper' but this one is way better. It has similar elements such as an amusing and different protagonist, but this book is longer, has more character development and a better romance. Much better! I for sure recommend this, though the narration style may not be for everyone, but you should at least give it a try. Enchanting!