Franny Billingsley - Author

Hardcover | $17.99 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780803735521 | 368 pages | 17 Mar 2011 | Dial | 9.25 x 6.25in | 12 - AND UP years
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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.

"Part mystery, part fantasy, this beautifully-written page turner explores guilt, mercy, and love." -Holly Black, New York Times bestselling author of Tithe and Ironside

"Exquisite to the final word." — Booklist (starred review)

"Filled with eccentric characters--self-hating Briony foremost--and oddly beautiful language, this is a darkly beguiling fantasy." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The magnificently dark romantic setting and lovely, lyrical language and imagery enhance a novel that is both lushly sensual and shivery. Billingsley’s YA debut is a memorable one." — School Library Journal (starred review)

"…extraordinary and moving. Fantasy fans will appreciate the lush, spooky setting, but romance fans will also likely find the tentative but promising relationship between Briony and the only man around who actually deserves her to be deeply satisfying." — BCCB (starred review)

"'I've confessed to everything and I'd like to be hanged. Now, if you please.' From those arresting first lines to the very last word, readers will find themselves enthralled by 17-year-old Briony as she spins a tale of guilt, mystery, betrayal and, above all, love." — Kirkus (starred review)

"As complex and tightly woven as her protagonist, Billingsley's plot involves mystery, murder, romance, ancient lore, family drama, and sisterly love. Her Swampsea setting is earthy, visceral, and alive, and for all the adolescent self-hatred depicted here, there's also a welcome hyperawareness of the physical world that Billingsley articulates with impressive poetic vigor." — Horn Book (starred review)

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