Publication: 1st April 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
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.
The story starts off with Briony who with her Father (the village Priest) and her twin sister Rose are waiting for Eldric the son of a local resident to arrive, as his Father lives in the local alehouse it's decided he will stay with Briony's family in the Parsonage.
It's been two months and three days since Briony's Stepmother died of arsenic poisoning everyone assumes she killed herself but Briony knows better because she killed her Stepmother.
You see Briony is a Witch and according to her every bad thing that has happened to her family is her fault, her twin sister's brain injury, the fire that burnt down her home library and the flood that injured her Stepmother's spine.
Briony also has second sight so she can see spirits and the Boogy Mun who inhabits the local swamp and who has spread the deadly swamp cough and will give it to Rose if Briony won't stop the men who are planning on draining the swamp.
There is also a slowly developed romance between Briony and Eldric which is interrupted by Leanne who seems to become infatuated with Eldric and Briony's unwanted suitor Cecil.
The setting is 1910 England but the historical aspect you don't really notice too much.
For those who love a bit of mystery this is the book for you.
I give this 3.5/5
A big thanks to Sonia @ Bloomsbury Australia.