Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chime by Franny Billingsley

ChimeChime by Franny Billingsley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love my kindle but I wish just with this book, that I was looking at the cover as I read it each day. This cover is revealing and might have helped me understand a little more about what was going on in this supernatural fantasy of redemption, loss, and re-finding oneself. Billingsley does a fabulous job of crafting the odd Swampsea world of seventeen-year-old, Briony Larkin, the narrator, who feels responsible for her twin sister Rose's accident, her stepmother's paralysis, and totally hates herself (for many other reasons). Briony is convinced she is a witch who speaks to the Old Ones, and if discovered by the Chime and the townspeople, she will be put to death. When twenty-two year old Eldric with his good looks and fun loving way with children and Rose, arrives in Swampsea, Briony enjoys their jokes and banter together as he urges her to be a Wolf-girl, teaches her to box and forms the Fraternitus Bad-Boyificus. But it is the unreliable, self-abhorrent thoughts of Briony that drive this story and her belief that she must stay a witch to save her sister from the swamp cough that has taken lives and threatens Rose as well. The swamp contains great fantasy elements with the Boggy Mun, Mucky Face, Brownie, the Dead Hand and the Dark Muse; Briony can see them all. I enjoyed seeing the relationship of Briony and Eldric develop slowly and it is Eldric's unwavering loyalty to Briony that saves her during her trial and helps her love herself again.

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