Thursday, August 30, 2012
Chime by Franny Billingsley
Chime 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.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
My brain’s fried, so I’m keeping this short.
I feel like I deserve an award. I finally finished CHIME and since it took forever, I don’t know if I love this because it challenged me or that I love it because it’s so different. To start, the world is so different and the writing a clever mix of lush and creative and oddly enough bits of a contemporary feel here and there.
It’s the setting and what peoples the place that added to the magical but quirky feel of it: a magical place and the people aware of the same. Boggy Mun, Dead Hand and Dark Muse, the Chime Child, brownies and the Old Ones? Let’s just say that I enjoyed it all. A lot. Yet, the magical aside, the feel of Swampsea, this little village that’s both old but not old, with people who know each other but not really and then their talk of Old Ones and what not all merged together so that I was never quite sure about what kind of story I’d found in my hands.
Now, it truly did take forever before it made more than a little sense but there was Briony to push me forward. She, who’s everything form sad, to guilt ridden then sharp but most definitely not afraid to wade in things, was different. Far from being likeable… she’s one who tried to do what’s right for those closest to her, but doesn’t see herself for who she is. And it’s seeing herself for who she is what Chime’s about.
Also there’s a lovely connection made. First, that they don’t fall at each other’s feet upon first meeting? That, I loved. (truly I did.) She’s so critical of things and he more easy. So, where he is playful, she was not quite. And where she viewed things a certain way, well he certainly didn’t always agree… and eventually where he sought honesty, well, she fulfilled this… eventually. Mainly it’s the fact that there’s a connection between two who actually match up and still challenge the other that I enjoyed.
This was a lovely story (even if took forever to get going…)
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