This book is so different. I really loved parts of it and other parts of it just made my brain hurt. It is unlike any other book out there and definitely deserves recognition for that. The writing style of Billingsley is unique and special and wonderful and strange. I loved all her characters; they really jump off the page and are real in a way that a lot of fantasy characters are not. I like the world she created with its mix of reality and fantasy; a mix of Victorian modern and Old Ones.
Briony Larkin tells us from the beginning that she is a witch and she should be hanged, but there are always holes in her story. As she tells us about injuring her sister Rose and her stepmother we never quite get the full story and you always wonder if there is something missing from what we are told. The narrative is beautifully told but jumps around a lot. It is as jumbled as Briony’s thoughts.
The relationships in the book are wonderful. You can feel the love between Briony and her sister Rose. You can see how Rose’s affliction (autism??) affects the relationship but not their caring for each other. I liked the quirky relationship of Eldric and Briony; you could see that relationship developing and not in the teen romancy way of many YA novels. Sure there was jealousy when Leanne came into the picture but I liked that there was a reason for it and it wasn’t just some stupid love triangle.
The language is difficult I will admit and probably one of the reasons I didn’t rate this book higher. It takes a bit more concentration to read this book, but it is well written and the world is well developed. It was definitely worth the read.