Alright, so I was going to do a proper review, but I just can't
. I'm punned out, folks.
Besides I fear I love this book too much to be silly about it. And I have to say, when I first started I wasn't sure if I loved it or hated it. I was struck by how Briony was so annoyingly self-loathing. But then there was the pity and how she pathetically claimed she felt nothing because of witchery.
I found myself appreciating her character much more when she and Eldric created this secret society of awesome swamp-friend-creatures (the lion and the wolf). It was like freaking Adventure Time
, but for realsies.
But srsly, this book reminded me much of my favourite Scottish ballad Tam Lin
. It was probably influenced by such work, in fact, without the focus on a faerie queen or any of that.
People who loved this book will want to read Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock
. You will find that Jones' book is what teen was like in the 70s to early 90s: goddamn literature.
The characters were not one-sided and were much more complicated than the usual young adult novels out there. Eldric and Briony form a friendship first and romance later. They can verbally volley and Eldric certainly challenges Briony at every opportunity. And not challenging like a slap to the face and making her agree with his overt manliness. In fact he doesn't try to be overtly "manly", which in turn makes him seem more of a man than others.
Yeah wrap your head around that one, boys. :D