"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 first reaction: horror.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past five years, this should be a little bit familiar with the wording like "golden lion eyes" - OK, what? How can you even have "golden lion eyes"? - and "mane of tawny hair". I felt like scrubbing myself after reading those two lines. And to bawl my eyes out.
Why has the archetype for every paranormal/historical YA novel from 2005 now became a variation of Edward or (more recently) bad-boy Patch? Why? Why, goddamnit? Stop spouting lines and lifting mutilated plot lines from Pride & Prejudice and take the time actually read it. The story is not just or even for the majority about Elizabeth and Darcy and their relationship is not meant to be taken the swooning, romantic tale everyone else thinks it is! Darcy was aloof not because he was damaged and needing of a girl to transform him into the ultimate stalking, possessive gentleman of his time but because he suffered from pride. He changed over the course of the novel as did Elizabeth who also was not perfect or clumsy or fell upon bad luck (and/or supernatural beings) everywhere she turned. Miss Bennet was prejudiced and she suffered for it as well sometimes. Honestly, it's more of a story of two people learning from each other than it is two people falling in love with each other and it frustrates me that authors nowadays just take that hot-and-cold game and mash it into a convoluted plot.
Now I'm not saying that this book will turn out the way I think it will and that's why I'm adding it to my TBR list to correct myself if I'm wrong. Maybe the glaring Twilight references (Briony-Bella and Edric-Edward, Briony's self-hatred and Edric's apparent Bella - excuse me, Briony worship) will fade into the background of this highly original premise. And I hope it will. Crossing my fingers over a racing heart, praying that it will.