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. (goodreads)
My thoughts...Chime is a unique story full of folklore and magic. I have mixed opinions of the book, while there were some strong elements, another huge part left me at a loss.
The plot and character development in Chime were brilliantly done. The characters were very unique. The heroine, Briony is convinced she is an evil witch. She does not allow herself to experience happiness, pride, or anything that a normal girl her age would experience. She carries around a block of grief and regret that practically sinks her into the swamp she is surrounded by. Her sister Rose has the traits of an autistic learner, and Briony is her keeper. Readers will fall for the charming Eldric. He has the bad-boy appeal with a worldly knowledge. It is no wonder Briony quickly falls for him, despite her best efforts. The other characters in the book are mainly magical beings. While there isn't much direct interaction with them, they play a significant role. The beings are complex and mysterious. I would love to read more in this world to learn more about the beings and their legends.
The plot of Chime is very well crafted. While there is some predictability, I was amazed at how everything came together in the end. The legends of the swamp really made for an interesting story. These legends are real to the characters; the witches can be seen doing "witchy" things, and waves seemingly come out of nowhere. There was quite a bit of mystery infused with the characters lives. Readers will also find a touch of romance, and a few scenes that are a bit scary. Overall, the story is very well rounded and interesting.
My only issue with Chimed was I really struggled with the dialect of the characters. The story takes place in Old England in a time of witch hunts and persecution. The language in the book fits, but it took me a long time to adjust to it. It was distracting and I found myself rereading to understand the conversations. It just seemed the disrupt the flow of the story (in my opinion). However, this did not keep me from continuing to read and enjoying the story.