Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review: Chantress (Chantress, #1)

Chantress (Chantress, #1)

Author: Amy Butler Greenfield


Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful — and most hunted — girl in England. 

“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing — and she is swept into darkness.

When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses — women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.

Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion…

Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.

Release date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books


Chantress takes everything I like in a book and puts them together in a beautifully rendered tale that flows like a song.

The book sweeps you up in its story of a historical England that is wrecked by magic and ruled by fear. Enchantments are rife with both black magic and harmless incantations at work. Introduce the chantresses-- a group of women who can make magic through singing-- and the plot becomes a whole lot more interesting.

The main storyline in this novel is rather easy to follow. There are the classic villain, Lord Scargrave, and his minions, the Shadowgrims-- man-sized ravens who can consume your soul in the fiery fires of hell and rape your mind of your thoughts. There is also the motley bunch of heroes, which in this case includes the members of the Invisible College-- a group of thinkers and scientists who are set on overthrowing Lord Scargrave's rule on the kingdom and destroying his thrall over the young king. Finally, we have our heroine, Lucy, who just so happens to be the last Chantress alive in all of England (which is not true, by the way).

The mission unfolds with Lucy discovering her powers, the truth behind her birth and being pushed onto a journey to destroy the seemingly invincible antagonist. Along the way, there are some simple complications, such as Nat, an apprentice who begins a love-hate relationship with Lucy. The slow-brewing romance between Nat and Lucy is like a collision between Science and Magic, and it's a wholly enjoyable process watching how opposites attract, reject and fall in love with each other anyway.

In the end, this novel does not put forth a complex plot, but it rises above its simple and straightforward structure with lovely language, atmospheric descriptions and a lively protagonist. Worth the read for all historical fans.

Source: From the publisher for review purposes.
Via Edelweiss.


Amy Butler Greenfield

Amy Butler Greenfield was a grad student in history when she gave into temptation and became a writer. Since then, she has become an award-winning author. 
Born in Philadelphia, Amy grew up in the Adirondack Mountains and later studied history at Williams College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Oxford. She now lives with her family in England, where she writes, bakes double-dark-chocolate cake, and plots mischief.


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1 comment:

  1. Interesting plot! I love the whole idea of magic through music. Lucy and the others sound so wonderful and I can't wait to learn her story.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories


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