Tuesday, 18 June 2013

eARC Review: Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield

Title: Chantress
Author: Amy Butler Greenfield
Series: Chantress Trilogy, Book #1
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss 


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.

This is difficult for me to review as I fell sick not long after I started reading it and was so sick I couldn't even read. This also made me fall behind in Uni, so I'm not sure if the added stress to do assessments and catch up took away some of my enjoyment, or I just didn't get swept away with the first half of the story. I felt the first half was slow moving, but that might just have been me and the time (due to commitments) it took me to read that half.
What I can say is that Chantress stuck with me a few days after reading it, and I certainly enjoyed the latter half of the book much more.

Lucy was a lovely, likeable character who grew both with the story and with her power. I enjoyed learning "magic" with her, and magic through music was wonderful.
I actually liked Nat, a secondary character, and more later, the best. I liked his stand-offishness, and like how he developed through the story and warmed more as the story went on.

The middle where Lucy learns her powers is a little dull. While it is good to see her grow into her powers, it is slow moving and goes on for a bit. It was from here (towards the end of this 'section') that the story picked up. Things started to happen, and it was fast moving as the events unfolded. It did end a bit to easily and conveniently, but I was enjoying the story by this point so it didn't detract from it.

One pet peeve, and I only bring this up because I seem to be reading it in all the books lately - "I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding". *Sigh* Is this a trend now or what?

Overall, this is a great start to the trilogy and the mixed pacing, in the end, didn't stop me from liking the story. 

★★★ 1/2
Liked It

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Author Bio
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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