Review + Giveaway: Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield

Author: Amy Butler Greenfield
Series: Chantress Trilogy
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 336 (eARC)
Source: eARC for Blog Tour

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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Sing, and the darkness will find you.

That's what Lucy was raised believing. Stranded on an island since she was eight years old with her elder sort-of maid, Norrie, that's all she knew. Past her fifteenth birthday all she knew was solitude, Norrie's cooking, and the island. She had no memories of her mother and the shipwreck that supposedly landed them on the island. But all she knew was that she was to never take off her necklace and that she was to never sing. However, on All-Hollows Eve she discovered a letter that Norrie kept hidden from her written to her by her mother and in her swirl of emotions she removes her necklace and hears a song in the wind. When the song gets stronger with the removal of her necklace, she can't help but sing the song that bubbles up in her in response. And soon her and Norrie are transported back to her birthplace in London, England via unknown magic and the wind.

It's safe to say the plot line was very interesting and the beginning easily caught my attention. The plot was great, really great. But, unfortunately, it was slow at times. With the concept of an evil lord who controlled the young King Henry the 9th and inspired fear and terror in all of London using his Shadowgrims, Greenfield definitely earned some bonus points. I loved these demented raven birds and their ability to make others physically quake from their presence and then their ability to steal their memories by brushing their feathers against their victims skin. Demented and scary, I'd never want such a creature to become a reality. But in a book, I loved them.

However, with all of that being said, this book was incredibly slow to me. With such an awesome sounding plot Greenfield could have thrown in some really amazing action sequences. And while she threw in a few in the end, they seemed too easy to overcome after a large percentage of the book was spent with Lucy learning how to be a better Chantress. Yes, she learned, but she went to attempt to save all of London much earlier than originally planned, so there should have been more obstacles in her path, you know? I felt like the process was a little too smooth. Though not entirely smooth, it was more butter than mild peanut butter. I have no other way to describe it. I wish the plot was faster. I think another aspect of the plot that hurt it was that it had many info-dumps. I understand she didn't know much about her Chantress roots, but it was all revealed in huge info-dumps. I wish that went slightly smoother as well.

With that being said, I want to touch upon the romance. While overall existent, it wasn't a huge plot point. And I have to say I didn't like that for once. It was a little too in the background and while it was a very sweet point at the end of the novel and watching the distrust eventually disappear between Lucy and Nat was great, I wish there was more. I think it could have made the slow points in this novel progress faster.

Overall, I recommend this to people looking for a truly unique read. However, this is more for people looking for a novel that is laid-back as opposed to packed with action. I am beyond curious to see what Greenfield has in store for us in regards to book two because book one was so amazingly creative and imaginative. I will definitely be on the lookout for her future novels as I eagerly await what else she has in store for us.

3.75 stars

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  1. Great Review definitely wanting to read this one especially if you found it unique!

  2. Awesome review! I've been featuring Amy and her debut for a while now - and I just love her. Thanks for the chance to win :)

  3. GREAT Review! I've been wanting to read this book, but with ALL the amazing books releasing lately I haven't gotten around to it!

  4. I have not read this one yet, but it is sitting on my shelf. I think it is 9 books back on my TBR. I am looking forward to it, because the premise is absolutely intriguing and the cover is gorgeous (which has no say in the story, I know, but it is pretty to look at!), but I gotta admit that I am hesitant because slow plots are hard for me to keep up with unless the book is flat out phenomenal. Here is hoping Chantress is flat out phenomenal!

  5. The cover of this one has always intrigued me.

  6. I know that I have already commented once, but now that I have read the book I have new things to say. Hope that's ok?! So, I finished Chantress last week and let me tell you, it was a struggle for me. The beginning drew me in quickly, but then it started lagging and I had to put it down a few times. I hate doing that, but I would rather put a book down and go back to it than DNF it. Once I picked it up and pushed myself through a ways, that initial magic that caught my attention reared its head again and I flew through the last few chapters. I didn't think for a while there that I would continue the series, but now I can honestly say that I am looking forward to it!