Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review: Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield


Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
Book One of the Chantress trilogy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I Liked:

I was pleasantly surprised when I finished this book and realized that I really liked it! The books that I read before this one were not so good, so reading this book seemed like a breath of fresh air. I loved the originality of this book, the fantasy elements, and the historical setting. You all know how much I LOVE historical fiction novels (especially historical romance novels!), so I had a feeling I would at least enjoy this book. But, I loved it!

I just loved the idea of a "chantress"! A chantress is kind of like a siren, with power in the voice, and a chantress sings and harnesses the power of magic. Lucy is a chantress, and after she escapes the island that she has been living on for many years, she finds herself in England. There, she meets Nat and the rest of the Invisible College, and slowly develops her powers, with the help of her newly discovered godmother.

Lucy's history is quite intriguing. Her mother's life and Lucy's childhood is revealed gradually, through her tight-lipped godmother. The story of the chantresses is very sad but intriguing as well. Lucy's godmother has her own interesting past, but it is a tragic past. Lucy's godmother holds tight reins on Lucy, but only because she knows her own past, and doesn't want Lucy to get hurt. Among other reasons.

The fantasy of this book was so amazing. I loved the world-building and how well the author creates this historical England setting. Historical settings are not easy to procure, but this author clearly did her research. I've read many historical romance novels set about this time period, and the authenticity of the setting is obvious to me.

I loved the characters of this book! And the characterization is so nice! Lucy is a great protagonist to follow. This book is in a historical society, yet Lucy still seems to project herself as a female and a chantress. I love the development she undergoes, especially with the ending considered! 

And Nat. Oh, Nat. He's definitely one of my favorite characters, if not, my favorite. I wish there could have been more scenes with him, and him and Lucy interacting. He is definitely a lovable love interest, but he doesn't take control or take command of many situations. I'm saying he's wimpy; he just doesn't get the opportunity very often. So, he doesn't always get to prove himself as the hero/male protagonist of the story. But whatever. I really liked him. He's calm and sweet and lovable!

And guess what? No love triangle! Or messy love thing! YAY!

The ending ripped my heart out. I knew something had to be sacrificed (as something always is, when you get to the climax of the book), but this was really big. I suppose it gives me something to look forward to in the next book - how Lucy deals with said large event.

What I Did Not Like:

I just went through all of those awesome things that I really liked about this book, but despite all of that, there was something that always bugged me: the predictability. Up until the very end of the book, the overall, general structure of the plot was predictable. Once we get a layout of who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, everything was pretty foreseeable from there.

And then there was the romance. You say, but Alyssa, you LOVED Nat, and there is NO love triangle, so what's the problem? But see, there are not that many interactions between Lucy and Nat, as I mentioned above. And the interactions that we do get don't lead us toward chemistry or any sort of feelings for each other, though we do see them develop in both characters.

Maybe I just wanted more from the romance. I'm hoping that happens in the next book.

Would I Recommend It:

YES! Totally! I really enjoyed this book - especially since it's a mix of my two favorite genres, historical fiction, and fantasy. Run and grab it now!

Rating:

4 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite its predictability, and I have confidence that you will, too!



Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

28 comments:

  1. I love historical fiction, too, and it's always awesome to be pleasantly pleased by a book! Great review!

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    1. YAY! I'm glad! And seriously - I'm so glad that this book turned out to be awesome. Thanks!

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  2. Awesome review! I also enjoyed this book, but I agree that it lacked in the romance department, and for me it just ended up feeling forced. I'm also excited for the sequel, though! <3

    - Kazhy @ My Library in the Making

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    1. YAY! I'm glad to hear that! And, yeah, the author sort of threw them together, rather than let them test the waters. Thanks for stopping by, Kazhy!

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  3. I have had my eye on this one for a while. I really want to read this now.

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  4. I love finding out about lesser known books! The "chantress" mythology sounds awesome and I also love historical fiction! Have you read Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber? I really liked that one!

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    1. I don't think it's necessarily "lesser known" - I think it's less marketed. Which is a shame, because it's a really great Simon and Schuster book. I have not read Darker Still! But people keep throwing that title at me! I'll have to look it up :)

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  5. I haven't heard of this before but it looks really good! And I love your review!
    K @ My Favorite Escape

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    1. It was so good! And thank you so much! <3

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  6. with being fantasy elements and historical setting sounds good to me!!! The romance or lack of sounds puzzling to me..I have been wanting to read this book for awhile-Great Review!!!!!

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    1. Fantasy is my favorite genre! And I the romance is supposed to be subtle. Hopefully, there is more romance in book two!

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  7. I have to find a copy in this cover ASAP before they all vanish. I love the old covers. Your review only makes me want to read the book more than i already do. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have been on a roll with the books I'm reading. So far the last two have been 5 star books. I never get that lucky, lol.

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    1. I love the old covers as well! I'm about to show us my gluttony and buy the ones with the new covers, to have the two with the old covers and the three with the new covers. You should definitely check out the series, Jenn!

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  8. I really enjoyed the review. I've heard of sirens, and I suppose a "chantress" is the same thing, but it sounds so much nicer. You did a wonderful job on this review, thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. It's similar, the idea behind chantresses are kind of like sirens. Thank you for the lovely compliment, Michelle! <3

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  9. Chantress sounds awsome. I would enjoy this book. I would also like to read Chantress Alchemy.

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    1. Awesome! I hope you get the chance to read the trilogy, Linda!

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  10. This sounds amazing. Your review makes me think that our tastes are quite similar for books. I, too, love the historical fiction and fantasy, and I also dislike predictability. Overall, Chantress will definitely be going on my TR shelf/

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    1. That's good! We could totally compare Goodreads shelves! You should definitely read this series :D

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  11. I'm really excited to read this one day (Yes, one day, because now it is on my books-to-buy-list with 1509 others..). I honestly like predictability ;)

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    1. YAY! I totally know what you mean. This might be one for you, lady!

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  12. Want to read this next! I love the plot of this book! Intriguing!

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  13. Great review! Sounds like a great book! (:

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  14. I love the cover, I havent read this book yet but I will definitely put it on my TBR list! Thanks for the review

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