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Chantress Hardcover – May 7, 2013

41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-In renaissance-era London, Lucy Marlowe discovers that she is a Chantress and thus capable of creating powerful magic through singing. Greenfield effectively conjures a world in which England is controlled by the nefarious Lord Scargrave and his Shadowgrims, creatures who find and capture enemies of the crown, especially Chantresses. When Lucy's power unexpectedly manifests, she inadvertently transports herself from the protected island where she has grown up to the heart of London. She earns the trust and help of Cornelius Penebrygg and his apprentice, Nat. They tell her that she is the only person who can put an end to Scargrave's reign of terror, but she must first learn how to use her powers. Fortunately, Lucy's Godmother, Lady Helaine, takes control of the teen's magical training. Just before the heroine embarks on a dangerous mission to sneak into the Tower and steal a grimoire, a book of spells that controls the Shadowgrims, she learns that Lady Helaine has ulterior motives. Faced with conflicting goals and ideals, Lucy must decide for herself what kind of world she wants to live in and what kind of person she wants to be. Although the idea of magic conjured by singing is slightly silly, Greenfield's characters help suspend disbelief. While Chantress is likely to interest readers looking for historical fantasy, they will find it more skillfully done in Rachel Hartman's Seraphina (Random, 2012).-Joy Piedmont.LREI, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Living in exile on a cold, lonely, and isolated island, Lucy has always been warned that singing would bring doom to herself and her loved ones, but song has always called to her. On Allhallow’s Eve, she gives in to temptation for a chance to travel home and is suddenly plunged into a world of politics, intrigue, science, and witchcraft, as she discovers that she is a Chantress—a spell-singer and possibly the last of her kind. Will Lucy’s power save or destroy all that she knows? Although the premise is rather far-fetched, this debut’s compelling plot and skillful narrative style will likely grow on fans of paranormal fiction—and may inspire them to listen to some of their favorite witchy music. This is a great title to feature on Halloween book lists; suggest this also to teens interested in fiction with occult themes as well as eccentric musical artists, such as the Cocteau Twins or Diamanda Galás. Grades 8-12. --Candice Mack

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Series: Chantress
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442457031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442457034
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,238,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amy Butler Greenfield was a history grad student when she gave into temptation and became a writer. Since then she's become an award-winning author.

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, plots mischief, and bakes double-dark-chocolate cake.

You can find her at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jessabella Reads on June 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Lucy is a curious and brave fifteen year old who finds out that she is a Chantress; a type of witch who works magic by singing. She is swept away to England, where she was born, but has little memory of. Lucy is a girl whose bravery and kindness make her extremely likable. Nat and Lucy's relationship had an interesting dynamic. He is the type of character who I immediately felt I understood. He keeps himself at a distance from Lucy at first, but we soon find out why that is. The relationship between the two of them is slow-building, and that makes it that much more believable. I felt that all of the important characters in Chantress were very well written.
The world-building in this story was great. I could clearly picture each scene in my mind as if I were living it right alongside the characters. The bad guys were creepy, and there were times where I wasn't sure if certain characters may have had ulterior motives, which added an element of mystery to the story. The pacing was quick overall, though there were a couple parts that I felt dragged a bit.
All in all, Chantress met all of my expectations. I felt a connection with Lucy. She has a fierce loyalty to those she loves, and put everything she had into becoming the best Chantress she could be. There is a lot of real history in this book. There is a whole section at the end where Amy Butler Greenfield tells us which parts of the story are based on real situations, places, inventions, and people from that time period. I found this quite facinating, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for her as writer.
Chantress is a beautiful story of a young girl's journey to find herself and fulfill her destiny. This was a fabulous story written by a talented and informed author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Ward on May 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
4.5 Stars

'Chantress' is a captivating and beautifully written young adult historical fantasy novel that follows our teenage heroine, Lucy Marlowe, as her life is turned upside down when she accidentally uses her magic to transport herself and her guardian, Norrie, back to London one day. Lucy learns the truth of her heritage: she is a Chantress, like her mother before her. She has the magical ability to sing things into being. In London, Lucy is taken in by Dr. Penebrygg and his apprentice, Nat, who fill her in on her heritage and what has been happening for the years while she was on the island with Norrie. England has become terrorized by the King's Protector, a terrible man named Scargrave who is using Chantress magic to torture and kill any people he deems a threat. The only way to stop Scargrave and save England is with Lucy's ability - she must sing a song that will break the magic holding Scargrave's power. Along with her growing powers, her unsure feelings towards Nat, and the entire country's well-being riding on her shoulders, Lucy must look deep inside herself to find the voice she's been taught to hide for so long.

This was a truly enchanting novel that swept me off my feet from the beginning and didn't slow down until the final page. I found myself eagerly reading each word and wondering what would happen next. The characters were all well written and unique - they each had strength and weaknesses, along with quirks and flaws that made them very realistic and easy to identify with. I loved Lucy as the main character. She's completely uprooted from her home, transported to a place where people like her have been obliterated and the rest are hunted down, she doesn't know a soul, and she finds out she has magical abilities.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Book- Marks The Spot on May 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Lucy has lived secluded from the world on an island for years. The only other person on the island is Norrie, who tells her the darkness will find her if she sings. Only Lucy wants and adventure and she gets more than she bargained for when she sings.

Now Lucy is in hiding with Nat, who hates magic and Penebrygg, who wants Lucy to save them. Lucy doesn't know the first thing about being a Chantress, but she is willing to try to save England and the friends that she has come to love.

It takes one song to change Lucy's world forever.

This book was highly unique. I've never read anything like it. If you have please leave a comment, I'd love to read it. :D Lucy is a fifteen year old girl and a lot is on her shoulders. She is the last Chantress and only she can save England. A Chantress is someone who can use magic through song. That being said Lucy is going to try her best to save them, even if it puts her in danger. There is one person who dislikes Chantresses and he'll do anything to eliminate them. It was all very interesting to watch. Although the book to me seemed a little slow. It didn't really start to pick up until Lucy learned how to control her songs. If you are looking for a romantic book, this is not for you. Yes, there is a love interest, but they don't really start showing it till the end. Honestly, it seemed a little forced. It could have done without it. Hopefully it will not seem as forced in he next one and they can get to know each other more. I really would like to learn more about Nat and his past. We just get a little taste of it in this one. :D

Overall: If you love a historical book packed with magic this book is for you.

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