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Chantress Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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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.
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
Top customer reviews
Thank you Amy Greenfield,
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. I will gladly pick up any YA book that she writes in the future.
"I had to be patient, letting the future unfold in its own time and its own way."
"My father used to say that if anyone is to be trusted, it is not the person who seizes power. It is the person who turns it
A hypnotic and alluring read, that delivers magic, corruption, rebellion, a kingdom in turmoil, an evil dictator, and the fight for survival that could possibly end it all for the better or worse...
The CHANTRESS was an enticing blend of fantasy and historical fiction, that intertwined magic with a splash of romance to keep the reader reading well into the night. I was instantly hooked from the very first page. And I was VERY surprised of how much I liked the CHANTRESS, as I was always reluctant to read it for numerous reasons. And I've never really been too intrigued by the plot description from the synopsis either. But fortunately as my love for the fantasy genre grew, so did my open mind for other fantasy books I've always shunned in the past and was reluctant to read. But the CHANTRESS has proved me wrong even with it's minor flaws.
The first small issue I had with the CHANTRESS was the pacing of the plot. It was VERY slow paced, and felt like it was taking baby steps to progress at some points. The plot was interesting, but the paced it moved threw me off a bit. I would of liked a faster plot, and it definitely could of benefited with an increase of action and adventure. Though it did have it's fair share of adventure, it needed, in my opinion more action.
The other issue I had with the CHANTRESS was the romance. Now don't get me wrong, I liked that it was slow burning and not rushed at all. But it was too slow, and barely even any romance at all, at least not until the last chapter or so. And even then, it wasn't even really there either. But I did think that Lucy and her "kinda" love interest Nat made a cute couple, and I really hope we get more from their relationship in the next book, CHANTRESS ALCHEMY.
But slow pace and lack of romance aside, I really enjoyed the foundation of this world and the things that did happen, even with the lack of suspense. The characters, especially Lucy, Nat, and Nat's adopted father figure Penebrygg were awesome characters and had such a strong voice that it would be nearly impossible not to like them. Even though none of them were the "normal" type of characters I usually read. I still enjoyed their voices and character traits, and the fleshed out development that Butler instilled in her wonderful cast of characters that I just loved to pieces.
"Sing, and the darkness will find you."
Lucy has lost everything because of one man, now it's time to awaken the power pulsing inside, and save London from the monsters unleashed to devourer it from the inside out...
Shipwrecked on a island since she was eight-years-old, Lucy remembers very little of her life before then. She knows that her mother was lost at sea when they boarded that dreadful ship that deserted them to this abandoned island they now call home. Only other person she's seen since that shipwreck seven-long-years-ago, is her mother-like nurse Norrie that has kept her alive all these lonely years. But Lucy yearns to be free, to return to her hometown of London where her memories hide. But with no hope of rescue, Lucy and her nurse are destine to remain on that island for the rest of their days. Until the darkness she's been warned about finds her. And she's swept into a tornado of wind that tosses her in the very place she desired most, London. But right in the middle of grave danger...
Back in London and more alone then she's ever been, Lucy finds the hard way that the kingdom has fallen into vengeful hands. Crowned to a boy-king in name only, but ruled by Scargrave and his vile creatures the Shadowgrims that are capable of tearing a man apart from the inside out, stripping him of all sense of sanity and humanity, and making him into a walking talking Shadowgrim lackey, only breathing to do their bidding...
But that's not all Lucy discovers on her journey back to her hometown of London. It's revealed that she is a Chantress, and the very last one of her kind after Scargrave and his creatures the Shadowgrims, the only thing capable of defeating a Chantress hunted down every last one of them, and killed them all. Being the last Chantress, and an untrained one at that, Lucy is playing with fire, and is bound to get burned...
But then Lucy stumbles upon members of a rebellion, working from the shadows to find ways with their intelligence to outwit Scargrave and his creature army. But now with a Chantress walking right into their needing hands, they may have just found the ultimate weapon to defeat them once and for all...
Lucy will have to discover her true self and what it truly means to be a Chantress to stop the evil threatening to tear London apart. Being the only one strong enough to even stand a chance against Scargrave and his pet Shadowgrims, Lucy must learn as much as she can about herself and the power she possess within if she's going to have any chance of standing against them and prevailing once and for all.
The CHANTRESS was a GREAT start to an amazing series that I absolutely adored! I plan to binge read book two and three as soon as possible. Because I'm dying to know what Lucy and her little gang will endure next. And the limits to which Lucy will be tested to achieve whatever new threat awaits her at the end of this epic trilogy that I know will NOT disappoint.
Overall, the CHANTRESS was more then I anticipated, and though it was very slow paced, and I wanted a little bit more from the romance, I still found myself easily engrossed in the story and characters no matter it's flaws. And I am so happy I decided to give this book it's fair shot, and I'm eagerly anticipating continuing this series and the next journey it brings!! If you like magical worlds with VERY slow burning romance, a kingdom on the verge of self destruction, with evil lurking from the sky and around the corner, then CHANTRESS is one read you DON'T want to miss!!
NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Simon & Schuster for reviewing purposes! All opinions express are my own and are not influenced in any way!
A magical, musical read, that will leave you enchanted....
Most recent customer reviews
Oh the disappointment.Read more
The beginning of the book drew me in more than most books.Read more