Friday, 2 August 2013

REVIEW: Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield

Title: Chantress

Author: Amy Butler Greenfield

Pages: 336

Summary: 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.

Stars: 4/5

I'd like to start off by saying that I've never been a fan of historical novels. I'd pick one up and never get as close as to finishing it. This genre just wasn't intriguing for me - especially when most of them dealt with subjects I never cared enough about. But fantasy novel put in 1600s? Yes, I'll take that. And let me tell you, I wasn't disappointed. What I do not understand though, is that it took me more than a month to finish it. Usually, I read books I don't like for this long. Maybe it was the fact that I'd always find another book to read that sounded more intriguing than this one, especially when it's slow-paced at the beginning and I had a hard time concentrating enough to get through all phrases I wasn't used to and the slowness of the book in general. However, that slowness wasn't particularly bad for me. In fact, I felt as it was necessary. In my opinion, if an author put more action in the middle, this book would lose its purpose. Everything was built the way it should've been - MC finding out she's not your usual teenage girl, MC finding herself in another place, MC learning about herself, MC training, and then a finale. I did notice that a lot of readers complain about it, but I thought it was well built and well planned.

The romance in this book is one of my favourite parts. In fact, there almost isn't any until about 70% of a book. As well as the book, it wasn't rushed, it wasn't unnatural, it wasn't sappy and corny as hell (which I'd really grown to hate), but it was just the way it was supposed to be - sweet enough, almost your every day teenage love (though not really, but as natural as the real "I'm in love" can get).

Lucy wasn't annoying. I'd even say she was very entertaining character to get to know and to listen to. She had her fears, she had her doubts, and she had her bravery not a lot of characters have in these-days novels. Actually, I don't think I was annoyed by any character all that much. All of them were likable enough and even though there were moments where some of the characters irked me, I could not hate them. None of them are truly evil, except for one, though I think even he has a good side in himself, just like all of us. They were all complex and very well thought of. In conclusion, characters were the ones that made this novel even better.

All things considered, this book was enjoyable, though slow-paced and a bit hard to get through at time. It's one of the better I read this year, that's for sure, and it made me want to read more historical novels. I think I'll give them more chance from now on. However, this is definitely not a book for everyone - some will like it, some will hate it, some will find it boring. I liked it and I'm looking forward to reading its sequel.

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