A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.
The first thing that made me want to readChantress by author Amy Butler Greenfield was the cover. Is it not beautiful? Just take a minute out of your life and look at it. It’s gorgeous and the whole ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ does not count in this situation—I judged Chantress to be awesome based off the cover and it totally was! Score! This is definitely a story unlike any other and one that I fell for hard. Chantress is a novel to look out for.
Set in the 1600s, main character Lucy has been living on an island where her only companion has constantly told her that if she sings the darkness will find her. One day Lucy hears music, something forbidden on the island, and when she’s accused to singing to it Lucy is brought to England and into the wicked Lord Scargrave’s manor. It’s there that she hears how Scargrave is hunting down women called Chantresses and it comes to Lucy’s attention that she is one of them.
A Chantress is a woman who uses her singing voice to bend the laws of nature and Lucy is obviously capable. When she escapes from Scargrave’s manor with a book thief she ends up in the care of Nat and Penebrygg, two men who want to defeat Scargrave and rid him of his ability to control the Shadowgrims; demonic beings that he work as his servants. Penebrygg and Nat reveal to Lucy that she is one of the last remaining Chantresses and that the fate of England is resting on her shoulders.
Lucy is the last remaining weapon against Scargrave and the Shadowgrims. With her help she can destroy them and his power, but in doing so Lucy must learn to control her voice and learn spells that must be sung and mastered. As time goes on Lucy prepares to defeat Scargrave and learns secrets about who she really is and the world her mother worked to keep hidden from her.
Chantress is a novel that is all around fun to read. There were parts that made me laugh, parts that wrung my heart and others that had me caught up in the novel’s quick pace and action. I’ve always been a fan of singing and besides sirens, I’ve never heard of a heroine who uses her singing voice to whip up spells that help her defeat evil. Definitely a refreshing read as well as something that kept me light on my feet while reading. One thing I learned fromChantress is that while awesome heroes are born, they also have to be madeand Greenfield did an amazing job at making a hero that I wanted to cheer on right until the very end.
I’m pretty sure this is one of the few times that I’ve read a novel set in the 1600s and the author’s descriptions of the setting pulled me into the story and had me vividly imagining the world around Lucy in my head. With that being said about descriptions Chantress was a novel that, I found, clearly described everything to the point where an image was created in your mind, but you weren’t bombarded with information overload. Great because information overload slows down the pace and Chantress is a novel that keeps up consistent pacing.
Personally I thought that for around half of the novel Chantress is very introductory to the world that Chantress is set in. I found this beneficial since it lets the reader learn with Lucy and allows them to understand everything to the same extents that she would. I know that that might sound like the beginning half of the novel is boring but it’s far from it. The other half of the novel is full of Chantresses and magical singing being used to the best of its ability. Definitely awesomesauce and it made me love Chantress all the more.
I’d recommend Chantress to readers who are looking for a novel with a strong female protagonist, readers who are looking for a refreshing new title in the YA-verse that has all the best magical elements. I’d also recommend this novel to readers who are big fans of novels with witches and sorcery. Definitely something to pick up and get excited to read.