Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield



Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield 
Series: Chantress, Book #1
Published: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
336 pages (e-ARC)
Genre: Young adult historic fantasy
Acquired this book: From the publisher via Edelweiss for the tour
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

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.


Chantress is a story about secrets, good versus evil, and family - the one you’re born into, and the one you make along the way that has nothing to do with blood ties. It has a great setting and an interesting concept, and while I thought it didn’t fully live up to its potential, it was quite enjoyable.

The story was very well written. I was able to picture myself in England in the 1600s, see the clothes and the houses and the people. I felt the seductive pull of the songs, and Lucy’s inner war between Proven Magic and Wild Magic. The action scenes, while too few and far between, were done really well, and I was able to feel the sense of danger. I found myself getting nervous for Lucy and wondering how she would get out of some of the scrapes she found herself in.

Lucy was sometimes impetuous, but she was also strong and brave. She was faced with some really tough challenges for a girl her age, and she dealt with them well, and managed to hold onto her integrity. Out of all the characters, I probably liked Nat best - his motivations were clearest, and his personality was the strongest. Even though he was surly and kind of rough, there was a reason behind it, and I felt sympathetic toward him.

My main issue with the book was the lack of action. The middle of the book really lagged and the plot seemed to stagnate. There was a lot of sitting around and talking about plans, and then a lot of scenes with in depth details about Lucy’s lessons. There also wasn’t a whole lot of character development. Even though I liked Lucy well enough, I found it hard to connect with her. I also didn’t really understand why she liked Nat - at first he was a complete jerk to her, but then she said they spent time together, even though it didn’t really show much of their interactions, so it was hard to comprehend how the romance developed since we didn’t really see it. I will say that I was sad whenever Nat went away, and looked forward to him returning because I hoped we’d get to see more of how his and Lucy’s relationship developed.

Overall, Chantress was a story with a strong beginning and end, but the middle failed to keep me captivated. I was curious to discover how things would play out, and as I said, the scenes with action were done well, there just weren’t enough of them. The sense of urgency and danger came and went, along with the romance. All that being said, I plan to read the next book (I was hoping it would be a standalone but found out after reading it that it's the first in a trilogy), and I would recommend Chantress to fans of historic fantasy. With such an interesting, unique concept, I’m sure there will be many people who will love this book.  
 
*I received this book from the published via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.*



“With part of my mind, I listened out for the singing. The rest of me wished desperately for a life bigger than carrots and harvests and Norrie’s superstitions.” ~ page 5

“I longed for new sights and adventures, for a life not bounded by the island’s shore.” ~ page 6

“Our eyes met, and I felt a spark like the kick of magic or the start of a song.” ~ page 87

“I again felt a strong current pass between us, as if we were something more than reluctant allies - as if we somehow knew each other through and through.” ~ page 196

“Behind every image, I felt an astonishing blend of emotions: desperation, frustration, admiration, respect, tenderness, desire. And weaving through them all, something more - a faith in me that went beyond anything I’d ever dreamed.” ~ page 291

“I’d trust you anywhere, with or without magic.” ~ page 322 

*All quotes taken from the ARC of Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield*

Amy Butler Greenfield was a grad student in history when she gave into temptation and became a writer. Since then, she has become an award-winning author.
Born in Philadelphia, 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, bakes double-dark-chocolate cake, and plots mischief. Find Amy online: {Website || Twitter




Tour-wide giveaway:
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Have you read Chantress? What did you think?

 

8 comments:

  1. Oh, I really want to win this book! I have been DYING to read it! AMAZING Giveaway! :)

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  2. Thank you!! I can't wait to read this! And I love the cover !!

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  3. Good review. Nice quotes. Thanks for participating!

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  4. This looks super SUPER good!

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  5. Wow! I can't WAIT to read this! I love that cover, too ; )
    I wonder what kind of events or people inspired the author while writing this book!?
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

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  6. I am looking forward to reading CHANTRESS. It looks fabulous.

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  7. Hi Marie. I've been wondering about Chantress. Thanks for great review! :)

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  8. I've been wondering what you ultimately thought about this one, Marie! I do love historical books a LOT, and sometimes if the plot and characters are good enough, I can forgive a lack of action. BUT I do think there still needs to be SOME. And knowing how similar we are about books, I wonder if I'd feel the same way as you did. Lucy does seem like a sympathetic character, ever since you told me Nat reminded you of Daniel from SSAD, I've been dying to read this one. So hmmm, I will let you know what I think!

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love hearing what you have to say, and I appreciate every single comment. I hope to see you here again soon! ♥
~Marie

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