Publishing Info: May 7, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: Marked as DNF April 18, 2013
“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.
It’s no secret that CHANTRESS was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013. It had magic conjured by SINGING (singing is TOTALLY my thing, man). How cool is that? Unfortunately after making my way halfway through the book… I still wasn’t impressed. After reading half of the book and still unable to connect with it in any way, I finally decided to call it quits and move on to all of the other books waiting to be read.
I was disappointed by actually a number of things with CHANTRESS. It really didn’t meet my expectations and although they may have been a LITTLE high, it shouldn’t have been that much of a disappointment. I found myself thinking about what went wrong with my read during this book so the best way I could do it was to break it all down.
1. I felt like this book read younger than the standard “young adult”. Our main character Lucy is fifteen years old, but often times she’s rash to act and seems very naïve which made her seem like a very young protagonist for the YA audience. When I think of YA, I think more along the lines of 16-18 years old or in cases like Confessions of An Angry Girl where our MC was only fourteen but she sounded mature and appealed to audiences of all ages. With Lucy in Chantress, I felt like she was very young and even the writing of the whole story felt like it was geared to a younger audience.
2. “Show not tell.” EVERYTHING that happened, I felt like we were told what happened. Lucy gets info. Lucy tells info. Lucy gets more info. Stories. More background. I felt like there was SO little action to really grab me and pull me into the story. I felt like I was reading factsfactsfacts and nothing was really happening.
3. Speaking of nothing happening, where was all the magic? I made it 40% into the book before Lucy started to explore her powers (with the exception of the very beginning which was actually exciting… until nothing happened after that). If Lucy knew that she could sing to do magic, why not try to experiment on her own? Why did she need these two strangers to cajole her and encourage her? I kind of wanted her to explore her magic in private, away from prying eyes.
4. The secondary characters were TOO prominent. I barely got to know anything about Lucy or her past except for small tidbits here and there. I really wasn’t connected to her at all. The other two guys that Lucy meets (Nat and…. I’m totally blanking on the old guy’s name) seemed to be taking over the story and I was not getting much out of Lucy or figuring out her personality at all.
5. It’s way more fantasy than paranormal. Don’t get me wrong… I do like fantasy when it’s done well! But I don’t like fairy stories (just not my thing) and that’s where this slowly started to turn. Then add in magical creatures and the like and I was losing interest fast. I was hoping the Chantress abilities would be closer to strict paranormal, like witches. The fantasy aspect let me down a lot.
This was a really hard one to decide not to finish since I was so excited to read it but from everything, I realized maybe I just wasn’t the intended audience or it just happened to not be the book for me. I think other people can easily enjoy this one but when it came down to it, I just never found myself getting into the story or that the book kept my interest. For me, it was a pass. And what a bummer that was…
Lucy: I feel like I barely got to know anything about Lucy! Too much of the plot of her own story was being told to her and she didn’t do enough magic/talking/discovering/anything to really help me get to know her. After the book was halfway over, I still felt like I didn’t know her at all.
Nat: Nat was okay. I think it was one of those “I hate you but later in this book I’m going to crush on you” romances but I never made it that far.
Pennebrygg: Okay, I can’t remember how the name was spelled, but anyway. I thought he had way too much of a presence in the book (well, the first half that I read). He was too convenient of a character. He conveniently had shelter for Lucy. He conveniently was able to explain what Chantresses were. He was conveniently looking for Chantresses when none were thought to be left in existence. It was just too easy. And he just TOLD Lucy everything. I mean, sure, as a person, that’s all good, but it took away SO much mystery and discovery. Not exciting at all.
Get a second opinion
It wasn’t BAD but this book really wasn’t for me, but other people have enjoyed it! I couldn’t get into it like I had hoped, but maybe my expectations were too high…
But don’t just take my word for it!
Yes, I chose not to keep reading this book, but here are some other people who did and their full reviews for CHANTRESS:
DJ at DJ Writes: “Overall, Chantress is a unique, engrossing, and utterly enthralling read that will sweep readers up in a whirlwind of magic. Amy Butler Greenfield is a seasoned storyteller and this book is sure to enchant the world.”
Kara at Great Imaginations: “I sort of recommend this. But it depends on what you like in your books. I’m on the fence about everything that has to do with this book.”
Sara at The Hiding Spot: “As a fan of adult epic fantasy, I appreciate world building, which I think Greenfield accomplished artfully.”