Review: Chantress

Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lucy, shipwrecked on an island at 8, is forbidden to sing by guardian Norrie. On All Hallows Eve 1667, at 15, she sings, and is swept into darkness. She wakes to hear powerful men hunt Chantresses who sing magic into the world. At the Invisible College she finds sanctuary, plots to overthrow the evil Lord Protector, and distrustful scientist-apprentice Nat. Only a Chantress can overcome the Protector, and Lucy is the last in England.

Chantress was such a marvellous start to the series! To begin with, I thought it would be simply about witch-hunting or something but the plot was so complex and well-developed, I once again got reminded to never judge a book by it’s cover or blurb. Firstly, the way the author defines and constructs the world is genuinely commendable – the magic being song-based, the melodies derived from nature or learned by hearsay. It was quite interesting to get into the whole plot, and I was quite engrossed in it. The writing was rich and detailed, and the characters were given justice. Lucy is quite a formidable heroine – fearless but vulnerable too, perceptive and smart. The way she handles the risks of magic, her natural curiosity and her empathy is quite endearing. The magic set-up of the world, the antagonist and the real antagonist were justified well enough, and I was happy to read such a well-thought-out book. The romance, well, it was just a little glimpse but I can tell it will be sweet to develop. I especially loved how Lucy embraced her magic towards the end, even with the risks. Nat was, okay, a bit irritating in the start but I knew that it covered up a bit of attraction too. He cares for her and while their relationship feels shaky now, there is promise for it. The historical aspects of the book gave it a very authentic feel and the way the magic blended seamlessly into it, you would almost believe it was real. Good book!

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