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Chantress (Chantress Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

enchanting story

I thought this was a great book. It's different from other books that have magic in it. In this book they can only perform magic by singing.

Lucy is stranded on an island and was told never to sing, but on one faithful day she heard a song. She decided to sing, the ...
I thought this was a great book. It's different from other books that have magic in it. In this book they can only perform magic by singing.

Lucy is stranded on an island and was told never to sing, but on one faithful day she heard a song. She decided to sing, the song brought her to England. She then finds out that she is called a Chantress and that she is the only one. We read about how the Chantress' came about and who can only be one.

I like that her relationship with Nat progresses over time. Quite frankly they didn't like each other to begin with. It's refreshing almost, too many books start with the characters loving each other within days. So that's just going to make the next book more magical.

Can't wait until the next one to see where the author takes these characters.

posted by terferj on May 11, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I read the reviews and I thought I was in for something original

I read the reviews and I thought I was in for something original. Sad to say this really I am. I tried to like it, I really did. But the main character Lucy.......Let's just say I hated her guts. In the words of Chantress and Lady Helaine "This is what I have asked...
I read the reviews and I thought I was in for something original. Sad to say this really I am. I tried to like it, I really did. But the main character Lucy.......Let's just say I hated her guts. In the words of Chantress and Lady Helaine "This is what I have asked myself. You are foolish, you are impatient, you are shockingly ignorant-and your instincts are deplorable." I couldn't agree more. I read the whole book because I paid for it and there was no way for a refund. I also kept hoping that Lucy would change and GROW UP and be more mature and LEARN from her MANY MANY mistakes but she didn't and it really really infuriated me to the end. Also, when she was learning from her elder, the book clearly said that she had no respect for the safe way of singing, which was frustrating because 1) it's safer and was supposed to help her, especially since her stone couldn't handle the other kind of singing. 2) Even though she tried her hardest and did succeed at learning "Lady Helaine's way" I mean I can understand teacher and student relationship can be hard and there is hatred at times, but come on, she wanted/needed to learn from her aunt. I'm not saying that I'm defending her aunt either, she had massive faults too.
One thing that I did like about Lucy though was that she did what was right, even though she was enthralled/enamored by the chantress book she destroyed it and saved the kingdom from more destruction and misery from tyrants such as the "Lord Protector" and the "shadowgrims."


posted by 4362013 on September 23, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    I read the reviews and I thought I was in for something original

    I read the reviews and I thought I was in for something original. Sad to say this really I am. I tried to like it, I really did. But the main character Lucy.......Let's just say I hated her guts. In the words of Chantress and Lady Helaine "This is what I have asked myself. You are foolish, you are impatient, you are shockingly ignorant-and your instincts are deplorable." I couldn't agree more. I read the whole book because I paid for it and there was no way for a refund. I also kept hoping that Lucy would change and GROW UP and be more mature and LEARN from her MANY MANY mistakes but she didn't and it really really infuriated me to the end. Also, when she was learning from her elder, the book clearly said that she had no respect for the safe way of singing, which was frustrating because 1) it's safer and was supposed to help her, especially since her stone couldn't handle the other kind of singing. 2) Even though she tried her hardest and did succeed at learning "Lady Helaine's way" I mean I can understand teacher and student relationship can be hard and there is hatred at times, but come on, she wanted/needed to learn from her aunt. I'm not saying that I'm defending her aunt either, she had massive faults too.
    One thing that I did like about Lucy though was that she did what was right, even though she was enthralled/enamored by the chantress book she destroyed it and saved the kingdom from more destruction and misery from tyrants such as the "Lord Protector" and the "shadowgrims."


    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    enchanting story

    I thought this was a great book. It's different from other books that have magic in it. In this book they can only perform magic by singing.

    Lucy is stranded on an island and was told never to sing, but on one faithful day she heard a song. She decided to sing, the song brought her to England. She then finds out that she is called a Chantress and that she is the only one. We read about how the Chantress' came about and who can only be one.

    I like that her relationship with Nat progresses over time. Quite frankly they didn't like each other to begin with. It's refreshing almost, too many books start with the characters loving each other within days. So that's just going to make the next book more magical.

    Can't wait until the next one to see where the author takes these characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2014

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    The cover called me on this one. Once I read the description an

    The cover called me on this one. Once I read the description and realized it had that blend of historical fiction and fantasy/paranormal, I was sold. It was a little slow in places, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

    It must be frustrating to be Lucy. The past 7 years have been spent on a deserted island with no real explanation as to what is going on. Her mother is gone and she's not allowed to sing. At first this little fact really through me. I could not figure out what it was about signing that was so bad. I really thought it was some type of sinful thing and so it was forbidden. Turns out, when Lucy sings, she harnesses energy for the world around her and can do magic. She's the only one left with this ability. It doesn't take long for people to track her down and want to use her powers to take down the person in control of the country. He's hunted down every last one of her kind and had them killed. Accept for one...she's just been stripped of all her magic.

    This one person is actually her godmother, and she seems completely uncaring. She feels she's the best person to help Lucy realize her full potential. The only problem is her lessons must be done were the watchful eyes of the Lord Protector can't find her. So she's taken deep unground with a women who does nothing but criticize everything she does. She can't hold the right tune, she sings without the right emotions, not long enough, too short. I found her constant belittling rather annoying. I often thought she was insanely jealous of Lucy because she still possessed the talent.

    My high points were the magic itself and Lucy's relationship with Nat. The magic really was interesting. It had factors to it that made it more complex. There was ordinary magic and wild magic and the consequences were completely different. But, I felt that wild magic was poorly understood and therefore deemed to risky to undertake. I think I liked the romantic relationship with Nat because I wasn't ever sure it was actually going to happen. Nat seemed to uneasy when it came to Lucy's magic that I wasn't sure it would be something he could look past. Especially knowing it was something she could never leave behind.

    The story dragged out in the middle. I felt we spend a lot of time underground while she was training, although during this time we learn a lot of history about the Chantress and the country itself. I also felt the ending was abrupt. It felt to easy. It also make me wonder were the story can go next. I'm sure I'll read the next one though because I want to know what is in store for Lucy. Plus, I like to combination of historical fiction and fantasy/paranormal.

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  • Posted January 21, 2014

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    Lucy, shipwrecked on an island at 8, is forbidden t

    <blockquote> 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.</blockquote>



    The story opens with young Lucy living virtually alone on an island. It would seem that she has lived here her entire life. But why you ask? Well to protect her from danger of course! Her mother put her here for her protection, telling her to never remove her pendant, but not why. And then of course mom disappears, leaving Lucy lost and confused, and certainly unaware of the risk she takes by removing said pendant.

    Immediately upon removing the pendant she hears music, and automatically sings in response. Her song transports her almost directly into the hands of the Lord Protector, no place any Chantress ever wants to be, even one who doesn't know that she is a Chantress. For the evil Lord Protector has done his best to eliminate Chantresses, women who sing magic, as only a Chantress can destroy him. Now she must hide, and try to learn a lifetime's worth of spells to protect herself, all the while the Lord Protector searches all London for her.

    Personally I found this book to be lacking in the plot department. Aside from a slow and somewhat tepid romance with Nat, very little seems to happen, especially in the middle of the book. Sure, Lucy is learning to use her powers and her character grows as part of the process, but I don't think any of us needed the process to last for more than one hundred pages. It would have been nice if some of that time had been devoted to giving us more of the Invisible College and it's members.

    What action there was came and went so quickly that it was difficult to find myself invested in the results. Part of the problem was the lack of a strong villain - we are told how wicked and terrible he is, when we should have been shown. And while the characters were interesting, at least what parts we saw, they felt a bit out of step with the time period for me. The characters came across as being a bit too modern for the era they live in.

    Also, the creative license taken with the historical era and the strong leanings towards fantasy made the book come across as conflicted. It seemed as if it wanted to be historical fiction sometimes and fantasy at others, ending up leaving both its characters and readers confused. I'd have preferred if the author had just picked one genre and stuck with it throughout.

    With all that said, I did still enjoy the book as a whole. It was creative and felt fresh, which was a nice change of pace from several books I had read in the same period of time. And upon finishing I learned that is just the first book in a series, so hopefully all that lengthy, careful, world-building will payoff in future books.

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  • Posted September 2, 2013

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    I Also Recommend:

    I've been anxiously awaiting CHANTRESS since reading the book's

    I've been anxiously awaiting CHANTRESS since reading the book's unusual, intriguing summary. It sounded like something that could have been influenced by Greek mythology, yet it was also original. And it involved singing. I would like to see more fantasy novels where singing is considered magical art in and of itself. I never had time to read the title, though, and it fell down my TBR list. I was recently lucky enough to take part in Lena Goldfinch's Blog Tour for her new novel SONGSTONE. I reviewed the book and interviewed the author. This book also revolves around the magical elements of song in a fantasy world, albeit in completely different ways. Even so, it re-inspired me to read CHANTRESS, and I'm glad I finally have the chance to talk about it.




    In a world where chantresses are feared and persecuted, one managed to escape. She stowed her young daughter away on a deserted island before she herself was murdered. That daughter, Lucy, has grown up unaware of the ability stowed away within her. She lives alone with Norrie and knows only that singing is forbidden. She comes of age without being told the terrible truth about her heritage, and accidentally sings on All Hallow's Eve, breaking the spell  her mother cast and propelling both herself and Norrie to their homeland of England. The only problem? The Lord Protector is high on power and knows that only a chantress can reverse the dark magic he wields. He's mandated that all chantresses must be brought before him...where they are then executed. Lucy goes into hiding with a circle that calls itself The Invisible College is bent on finding a way to bring Lord Scargrave down and give his power to young King Henry the Ninth before London is destroyed. Lucy's newfound abilities as a Chantress are the best chance they have. Lucy only has six months to learn skills that she should have been learning her entire life. If she can't learn to focus and control her songs, she has the power to sing a song of destruction that will bring England to its knees...but if she pulls it off, she'll save everyone.




    I didn't realize that CHANTRESS was historical fantasy until I was reading the novel. It added to the appeal, however, and never felt forced. Instead, the time period was completely suitable and added an additional layer to the story. I find that more and more historical fantasy novels are making their way into YA, which is always a welcome addition. The tides seem to be turning in that direction when it comes to fantasy with recent entries like GRAVE MERCY and DARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers and CHANGELING by Philippa Gregory.




    Those readers looking for an epic romance novel will be disappointed, while the ones who want a book more focused on the story will rejoice. There's a little romance, but much later on, and I expect it to be more of a focus in future titles. Greenfield chooses to focus on developing Lucy and preparing her for a meeting with destiny, as well as creating a backstory of the persecution of all Chantresses. She builds a state of array for London and features citizens longing to break free of the horror of Lord Scargrave and his Shadowgrims




    CHANTRESS is certainly an ambitious novel. The scope of a Chantress is vast and intriguing. At times, there's a lot of info-dumping that can be hard to wade through, creating more Tell than Show. The sequence where Lucy begins studying how to properly be a Chantress leans tedious. At the same time, future books will likely be more focused on action since we already know all of this information. While CHANTRESS ends cleanly and can stand completely on its own, there are two more books to come. Those looking for a book that doesn't have any sequels can read this and feel satisfied, but those wanting more will be happy as well. Greenfield has achieved a good balance here, and it will be interesting to see where she takes Lucy in future books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    There is only one like

    There is only one like

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  • Posted July 31, 2013

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    Lucy has lived secluded from the world on an island for years. T

    Lucy has lived secluded from the world on an island for years. The only other person on the island is Norrie, who tells her the darkness will find her if she sings. Only Lucy wants and adventure and she gets more than she bargained for when she sings.

    Now Lucy is in hiding with Nat, who hates magic and Penebrygg, who wants Lucy to save them. Lucy doesn’t know the first thing about being a Chantress, but she is willing to try to save England and the friends that she has come to love.

    It takes one song to change Lucy’s world forever.

    This book was highly unique. I’ve never read anything like it. If you have please leave a comment, I’d love to read it. :D Lucy is a fifteen year old girl and a lot is on her shoulders. She is the last Chantress and only she can save England. A Chantress is someone who can use magic through song. That being said Lucy is going to try her best to save them, even if it puts her in danger. There is one person who dislikes Chantresses and he’ll do anything to eliminate them. It was all very interesting to watch. Although the book to me seemed a little slow. It didn’t really start to pick up until Lucy learned how to control her songs. If you are looking for a romantic book, this is not for you. Yes, there is a love interest, but they don’t really start showing it till the end. Honestly, it seemed a little forced. It could have done without it. Hopefully it will not seem as forced in he next one and they can get to know each other more. I really would like to learn more about Nat and his past. We just get a little taste of it in this one. :D

    Overall: If you love a historical book packed with magic this book is for you.

    3.8 STARS

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  • Posted June 16, 2013

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    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Chantress by Am

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
    Book One of the Chantress trilogy
    Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
    Publication Date: May 7, 2013
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: eARC from Edelweiss

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    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.


    What I Liked:

    I was pleasantly surprised when I finished this book and realized that I really liked it! The books that I read before this one were not so good, so reading this book seemed like a breath of fresh air. I loved the originality of this book, the fantasy elements, and the historical setting. You all know how much I LOVE historical fiction novels (especially historical romance novels!), so I had a feeling I would at least enjoy this book. But, I loved it!

    I just loved the idea of a &quot;chantress&quot;! A chantress is kind of like a siren, with power in the voice, and a chantress sings and harnesses the power of magic. Lucy is a chantress, and after she escapes the island that she has been living on for many years, she finds herself in England. There, she meets Nat and the rest of the Invisible College, and slowly develops her powers, with the help of her newly discovered godmother.

    Lucy's history is quite intriguing. Her mother's life and Lucy's childhood is revealed gradually, through her tight-lipped godmother. The story of the chantresses is very sad but intriguing as well. Lucy's godmother has her own interesting past, but it is a tragic past. Lucy's godmother holds tight reins on Lucy, but only because she knows her own past, and doesn't want Lucy to get hurt. Among other reasons.

    The fantasy of this book was so amazing. I loved the world-building and how well the author creates this historical England setting. Historical settings are not easy to procure, but this author clearly did her research. I've read many historical romance novels set about this time period, and the authenticity of the setting is obvious to me.

    I loved the characters of this book! And the characterization is so nice! Lucy is a great protagonist to follow. This book is in a historical society, yet Lucy still seems to project herself as a female and a chantress. I love the development she undergoes, especially with the ending considered! 

    And Nat. Oh, Nat. He's definitely one of my favorite characters, if not, my favorite. I wish there could have been more scenes with him, and him and Lucy interacting. He is definitely a lovable love interest, but he doesn't take control or take command of many situations. I'm saying he's wimpy; he just doesn't get the opportunity very often. So, he doesn't always get to prove himself as the hero/male protagonist of the story. But whatever. I really liked him. He's calm and sweet and lovable!

    And guess what? No love triangle! Or messy love thing! YAY!

    The ending ripped my heart out. I knew something had to be sacrificed (as something always is, when you get to the climax of the book), but this was really big. I suppose it gives me something to look forward to in the next book - how Lucy deals with said large event.


    What I Did Not Like:

    I just went through all of those awesome things that I really liked about this book, but despite all of that, there was something that always bugged me: the predictability. Up until the very end of the book, the overall, general structure of the plot was predictable. Once we get a layout of who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, everything was pretty foreseeable from there.

    And then there was the romance. You say, but Alyssa, you LOVED Nat, and there is NO love triangle, so what's the problem? But see, there are not that many interactions between Lucy and Nat, as I mentioned above. And the interactions that we do get don't lead us toward chemistry or any sort of feelings for each other, though we do see them develop in both characters.

    Maybe I just wanted more from the romance. I'm hoping that happens in the next book.


    Would I Recommend It:

    YES! Totally! I really enjoyed this book - especially since it's a mix of my two favorite genres, historical fiction, and fantasy. Run and grab it now!


    Rating:

    4 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite its predictability, and I have confidence that you will, too!

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  • Posted May 18, 2013

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    The first thing that made me want to read Chantress by author Am

    The first thing that made me want to read Chantress 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 from Chantress is that while awesome heroes are born, they also have to be made and 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.

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  • Posted May 14, 2013

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    4.5 Stars 'Chantress' is a captivating and beautifully written

    4.5 Stars

    'Chantress' is a captivating and beautifully written young adult historical fantasy novel that follows our teenage heroine, Lucy Marlowe, as her life is turned upside down when she accidentally uses her magic to transport herself and her guardian, Norrie, back to London one day. Lucy learns the truth of her heritage: she is a Chantress, like her mother before her. She has the magical ability to sing things into being. In London, Lucy is taken in by Dr. Penebrygg and his apprentice, Nat, who fill her in on her heritage and what has been happening for the years while she was on the island with Norrie. England has become terrorized by the King's Protector, a terrible man named Scargrave who is using Chantress magic to torture and kill any people he deems a threat. The only way to stop Scargrave and save England is with Lucy's ability - she must sing a song that will break the magic holding Scargrave's power. Along with her growing powers, her unsure feelings towards Nat, and the entire country's well-being riding on her shoulders, Lucy must look deep inside herself to find the voice she's been taught to hide for so long.

    This was a truly enchanting novel that swept me off my feet from the beginning and didn't slow down until the final page. I found myself eagerly reading each word and wondering what would happen next. The characters were all well written and unique - they each had strength and weaknesses, along with quirks and flaws that made them very realistic and easy to identify with. I loved Lucy as the main character. She's completely uprooted from her home, transported to a place where people like her have been obliterated and the rest are hunted down, she doesn't know a soul, and she finds out she has magical abilities. Taking all of this into account, along with the new knowledge behind her mother's fate and the fact that she is the only hope these people have, Lucy is very mature for her age and acts with a grace and intellect that most would envy. She's still human though, and she has to deal with failures, crushes, uncertainty, and self doubt. It makes her a very likable main character and one that I definitely rooted for throughout the novel. The plot of the book was incredibly fascinating and original. I have never read anything quite like it and I relished reading as much as I could about the Chantresses. I'm hoping that the next book will delve a bit more into their history and abilities because I found it so interesting to read about. The historical aspect of the book was very well researched and I enjoyed that part of it as well. The imagery of the book was so vivid and descriptive that I could easily close my eyes and feel as though I was right beside Lucy and the others. The writing itself was incredibly well done with a fast pace that kept me eagerly turning the pages and it also wove the various story lines together with ease. The wonderful thing about this book was it's ability to break down genre walls and effortlessly blend various types of fiction. It has a bit of everything: mystery, adventure, fantasy, history, magic, romance, action, and more. It easily appeals to fans of several different genre types and is the type of book that everyone will enjoy reading. This is easily one of the most riveting and enchanting novels I've read this year and I'm already eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series. Fans of YA fiction will not want to miss out on this one!

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted May 9, 2013

    I loved this novel!  It's a gorgeously written fantasy yet very

    I loved this novel!  It's a gorgeously written fantasy yet very atmospheric of 17th-century London, with a strong girl character who finds herself hunted by oppressive government forces. Lucy is a &quot;chantress&quot; (a singer of spells) and her kind have been outlawed and driven underground or killed. With a secret group of inventors and scientists (including a darkly handsome apprentice, Will), she fights back using both science and reason. Satisfying and engrossing. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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