Thursday, 6 June 2013


Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield

“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.

The cover is by far the best thing about this book. Now, I know what you're thinking - that cover is stunning, of course the cover is the best thing about it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that what's inside the book is bad. So, maybe what I should have said is that the cover is the only thing I liked about this book. At all. 

In the interest of being totally up-front and honest, I started this book immediately after reading Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, which I loved. Really loved. So it's possible that this book suffered from the inevitable comparison, but I don't think that's all it was. I just don't think this book was that good. I didn't enjoy it, I found it boring and I really didn't care about any of the characters. I finished it about a week ago, and I would be hard pushed to name more than three characters right now. But the cover is really pretty.

The other thing I had a problem with was the fantasy setting. I'm not a huge fan of high fantasy, but this didn't seem to fall into that category. It appears to be set in London in 1667, which is absolutely fine. Except it's not, not really. It's set in an alternate London in 1667, a parallel world or something like that, because the great fire of London never happened. They reference it, they make a joke about the fact if there was a huge fire then they could rebuild the city and make it nicer, but that's it. And I can't see the point. First of all, what need was there to set it in an alternate world? Secondly, if you're going to pick a very specific date, why would you choose 1667? Greenfield studied history, she'll know that date is significant. Did she pick it just to make a really lame joke that was forgotten about (by the characters at least) within two sentences? This really, really bothered me.

Also, I hate when people name their characters Lucy. It's a lazy name.

So, yeah, I wasn't a huge fan of this book. I can't think of anyone I'd recommend it to, but I'm sure there are people out there who would enjoy it. Just don't read it after Shadow and Bone, which you are all reading now based on me recommending it last week, yes? This just didn't really capture my interest at any point, and, honestly, I was just a little relieved to reach the end of it. But that cover is brilliant.

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