Thursday, 9 May 2013

Getting back into YA with Singing and Magic

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.
Release date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

For the last few months I've had New Adult on the brain. With JuNoWriMo coming up and all the debate about defining genre etc. I'd completely forgotten Young Adult, left it in the dust.
And then I picked up "Chantress". Now I'm not going to start on a tangent about how brilliant and amazing this book was - it was not the most original plot and certainly had a typical setting - but it did remind me just how much magic there is in Young Adult Fantasy. How much fun it is to be a teenager coming into your own styles and genres and exploring all the worlds offered to readers nowadays.
The story centers  around Lucy who is not your typical teenager; for one she has been isolated from the outside world since she was eight years old. When she came to London and found herself in the company of many people she was surprisingly well adjusted. That being said, I thought the voice Amy chose for this first person narrative was very accurate for a fifteen year old girl. I thought she had a very strong voice and a well developed character which was just...really nice to see.
And the opening - *raises hands in praise* - I have talked and ranted so much about info dumping in the beginning of a story, especially in a first person narrative, and Amy didn't do that which made me fall in love instantly.
"I was digging in the garden when I heard it: a strange wild singing in the wind."
That's the very first line of this adventure and I was instantly hooked - how could you not be?
Overall I was thoroughly satisfied and totally engaged. From mysterious opening to dark and sinister villains to all the questions and magic in between. You will surely be Enchanted (see what I did there?)

About the Author

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.

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