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Victoria Reads Books

Global citizen, adventurer, ponderer. Lover of coffee, books, and the Oxford comma. Infected by wanderlust, enchanted by stories. Might occasionally be a photo blog.

Currently reading

Jane Austen
Progress: 230/412 pages
Le Petit Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Eight Great Comedies
Sylvan Barnet, Morton Berman, William Burton
The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction, Compact Edition: Stories and Authors in Context
Dana Gioia, R.S. Gwynn
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy, Louise Maude, Aylmer Maude, E.B. Greenswood
Chantress - Amy Butler Greenfield What would you do if you were an obstinate young girl stuck on a remote island with a guardian that forbade you to sing? Seduced by a tantalizing melody in the air, and enraged after discovering that all is not as it seems in the world she lives in, Lucy opens her mouth to utter a few notes. She is then thrown into a society where she doesn’t know who to trust, and she is being hunted by mysterious, terrifying beings. England is under the control of the Lord Protector, who has the ability to control the Shadowgrims, creatures that can seize control over a person’s mind and turn them to ash. Only a Chantress can bring the terror to an end, and Lucy is the last of the Chantresses. Only problem: she is completely untrained, extremely stubborn, and has a habit of doing precisely what she is told not to. The Invisible College – and a cute boy named Nat – is depending on her to succeed, but how can she navigate through a web of lies and succeed in her extremely risky task? Chantress is a readable book that will fit nicely with others on the young adult fantasy shelf.

What I liked: this book was a nice, quick read. The story flowed well, and the ending was satisfying. The romantic storyline added to the book and was integral in maintaining the reader’s attention; It unfolded at a realistic pace. My favourite scene of the book was when Lucy was tempted by Deeps to sing the moonbriar song to find his cousin. The conflict between saving Josiah’s life and risking their entire mission was well written, and brought much- needed danger and tension to the massive training montage.

Although the summary demonstrated that it had a lot of potential, this book let me down a bit with its plot. It felt rather mechanical in its execution, and was really quite straightforward. I suppose that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you don’t mind a book being lackluster in terms of plot twists. It has a clean and simple storyline that is extremely easy to follow. Lucy is a rather annoying protagonist in the way that she is very fast-tempered and always acts before she thinks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing either, but occasionally, she was quite frustrating to sit in the mind of. The writing style is very clean-cut and the dialogue felt a little stiff at times. This, I think, should be lowered from the indicated 14+ to around 12+.

Overall, this book made me feel a little old. As a 17-year-old female, I think I am a part of the demographic that this book is marketed to; however, it felt like something was missing. I did enjoy many aspects of the book such as the setting, the pinch of a romantic plotline, the concept, and the quick pace. This book also had a suitably strong ending. I think I would’ve liked this book much more had I read it when I was younger.

Entertainment value: 3.5/5
Writing quality/style: 2/5
Readability: 1/5 (5 being the most difficult to read)
Characters (depth/development): 2/5
Plot: 2.5/5

Random Sidenotes:

- I enjoyed the historical elements incorporated into the story.
- I was getting One Ring vibes from the grimoire. :)

I received an ARC of this through the Goodreads First Reads program. This has not influenced my opinions about the book in any way. My ARC reviews will not contain critiques of grammar or wording, as they will be written with the assumption that the errors will be corrected by the time the finished book is distributed.