Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Chantress

Chantress - Amy Butler Greenfield See more of my reviews on Birth of a New Witch! My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher via Edelweiss for the blog tour.Music is a powerful force and the more I see it integrated into fantasy novels, the better--provided they all use it in unique ways and not the same way every time. The way Chantress brings it into the novel and gives it life is just want I wanted from it, but it's a swing and a miss for the most part: spot-on in some ways, missing how great it could be in others.The London Greenfield builds is a fascinating one. After the Great Devastation put a child on the throne, his Lord Protector used the magic of a naive Chantress to instill a tyranny using the mind-reading, terror-inflicting Shadowgrims. These former ravens give readers chills just as easily as they give the characters chills! The slow-burn romance going on between Nat and Lucy is also one of my favorites recently. It takes most of the novel for them to start getting along and be able to connect. When they do, it feels real. That's how it should be done!Lucy is a perfectly sweet girl and it's easy to get caught up in her struggles. Then again, it's easy to get irritated at her too; half her dialogue is questions. I remark on it only because she asks THAT many questions and it's impossible not to notice. It also causes a little conflicting characterization when another character says she doesn't miss much. That might be true if she made more inferences from what information people gave her, but she doesn't. She just asks question after question about all the information that is dumped on her. Lucy is a complete stranger to all this magic and explaining it to her will require a little infodumping, but spacing it out some would have helped. At times, it's easy to get buried under it.The writing is generally lovely brings this version of London to life, but there's one instance that needs to be noted. The "I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding" line is a pet peeve for one of my friends and I agree, it's ridiculous. The same line is in this book, but here's the thing: it appears after Lucy has undergone rigorous training to make her aware of how to breath very precisely in order to make her magic more powerful. For her to be then be unaware of her own breathing is too odd to ignore.Chantress is a competent novel and a great start for this trilogy, but it may not be enough to encourage me to keep reading. Maybe I'll be able to make a decision whether or not to read on once more information about the next book comes out.