Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
Published by Margaret K. McElderry (5.7.2013)
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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.
Born in Philadelphia, Amy grew up in the Adirondack Mountains and later studied history at Williams College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and
Never take that stone off, Norrie had told me. It’s meant to protect you. But then Norrie had lied about my mother. Who was to say she hadn’t lied about this? There was only one way to find out. Yet my hand slowed as I reached for the pendant. Almost as long as I could remember, I had been following Norrie’s rules. The thought of breaking them – deliberately, perhaps irrevocably – made my heart pound.
The wind howled at the cracks in the window, making the candle dance. My mother’s letter fluttered in my hand, and I thought I caught a whisper of a tune. This is it. This is your chance to go home. Be bold, and take it.
I grasped the chain and pulled it over my head. The moment the stone was off, the songs came for me – hundreds of them, humming like bees, flickering like firelight, crossing like shadows. And the strangest one was the wild tune I’d heard in the garden. This time, however, it went on and on. It spoke of the sea and of home and of times long past. It tugged at my heart and my throat and my lips. Sing me, it said.
And I did.
I had no idea what the words were, or what phrase came next. But I did not care. A dizzying sense of freedom flooded over me. All I wanted to do was give voice to the notes that came to me, one after another, in an endless stream of sound. We climbed together, strong and sure, rising ever higher. I felt as if I were flying.
Sing and the darkness will find you. Norrie’s warning rang out in my mind. But it seemed to come from somewhere far away, somewhere very much farther than the music itself.
I hardly even noticed when Norrie herself banged the door open. With a horrified cry, she bounded forward and clutched my wrist, the net of seaweed dripping in her hand. “Lucy! No!”
But already the wind was rising. It swirled through the room, midnight black, and caught us both in its grasp. As the candle went out, the song rose to a shriek, and everything around us vanished.
Cool excerpt. Thanks for participating!
Ooh, great excerpt! I can’t wait to read this one, and the cover is fabulous :)
Oh, I saw this book the other day! It sounds SO good!
OMG I remember that excerpt! I can’t remember if you said you really loved this one or hated it but I know that you have a small (or big) aversion to historical fiction :)
Fantastic post, Jessi!
Thanks for the giveaway! I’ve seen this book around lately!
I can’t wait to read this. :)