Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: May 19th, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rate: 5 out of 5 stars
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
This was another book that I found myself drawn into really easily, despite not having read the previous books in the trilogy. I felt that the plot had quite a unique take. Although fairies are used quite a lot in fiction, I liked the fact that Lucy wasn’t one directly… and didn’t come across as ridiculously over-powered. It was nice to see that she did have limitations in her power.
It was interesting to see glimpses of the politics going on in the court and how Sybil had to deal with becoming Queen, but being a commoner to begin with. I would have quite liked to see more of her relationship with Henry, but it was good to see her friendship with Lucy and how it still managed to hold, despite her increase in power.
Although I didn’t know much about Chantresses when I started reading the book, I didn’t find myself getting confused and I quickly understood their abilities and what they could do. As the book progressed, I found myself drawn into the world… enough that I was reading faster, so I could find out what was going to happen to the characters I did find myself caring about.
It was also interesting to see Lucy’s relationship with Nat. Although it was fairly important to the story, it was good to see that the romance didn’t take over. And that Lucy didn’t suddenly lose all sense about what to do when their relationship hit the inevitable snag in the road.
I did also like a lot of the supporting characters and getting the opportunity to learn more about them. Although there were a couple of love triangles, they weren’t irritating to read and didn’t contain many of the cliches I now associate with love triangles.
I felt that the author did a good job of showing how quickly people’s opinions can turn on someone else. There were a number of scenes in this book where I found myself really able to empathise with Lucy and how she was feeling. And I was glad to see that she’d grown by the end of the book.
I did like how this book ended. At some point in the future, it would be good to read the previous two books in the trilogy and get to know the characters a bit more… but I’m glad I had the opportunity to read this book and I found myself enjoying it a lot more than I was expecting to.
The other men in the circle were now coming over to us—and one of them was Nat. For more than a year, I’d pretended that he meant nothing to me. Now, in the half-dark of this moonlit night, I stopped acting a part. I was simply myself, hungry for the sight of him.
The King’s right-hand man, Sybil had called him, and he looked it. He’d always had a quiet strength about him, but now that strength was in the open. Tall and sure and capable, he came toward me, and what I saw in his face made my heart hammer like a drum…
But then I caught sight of what had been at the center of the men’s circle, and my heart nearly stopped altogether. It was an enormous barrel, stood on its end. Just visible inside it was a woman, and she was gagged.
Seeing her, I felt sick. Gags and muzzles and scold’s bridles—until the King had come to the throne, these had all been common ways of stopping a woman’s tongue. Especially a Chantress’s tongue. My own godmother had been gagged before she’d been killed, and the memory filled me with horror.
“What’s going on here?” My voice was shaking with anger. “You’re gagging women and putting them in barrels?”
I could’ve asked the question of any of them. But it was Nat I was looking at.
Even in the dim light I saw his face change. When he answered, his voice was guarded, almost steely. “She isn’t a woman, Chantress. She’s a mermaid. And she’s gagged because she tried to kill us.”
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.