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Reading is my drug. I love to get lost in a great book to escape into worlds that are usually much cooler than mine! >.<

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Imogen Howson
The Beautiful and the Cursed
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As The World Dies Untold Tales Volume 3
Rhiannon Frater

Chantress

Chantress - Amy Butler Greenfield Sadly, it's not a heart that she's holding on the cover, it's her stone necklace! Boo! Just wanted to get that out of the way first. A gorgeous cover, however--though slightly less interesting than when I thought it was a heart--Chantress is pretty on the outside, and intriguing on the inside. We begin this book in an interesting setting while we learn how Lucy was told never to sing or bad things will occur. I was made both curious and alarmed at the uncertainty surrounding Lucy's life and lifestyle. She became a compelling character right away; I yearned to know more about her and to my impatient nature's delight the answers started arriving just as quickly. We learn early on who she is exactly, what happens when she sings, and why she should have stayed blissfully hidden and unaware. We also get to meet a lot of great personalities that become surprisingly memorable throughout the story. Even those with the smallest roles all have something that makes them stand out from one another. The lore that we get introduced to is impressive; imaginative and clearly well thought out--especially the Shadowgrims; although I wish they had a bigger part inside the book aside from a hovering threat, they were still a fascinating aspect. While the premise is original and interesting, I found it a tad too slow for my taste. Hardly anything happens in this book at all except a flurry of events at the end that was maybe a little too easy. Even with the violence and deaths that occur I found it was over and done with as quickly as it had started, with nothing extremely heart shattering about it. It would have helped if the villain of the story was seen as a more threatening enigma, I suppose. We only meet him briefly, keeping him as nothing more than an afterthought for the reader. I feel his part in the whole thing should have been played out with much more show rather than tell to validate his wickedness. The same could be said for the Shadowgrims, as mentioned before; while we observe more of their presence than their master's, these instances are nothing more than a few close calls. Instead, most of the book is spent underground where Lucy is hiding, training to use her powers. This training is slow moving and grueling. It's good--even great--for character development to see her slowly learning and understanding her powers as a Chantress, however it does get mundane after a hundred pages of this. The one good thing to come of it aside from character development is the equally slow moving romance, which may not be anything mind-blowing, but it's sweet and realistic. It's also kept to a minimum. I would even describe it as the slow beginning of something to come.Great, spirited characters and a unique lore is what fans of fantasy/mythology can expect to enjoy from this novel. If the plot had a little more bite to it, it would have been a truly great read, as it stands it's still a book I would recommend to those who enjoy the genre, I would just advise to not expect to be swept away into a twist riddled, exhilarating plot--because that, it is not. --An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads