Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Chantress Alchemy (Chantress Trilogy #2) by Amy Butler Greenfield

Title: Chantress Alchemy (Chantress Trilogy #2)
Author: Amy Butler Greenfield
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: May 6/2014
Acquired:  Ecopy provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Since defeating Lord Scargrave with her music, Lucy, the last Chantress, has lived by the sea, mastering the intricacies of Wild Magic. But now her quiet life is about to end: the wheat crop has failed, the people are rebelling, and Lucy is called urgently back to King Henry IX’s court. There she finds the Inner Council planning to save England by making gold through alchemy. But the golden crucible — the critical element in the alchemical process — has been stolen, its guards murdered. Lucy is charged with finding the traitor behind the attack.

Meanwhile, enemies old and new are gathering. Scargrave's brutal Chantress-hunter has become King Henry's closest advisor. Lucy’s beloved Nat has fallen out of favor and is shunned by his colleagues; their romance means trouble for both of them. Worst of all, something goes wrong with Lucy’s magic. The palace is a labyrinth, and there’s a monster at its heart — a monster who may have the power to defeat Lucy once and for all.

Amy Butler Greenfield returns to the beguiling world of Chantress for a suspenseful tale of courtly intrigue, music, and magic in Chantress Alchemy.


It is with a mind filled to the brim with mentions of The Philosopher's that you?? Oh wait. Wrong book. But all the same, magic is abound!! And in Chantress Alchemy, Amy Butler Greenfield has brought it back with a vengeance. Book two isn't exactly a direct continuation of book one, which is absolutely fine with me-sometimes we need that in "trilogies," books within them that could stand completely fine on their own, thank you very much. 

The author was successful in bringing over just enough information from the first book, in order to let us all know that "Hey, there was a first try to check it out, if you can." Chantress Alchemy was a new story, featuring well loved characters, and of course, some brand new ones to loathe. With the King's wicked protector, Lord Scargrave, finally out of the picture, Lucy is now at the beck and call of King Henry's every magical need. Situations are dire in the town, and the King is convinced that making gold through alchemy will prove as the ultimate save (because..uh, when HASN'T it, right?). But lo and behold, the most important ingredient in the process has gone missing, and Lucy becomes the lucky "behind the scenes" operator, asked to use her magic as a means to find the perp. But things have gone awry, as they tend to go, and Lucy is left with little to trust, and magic that won't cooperate. Then there's the issue of Nat, and the threatened romance that, to my pleasure, has begun to bloom quite nicely. Betrayal, song-spells, and love for the win!

I wasn't overly impressed by Chantress (book one), but I thought the author did a proper job of of setting the tone, and building a world. One of the things that did earn my respect, and frankly, what kept me reading, was Greenfield's use of language: her flowered prose, and lack of "matter-of-facts". She writes with such fluidity, and poetry-a style that very much complimented the story line, and it's place in time. Chantress Alchemy continued in that vein, and I enjoyed getting to see that world expand; her characters take leaps in their growth. 

The connection between Lucy and Nat in the first book, was but a minuscule spark. Blink, and you would have missed it. I LOVED that, loved that their obvious attraction wasn't forced down our throats; didn't pull on my "eye-roll" strings. There was tension amongst that longing, and still, we were only given but glimpses of that love in Chantress Alchemy. It made me root for them with a fierceness that would not have been present if "insta-love" was the initial case. The twists were well timed, and added some spunk to an otherwise slower plot line, at times. But when action was needed, it was doled out in a fury. Towards the end of the book, I was in a glass case of emotion (...I had too). I was in a right mess at the conclusion, and veered harshly between understanding, and not accepting, a certain character's decision. 

Amy Butler Greenfield has definitely stumbled into a section of YA fantasy/paranormal fiction that was begging to be filled with her writing talent. The genre needs some stronger historical fiction plot lines, and I'm happy with the example that Amy has set. Overall, Chantress Alchemy was a solid sequel in a series that shows much promise. I can't wait to see how Lucy's story will be wrapped up in the third book!

Recommended for fans of: YA Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Teri Brown, All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry.



Amy Butler Greenfield was a grad student in history when she gave into temptation and became a writer. Since then, she has become an award-winning author.

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.

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Thank-you to the girls from The Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting this tour, and to Margaret K. Elderry Books for sending me an ecopy to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour

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