Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry
Lucy, shipwrecked on an island at 8, is forbidden to sing by guardian Norrie. On All Hallows Eve 1667, at 15, she sings, and is swept into darkness. She wakes to hear powerful men hunt Chantresses who sing magic into the world. At the Invisible College she finds sanctuary, plots to overthrow the evil Lord Protector, and distrustful scientist-apprentice Nat. Only a Chantress can overcome the Protector, and Lucy is the last in England.
It started off well. I was interested in the things that were happening. I could empathize with Lucy, stuck on that island with a caregiver who seemed content to live there while Lucy suffocated from the emptiness and the loneliness. She was forbidden from singing – something that came naturally to her and I would go so far as to say that it was something necessary for her to live. I expected something more when the first incident happens and the wild magic deposits Lucy into the library of the last house she should be in. Was she a hidden princess? Was there history between her and the main villain?
The mythology is interesting and I liked that there is a sisterhood of sorts present – even though it is now a defunct one. It seems very interesting to me that though this novel contained many of the elements that would make me love a book, I can’t seem to find too much to say about it. There is no insta-romance and in fact, the romance is handled quite well. It develops gradually and there is potential for more in the next installment in the series. The narrative, while nothing new, is handled well. There is a definite sense of progress and the bad people get punished while the good ones triumph. Sort of.
The problem is that there were too many men in this novel and not enough women. Lucy was the only girl present while the other two were old women. There are more than enough men in the narrative and a lot of chauvinism and sexism directed at Lucy.
I don’t know. I didn’t hate this novel but it didn’t impress me other. I probably will read the second one in the series just to see which way it goes but I’m not going to mark my calendar and count down the days to its release.