Actual rating: 3.5(This review was originally posted at My Library in the Making.)I admit, what drew me to Chantress was its pretty cover—black, violet, and pink! Stunning combination, eh?—but from the start, this intensely fast-paced book proved itself so much more than physically entrancing; it was imaginative and, for some reason, it reminded me of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart. The writing was beautiful and very descriptive, perfect for the era the story was set in: England in the 1600s. I don't think I've ever read anything that went as far back as that.The story followed Lucy, one of the last few Chantresses who had been hunted down to near extinction, as she discovered the truth about her identity and fought to eliminate the tyrant who haunted her country. Chantresses are very similar to witches, the only difference I can think of being that they work their spells through singing. Anyway, Lucy was a likable character, although I was never really able to connect with her. She was brave and curious, with bouts of stubbornness that often worked against her. Still, her good heart was a constant from beginning to end.With Lucy's mission to emancipate not just her kind but the whole country gripped in terror, came equally mysterious characters, each of who I, at least at one point, suspected would stab her in the back. This doubt, added to the high stakes for everyone, only made the book even more unputdownable.Although Chantress dragged halfway through, things picked up as it entered the climax and took a surprising turn in the end, especially for the romance, which was very well-developed and unhurried. The sizzle between Lucy and Nat was left unexplained—whether deliberately or not is unclear. And even if I felt like the plot could have been made more complicated, I'm still looking forward to reading the sequel.MY FAVORITE PART was the ending.