Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Stolen Songbird
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #1
Hero/Heroine: Cécile & Tristan
Genre: M/F YA Historical Fantasy
Length: 480 pages
Publisher: Strange Chemistry Books
Release Date: April 1, 2014 (US), April 3, 2014 (UK)
Available at: Strange Chemistry Books, Amazon & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
This is the story of Cécile, a girl with a beautiful voice who fits the description of a prophesy that can free the trolls. Kidnapped on her birthday, she’s taken to Trollus, the city buried beneath a mountain, and forced to bond with a troll prince in the hopes that their marriage will free the trolls from a curse put upon them centuries ago by a human witch. Unfortunately, when the union doesn’t break the curse, Cécile is still unable to leave Trollus. It doesn’t take long before she uncovers the dangerous knowledge of a secret rebellion of half-bloods where her new husband is the leader. As time passes, though, Cécile starts to care for the very trolls she once hated but even with her growing feelings, one thing is still true – the man who says he loves her still doesn’t trust her. If given the choice, would Cécile leave Trollus for good… or will she live a lifetime of darkness with Tristan?
I was extremely surprised by this story. When I started, it was a little hard to get into. Actually, it was pretty slow and I didn’t necessarily like Cécile. She was very haughty and almost arrogant but once she was in Trollus, she started to soften up, become nicer, stronger and ended up maturing and understanding there’s things outside of herself that are more important. In contrast, Tristan has always known there’s things more important than himself. He’s definitely arrogant and most of this book he’s a real bastard towards Cécile (only as a ruse, though). Together, they are the sun and the moon, complete opposites but somehow in those differences they end up not just enduring a forced bond but finding a love that will last far beyond the effects of Trollus.
My only issue with this one is that it took a while for me to really get into the story. It wasn’t until about 30% in that I finally had that urge to keep reading. That desire to find out what happens next. I loved the book, the depth to the world of Trollus, the characters themselves and the betrayal and cruelty that runs rampant within the kingdom. I will warn readers that it is a lot to take in and sometimes the characters act in ways that make you want to smack them but in the end, you realize that it was just another ploy in a long line of deceit and lies that make up the story.
All in all, this is an extremely intriguing story with so many elements and layers to it. From fantasy to romance to treading the dangerous waters of politics, it’s filled with suspenseful moments, endearing moments and even a few twists but by the end of the book, it’s an engrossing novel that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat, especially the end. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the sequel because with the way it ended, I’m DYING to find out what happens next!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*