Review: Stolen Songbird6:58 PM
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #1 (I don't know what that means but it sounds really cool.)
Note: I have an obligation to put the blurb here but I would recommend reading the book without reading this. You won't regret going into it blind! :) Here's what you need to know: troll prince + human girl + witch curse + kidnapping + a city under a mountain. Oh, yeah. It's as good as it sounds. ;) You can read my review though because I didn't put even the slightest spoilerly thing in it.
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 one of those 2014 books that has appeared in a gazillion Waiting on Wednesday posts, but even though it's appeared throughout the book blogger community many times I hadn't really read the reviews and therefore went into the book almost completely blind. I read the blurb and thought, "Dude. Trolls and caves and kidnappings? I need to read this." And I have and this is what I think.
It wasn't what I expected.
It was better.
I always talk about how characters are the best part of a book and I felt like this book was about kidnapping and all other sorts of actiony stuff but it mostly was an exploration of human nature...character. I'm not trying to sound all philosophical. It's just that I'm amazed by how the book sucked me in, into the characters' lives. Into their heads. And it was amazing. Danielle L. Jensen is amazing.
The reason I'm so EXCITED about this thing (that doesn't seem that exciting) is because I would be going along caring about all these people and then BAM! something happens. My heart stops.
And this was because I cared so much about the characters.
Cecile is the main character. She's a red-head and she has the voice of an angel. She's also the one who gets kidnapped. Obviously. But she was great. You know how a lot of impetuous and act-without-thinking people are...They're kind of selfish...kind of unlikeable. No matter what Cecile did I always knew that she did it because she thought it was best for those she cared about or what was right. Other times it was just because she had a temper. Which is completely realistic.
She's gorgeous but she's completely awkward around a guy she likes. She isn't fearless but she stands up for herself. And for others.
She doesn't let prejudice influence her judgement of people.
Tristan, prince of the trolls, master of hiding his true intentions or emotions. Tristan had so carefully calculated his every move for so long, that I think he almost forgot who he really was. He was so rational, pragmatic, and the complete opposite of Cecile. He's written so well. I thought he was one person, then I discovered he was another.
Marc was Tristan's cousin. I was drawn to him from the very first time he stepped onto the page. He was so...kind and understanding. So different from most of the trolls. Even though he's only a character, I trusted him as soon as I met him. I had the feeling that even though he was on the "opposite" side that he could always be counted on. He went through so much and still stood strong.
Anais was Tristan's friend and faux lover. She came across as determined, fierce, and ruthless at first. Not a character I would think I'd like. However, as the story went on, I saw that...she may have been hardened and haughty, but she cared about things...people...she was good. She may not have had the same goals and same friends as the others but she still had fierce loyalty and love and strength that made her noble in the end.
Victoria and Vincent were eight-foot twins. At first glance, the author might have put them there just for comedic relief. But I think they reinforced the strains of loyalty and friendship and strength that were all throughout the book.
The one thing that connected all of these characters was pain. They all knew the pain of loss or love. They understood each other in that way and through that, they pulled together and made huge things happen.
And then, of course, as long as we're discussing the characters we have to talk about the trolls. I was so interested to discover what the trolls actually were in this book. And, in my opinion, Jensen created a whole new kind of troll. They were SO fascinating.
I don't want to spill too much because this book is better to go into blind but something that was super intriguing was the troll magic. All trolls have magic, all trolls have silver eyes, and all trolls have their troll lights.
That and their history was so interesting. I seriously needed to figure out more. I didn't want to stop learning more about the city of Trollus.
Not only was there an amazing world, but the politics of Trollus were a confusing and dark maze of power struggles, control, and constant battles between the privileged and the poor. The whole thing was terrifying. It was like reading about a bomb steadily ticking down to the explosion.
There were so many aspects of this book that were awesome.
But to be fair, there were also things that weren't the best. I didn't particularly like the way that the really important prophecy that was the reason that Cecile was kidnapped in the first place kind of faded into the background. It wasn't mentioned often after the first big description.
Secondly, I felt like maybe if Cecile hadn't yelled/shouted as often as she did, she would have come across as more mature. Most of the time I felt like she was pretty mature, despite the impetuous decisions she made sometimes. But then she would start shouting about things that were...not exactly shouting matters. Or if they were, then she probably shouldn't have been shouting in the first place. Especially not in Trollus. *dun dun dun*
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers who love trolls, fiery red-heads, magic, and cities under mountains of stone.