Title: Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Acquired Via: Publisher
Release Date: April 1, 2014
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.
You're going to want to watch your feet while reading my review of Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen because I fear my gushing may stain your shoes. You've been warned. Yes, Stolen Songbird is that good. Strange Chemistry was kind enough to send me an ARC, and I swear I'll hug anyone from that publisher whenever I meet them. Seriously. But you're not here to read about my awkwardness - you want to read about how awesome this book is.
If you're anything like me, when you come across a book this good, you really don't want to point out any faults. Stolen Songbird has faults, but the story is so damn good that I'm willing to mostly overlook them. I shall explain.
Cécile de Troyes is a spunky, sassy heroine who was so much fun to read about. She's a commoner who is kidnapped by an acquaintance and sold to trolls for her weight in gold. However, Cécile never once gave up or in on anything, stubbornly biding her time and pushing for things to be on her terms despite being terrified. Tristan, the troll prince she marries under duress, is the typical brooding YA love interest except, you know, for the troll bit. Once you get beneath the surface with him (hardy har har), you'll find complexities that are not as typical.
The crowning achievement of Stolen Songbird is the magnificent world-building. As I was reading the book, I was in Trollus with Cécile and Tristan. I could picture the underground city and really felt like I was watching the story unfold firsthand. It was easy to follow Jensen's troll mythology, too, and there weren't many holes or gaps in my understanding of why everything was whichever way. It was richly described and cleverly imagined.
My problem with Stolen Songbird, though I hate to say there was one, was the pacing. Parts of the story felt very rushed while there were others that were a bit slower than I liked. I never wanted to stop reading the book, but it was inconsistent enough that I would be remiss in my review if I did not point it out.
I do want to bring up Stolen Songbird's romance, but only momentarily because there wasn't much of it (thank Bob). Being as I prefer a slow burn, the two lovebirds were alright. Yes, I call shenanigans on it (finally) coming almost out of nowhere, but whatever. I was all for it by the end.
Stolen Songbird has one of the most unique fantasy worlds and probably one of the best ones I've read yet this year. If fantasy is a genre that you enjoy reading, YA or otherwise, I totally recommend that you get your hands on this one.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.