Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
the first book in The Malediction Trilogy published on April 1, 2014 by Strange Chemistry fantasy |romance
For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy…
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.
“They aren’t ugly. More like beautiful things that have had the misfortune of being broken.”
Stolen Songbird just might be my favorite novel of the year so far (but it’s only February–too early to tell), with its magical setting, beautiful writing, truthful characters and engaging story. This one definitely had some irritating moments, but I guess my overall excitement and enjoyment lessened whatever bad things I felt toward the novel.
We begin the story with our heroine Cécile–fierce, accepting and compassionate. She showed a great sense of bravery (physically, emotionally and mentally) by accepting her fate. At the same time, she still fought for freedom, but not at the cost of hurting anyone (whether it be people she loves or doesn’t even know). She also cared for the citizens of Trollus who were abused/not given what they deserved, despite them being trolls and not humans.
At the mention of Trollus and its inhabitants, I immediately think about how much I loved the setting and how authentic it was. We are introduced to Trollus, the home of supposedly monstrous and dangerous trolls–but let me assure you, they are quite kind and accepting. That aside, I am a huge fan of high fantasy novels since they bring us to new, beautiful worlds that we didn’t think could exist. Stolen Songbird was no exception. I loved everything from the markets, to the mining shafts, to the palace and everything in between.
The side characters were very interesting as well! We have Marc, the kind one who’s always helpful, Anaïs, who was initially a bitch but turned out to be helpful and a bit broken, and many, many others. It was nice that each character had a personality and all contributed to the overall story.
“Watch your tongue, Tristan,” the Duchesse snapped. “Ridiculous expression, that,” Tristan said. “I can’t very well observe my own tongue unless I am to sit in front of a mirror, and I can’t tolerate such vanity.”
And then, of course, we have our (swoon-worthy) hero, Tristan. At first, he may come off as rude and indifferent, but once we are really introduced to his character, it’ll be hard not to fall for him. Being next in line for the throne, you’d think that Tristan would want to follow his father’s footsteps and sort of abuse his power. But no! Tristan is gentle (and hilarious) and he really cares about his people, whether or not they are poor or even if they’re human.
“I haven’t given you a reason to believe I have a single romantic bone in my body.”
But oh, you have, Tristan dearest. The romance (*cough* and angst *cough*) in the novel was exquisite. There was development between both characters and it was really lovely. From victim and captor, to friends, to lovers. I couldn’t help but melt a little every time Tristan showed concern or did sweet things–it’s making me feel bad that I’m spending Valentine’s all alone, lol!
Truly, I would recommend this one to anyone looking for a good high fantasy that’ll give you all. The. Feels.
Other Reviews and Opinions
1. Leo @ Jet Black Ink claimed that “Stolen Songbird was a dream to read, a dream to adventure through, and a nightmare to leave.”
2. Jennifer @ The Nightly Book Owl would “recommend this book in a heartbeat.”