Also, be sure to check out the author interview we did with Danielle as part of the Stolen Songbird blog tour!
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Title: Stolen Songbird (Malediction Trilogy #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Synopsis: 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.
Review: This book. Just...holy cow. I'm having a really hard time trying to find the words to convey how much I absolutely loved this book. It blew every expectation I had out of the water, and I am currently suffering from a pretty ridiculous book hangover. And this is only the first book in the series! I'm scared to think what that means about what's going to happen in the rest of the trilogy...
I've read a lot of fantasy, and I was a little concerned when this book was recommended to fans of Graceling (which is an incredible YA fantasy book). But Stolen Songbird can and does definitely hold its own against it. And against any other fantasy book I've read. The world building is incredible, the secrets keep piling on top of each other, and the magic is really neat. I became completely immersed in this book, and found that I just couldn't put it down once I got into it. I think the only thing that held me back a little bit was knowing too much from the synopsis. A little less of the plot given away in the synopsis would have made some of the discoveries a little more shocking, but it didn't affect the story or my enjoyment of the book in any real amount.
Cécile is a really interesting girl, and there's so much about her that I feel like still has to manifest how it's important to the trolls. Yes, she can sing extraordinarily well, but how does that play into the curse on the trolls or its breaking? Or is it just a talent that sets her apart from other girls? I love how music is integrated into the story and into Cécile, and I hope that it becomes a bigger part of the plot!
I also loved Tristan quite a bit. He's handsome, driven, compassionate, and so has so many other redeeming qualities. Sure, he can be deceitful and has a hard time trusting anyone, but I think that just makes him a stronger character and it definitely makes sense when you learn why he keeps secrets and has to put up a facade in front of (most of) the other trolls. I especially enjoyed the chapters from his perspective, and thought they were very well placed although scarce. I do hope we get to see more of what's happening from his viewpoint, ESPECIALLY after that ending!
Seriously, all the feels from the ending. I am a little upset that Hidden Huntress doesn't come out until June 2015, because I need it ASAP. I have to know what Cécile & Tristan are going to do next and what happens to them. Stolen Songbird is probably one of my favorite YA fantasy books of all time, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasies (especially those in the vein of Graceling, The GIrl of Fire & Thorns, etc. ). Especially if you're looking for something different - most trolls I've ever read about are huge and ugly or are like those little troll dolls with the jewels for belly buttons. Danielle's trolls are unlike any other I've seen, and I love them! Well, most of them. A 5/5, for sure!!