Title: Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy #2)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publication Dates: June 2nd 2015 (US/CAN); 4th June 2015 (UK)
My Stolen Songbird Review
My The Songbird's Overture Review
Synopsis: Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.
Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.
Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.
To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…
UK Print & Ebook
North American Print & Ebook
Global DRM-Free Epub & Mobi Ebook
On-sale 2nd June 2015 from the Robot Trading Company
Review: I absolutely LOVED Stolen Songbird when I read it last year, and then I almost had a mini-heart attack when Strange Chemistry shut its doors because I needed to read Hidden Huntress. Stolen Songbird was probably my favorite fantasy book of 2014, so I was so excited to learn that Angry Robot had picked up (or kept, I guess) the rest of Danielle's Malediction Trilogy. As much as I loved Stolen Songbird, though, Hidden Huntress blew it completely out of the water. This book destroyed me, and I cannot wait for the final book in this series!
I loved how this book is pretty much equally told from Cécile's and Tristan's perspectives. We still see more of Cécile, but I was really glad that we also got to see what was happening in Trollus and with Tristan while Cécile is trying to find Anushka on the surface. Not that Tristan's parts are easy to read - I love Tristan and I hated how badly he's treated and tortured and shunned by all of his old friends. Well, almost all of them anyway. I was glad that Marc was back too, but I felt SO bad for him after Tristan makes a certain promise. This book has so many feels all the way through it, and I just really wanted to jump in and give everyone a giant group hug.
Cécile doesn't have things easy either - she can still feel everything that Tristan feels, she's made a promise to the king that likely to drive her literally insane, and her mother is pretty much crazy. Cécile sings every night, but it's never good enough for her mother. She only has two friends, and they try to be supportive even if they don't understand why she feels she has to free the trolls. Or why she even cares about the trolls. Cécile has to deal with so much, pretty much all by herself, and I felt like any moment was going to be the one where she just broke down. But she's stronger than that, and manages to keep it all together for as long as she needs to. She might be one of my favorite heroines, and I love that she's always questioning things and trying to do what's right even if other people don't agree with her.
Most of the plot is concerned with Tristan trying o figure out what's been going on in Trollus since he's been locked up and with Cécile finding Anushka, but there's enough there that it never felt like anything was dragging. I really enjoyed reading about Cécile's life in the opera house - it's glamorous and exciting and everything she wanted as a child. But there are secrets, and it was so interesting to watch them unravel. I thought I knew what some of the twists and secrets might be, and although I was right on a couple of them, Danielle kept me guessing and kept throwing another wrench into the mix that kept me on my toes the whole time.
There's not as much world-building in this book as there was in Stolen Songbird, but there was still more information about the world and the magic and the history of this world, and it was really nice to learn more about what's been going on in the past several centuries since it helped connect the dots to what's going on in the present.
If you enjoy reading YA fantasy, you absolutely want to read this series! Danielle's writing is gorgeous and captivating, and her world is incredible. All of the characters are so well developed and complex, and I feel like I've known them my whole life. Even the villains are more complex than I imagined them to be, and I even felt bad for them. If you read Stolen Songbird, you definitely want to read Hidden Huntress. I'm still trying to recover from all of the feels, and I really cannot wait to get my hands on the third book! 5/5!