Title: Stolen Songbird (Malediction Trilogy #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Genre: Swords and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Source: Strange Chemistry via NetGalley
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.
– Blurb taken from Strange Chemistry website.
Rating: **** (4 stars)
STOLEN SONGBIRD is the first book in Danielle L. Jensen’s MALEDICTION TRILOGY. It tells the story of Cécile, the daughter of a farmer, who dreams of following in her mother’s footsteps and being an opera singer. On the eve of her achieving her dream she is kidnapped and brought to Trollus, where her whole world changes.
As soon as I read the blurb of this book, I knew I had to read it. There were a lot of possibilities on the table, and I was curious to see where Jensen was going to take the story. I was also a little wary, as I wasn’t a big fan of the last troll book I read. STOLEN SONGBIRD surprised me, in a good way. It was a un-put-down-able-read however, every time I picked the story up I fell straight back into the world and it was like I had never left. It was just really enjoyable.
The plot of the book was pretty much what I expected from a book in the sword and sorcery/high fantasy genre. Cécile is looking forward to moving to a bigger town – where her mother lives – and starting her life as an opera singer, but she ends up kidnapped and in the city of Trollus where she is forced to bond with the Prince. I liked the fact that Jensen chose to tell the story mainly from Cécile’s point of view, but had occasional chapters from Tristan’s – the troll Prince. The occasional chapter from Tristan’s point of view did a good job at both moving the plot of the book forward and of giving the reader an insight into his character which isn’t available from Cécile’s point of view. The overall plot of the book – and series, I think – is interesting and there are lots of twists – I think there is a lot more to be revealed. The book ends on a cliffhanger, and whilst they aren’t my favourite form of ending the first book in a series or trilogy I think Jensen manages to hit the right note.
Cécile was a compelling main character and I really enjoyed following her journey through the book. She is a very strong character who never gives up, and I admired that quality in her. Tristan is a far more enigmatic character, and is often hard to read and understand. I really enjoyed reading the interactions between the two characters. Jensen also created some really interesting secondary characters, and I am hoping that we will see more of them in the upcoming books in the trilogy.
If you are a fan of the sword and sorcery genre then you should pick this book up and give this series a try. The STOLEN SONGBIRD sets up the world of the MALEDICTION TRILOGY brilliant and I look forward to exploring this world more in future books.