by Danielle L. Jensen
Amazon / Goodreads
Plot Summary: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 is a gorgeous book! The mythology, the plot, and the characters were unexpected delights, I was completely enchanted by the world and the romance. This is a strongly compelling fantasy adventure that I think anyone who loves the genre will enjoy!
The fact that it revolves around trolls was extremely interesting to me. Because it's not the usual suspect when it comes to YA fantasy, and the author has created a very different history for her trolls that feels very believable when compared to how we usually think of them. Trolls are not as straightforwardly monstrous as mythology paints them (or at least not all of them) and in this story they are much more complex and alike to humans in their capacity for emotion. It's intriguing to read about these trolls and how different they are to popular perception.
The characters in this story were just amazing. Cécile was so accessible and sympathetic - perfect as the main character who experiences some incredible things. And her willingness to take some pretty daunting risks for the sake of what she believes was so admirable. There were a couple of times when I wanted to shake some sense into her, but it felt very real to me that she made mistakes when she was faced with so many uncomfortably new situations. Tristan, the Prince of Trollus, was basically everything I love in a male lead. Brooding and mysterious with a heart of gold. The reader learns more and more about him as the story goes on, and different aspects of Tristan's character gradually click into place as we learn more about his past. It's a testament to the author's writing that the puzzle pieces of Tristan's character fit so well together by the end. There are some chapters of this book where the POV switches from Cécile to Tristan and I wasn't completely happy with that. I'm not a big fan of chapter switching POV anyways, and it felt a little unnecessary here, but thankfully it's not every other chapter, and it did make me fall in love with Tristan just a little bit more! There are many more characters in this book that stood out for me - that ran the gauntlet of brave, loyal and true, to slimy, unpleasant villains and such complex characters helped fill out the world of Trollus and make it credible and immersive.
It's the romance though that got me like a sluag spear to the heart. (#bookreference) It's a gradual love that builds between Cécile and Tristan, with many obstacles to their happiness - as much of their own doing as of circumstances, and reading how each hurdle was passed just wrapped me up more into their love. They grew to respect and admire each other and most importantly to trust each other (trust and truth is a big part of these characters) and these are the building blocks for the best kinds of love stories. It's been awhile since I've found a romance in a YA fantasy so beautiful and so intense. Cécile and Tristan are just perfect!
The pace of the plot is very well done in this book - the backstory and action are balanced, and the secrets of Trollus are revealed at well timed key moments. The fantasy aspect is fascinating, as are the characters and their dilemmas. I can't recommend this book enough and I hope that everyone who reads this review will give it a chance!
(I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review.)
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