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Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: Stolen Songbird

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,

Stolen Songbird (Malediction Trilogy #1)
by Danielle L. Jensen
YA Fantasy
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.)

Stolen Songbird's release date is April 1st.  Check out this post on My Bookish Ways to enter a giveaway for the book!

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16 comments:

  1. I'm glad you loved this one! It's my favorite read of the year (so far), with 4.5 stars from me.

    "It's the romance though that got me like a sluag spear to the heart." I couldn't agree more! I loved the romance and all of the characters as individuals. Great review, Charlene! :D

    Aimee @ Read by the Undead

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    1. Definitely my favorite read so far too! Everything worked so well in this story!

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  2. I never would have thought a fantasy about trolls could be so interesting...but now I'm dying to read it. Entering the giveaway RIGHT NOW.

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    1. Same for me! I was a bit skeptical of how much I would like a story about trolls, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I hope you win the book! :)

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  3. Ooo, okay now I want to read this. A slowburn romance - yes please! Also, trolls!!!!! Thanks for the review.

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    1. I know, I feel like there's a sad lack of slowburn romances in YA lately - I'm hoping this will turn around though! I hope you love this book as much as I do when you read it! :)

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  4. This is the second review I've read of this book and both were positive so I'm getting pretty excited about this! And a troll for a love interest is pretty refreshing! Normally they're butt ugly monsters that eat people lol

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    1. Well I am happy to report that not all of the trolls are ugly and eat people in this book! Thank goodness! Because it would definitely be hard to see them as protagonists if they did! :)

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  5. Welp, you've sold me Charlene! I have this for review and liked the sound of it but was kind of doubtful, especially since trolls sound, I don't know, kind of icky. And now I'm just pumped to read it! And yay for the romance! Great review! :)

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    1. Awesome! I know what you mean about the trolls - they are definitely not what you normally think of as trolls in this book though. I hope you bump this to the top of your TBR list cause I can't wait to read your thoughts on it! I really hope you like it too! :)

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  6. All these positive reviews for this book is so encouraging! I actually wasn't going to read this one because I was hesitant, but now I know to pick it up for sure. The romance sounds really good, I love when fictional characters having relationships can make me sad/happy ;) Great review :)

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    1. Oh good, because you should definitely give it a try! I was a bit on the fence about it too when I first read the synopsis, but the good reviews tipped me too!

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  7. I really enjoyed this book as well! Loved Cécile and Tristan and now can't wait for book 2. Also really enjoyed the back story to Trollus and hope for more world-building in the next book.

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    1. I'm so glad! I do hope to see more of the world-building in the next book - it'll be exciting to see what's beyond Trollus!

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  8. I want to read this!!! It sounds so good!!!

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    1. Yes! Please do! I think you will love it!

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