Friday, May 22, 2015

Book Review: Stolen Songbird

Title: Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Format: Audiobook
Source:  Audible (Purchased)

 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.

 Stolen Songbird is an imaginative take on the troll lore with a love story so sweet, you'll be rooting for them from page 1.

Plot: Cecile de Troyes is a gifted songstress and has been summoned by her mother to perfect her talent. While traveling, she is uprooted from her smalltown life to a world full of monsters she thought only existed in fairytales. Without proper introduction, she is married to the troll prince in hopes of breaking a curse that has doomed all trolls to their secret home of Trollus. With any good royal family, there is betrayal and political alliances. Everyone has their own agenda and Cecile has to learn where she stands in troll politics if she wants to survive. I can count the number of troll novels on my hand, but this particular novel makes me want to look for more. Jensen's strength is in her world building, which I will touch on later, but it brought the whole novel together and made these characters 3-Dimensional.

 My only complaint is that it's too long for its own good. There were about three instances where I thought the novel was ending but it kept going, I truly wish that Jensen had cut this one down by a third because by the end of the novel, I felt that she had given too much away and that there wouldn't be any surprises for the second installment. 

Characters: Who doesn't enjoy a brooding prince and a strong-willed heroine? There was a point in the novel where Cecile was told that she could either live as prisoner or take advantage of her new station as princess and live life to the fullest: and that's what she did. Yes she brooded and lamented the loss of her family, but I appreciated that she tried to make the best out of a horrible situation. Her romance with Tristan was a sweet as honey in that "we hate each other jk never mind" sort of way. There was a lot of drama, as there are in royal romances, and I did get a tad bit annoyed with the constant back and forth- again a problem that would have been resolved if the novel were 100 pages shorter. 

I also greatly enjoyed the secondary characters who were full of humor and cunning when the situation called for it. I have a feeling that the second novel will introduce even more characters and I'm excited to see Jensen's world grow. 

World Building: Danielle Jensen should hold a workshop on world building because her world is spot on. It doesn't take long to understand the politics of Trollus and to imagine the world, this is because Jensen accompanies all the building with a healthy dose of history. I felt just as involved in this world as Cecile did. I found it very interesting that, it's clearly a fantasy world, but the backbone of this world seems to be French. This is evident from the names (Cecile de Troyes) and the random French that is thrown around in the world (ie: L'elixer de la lune). 

Short N Sweet: Stolen Songbird is a fresh fantasy novel that fans of the genre will not want to miss out on. If only it were shorter, it would be perfect!



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