Thursday, August 7, 2014

GUEST REVIEW: STOLEN SONGBIRD by Danielle Jensen




Title: Stolen Songbird
Series: The Malediction Trilogy, #1
Author: Danielle Jensen
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 4/5

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

Although fantasy is one of my favorite genres, I initially expected this book to be a bit boring. A beautiful girl abducted by a troll prince for some greater purpose sounded so much like the clichéd Beauty and the Beast scenario. Only, said troll prince turns out not to be the legendary, ugly creature that resides under a bridge or in a cave and turns to stone in sunlight, but rather a handsome, charming, magic-using very human looking individual.

All Cécile de Troyes ever wanted was to leave behind the little town she grew up in, and become an opera singer in the city. Mere days before she could realize this dream, she is kidnapped to the underground city of Trollus to become the wife of prince Tristan de Montigny. Soon she is involved in much more than an unwilling marriage. Intrigue, oppression of an inferiority group, the political dynamics of Trollus and, perhaps a certain prince, become the reason why Cécile is no longer fighting for her freedom.

Stolen Songbird is a comfortably paced, highly imaginative and deeply touching story. Both main characters, Cécile and Tristan, are likable, yet realistic characters. Cécile's passion for a cause and loyalty to friends are often at odds with her feisty, rebellious nature. Tristan, moody and enigmatic at first, has several surprises for the reader.

Other well crafted characters like the humorous twins, Vincent and Victoria, as well as Tristan's cousin, Mark, bring life and levity to the story. Anaïs kind of grew on me as the tale progressed.

As for the bad guys, mainly represented by the Angouléme family, they are an insidious lot of aristocrats who will stop at nothing to depose the Montigny family.

Although Stolen Songbird is mainly the romantic tale of Cécile and Tristan, it is also a story of difficult choices and ultimate sacrifice. As the end of this book is somewhat inconclusive, I sincerely hope we will soon see another book in this series.



  



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ABOUT the AUTHOR


Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.


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