Review by Marta: Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle Jensen - Released 1 April 2014
I have never read anything by this author before and suspect this is her debut and if that is the case, then just wow!
I am not particularly a lover of fantasy and really don't enjoy young adult novels very often but this book blew me away! The idea of a Troll being the hero and the romantic hero just captured my imagination and happily this book delivered everything I wished for and more besides.
Cecile is gifted with a remarkable voice and is all set to leave her humble village to pursue a singing career in the big city. Unfortunately the day before she's due to leave, Cecile is kidnapped and finds herself being sold to Trolls! As if that wasn't enough to tear her world apart, she's told she will marry the Troll Prince in the hopes of defeating an ancient curse! Tristran, the Troll Prince, does not wish to be bonded in any way to the human female but he will carry out his duty.
A prophecy foretells their alliance will set the Troll nation free from the curse that binds them underground, but will it work? Cecile is no simpering female and constantly challenges Tristan but treachery stalks the palace corridors and danger is coming ever closer to Cecile. Learning more of the Troll she's married to opens her eyes and soon her heart follows. Can Cecile trust Tristan? There's a rebellion brewing in the streets and plots are hatching that put them all in danger. Cecile's choices will change everything and may well break her heart.
Can I just say wow, again! I loved this book! Stolen Songbird is filled with amazingly developed characters. Right from the first page I couldn't help but feel empathy for the heroine, Cecile. She's a caring young woman who is out of her depth and yet refuses to give up hope. The hero, Tristan, whilst initially cold and aloof has hidden depths and a wily cunning that totally works in this story. He is brave and clever and yet self sacrificing and the perfect foil for Cecile's stubbornness. I loved them together and his hidden romantic gestures just melted my heart.
There's a lot of world building here and it sets up quite nicely for a follow up book. Trolls and those of mixed blood populate the story but we get to see the magic humans can do too. Plus the Trolls are not quite what they seem and I have a sneaky suspicion the author intends to elaborate further as we follow Cecile's adventures. I am a lover of romance but this story is so much more than that. It's a really interesting tale of two completely different people learning to accept each other and although not a sensual piece there is definitely fire building between Cecile and Tristan.
Stolen Songbird is a fantasy book I could not put down. I loved everything about it. From obnoxious villains to monstrous creatures, from political intrigue to romance, this book has it all. Beautiful cover , well written (and edited) and quite simply, a must read!
At Amazon, Stolen Songbird is $5.79 for the Kindle version and $8.99 for the paperback. The Nook book at Barnes & Noble is $6.49 and the paperback is $9.99.