Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...
this is not my photo, it is from the author's blog here


Title: Stolen Songbird
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Series: Malediction Trilogy Book One
Publication Date: April 1st

Synopsis: "For five centuries, a witch's curse has bound the troll 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 Cecile 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.
Cecile 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 Cecile 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."

My thoughts: I found the beginning of this book a little dull, so I will admit that I was initially settling on to just power through the book so I could move on to other things. But then it got really interesting.
The trolls in this book originally seemed to rely heavily on more elvish ideas from other books (ie. those of Tolkien and Paolini), but they had more elements added to them that made them seem unique and fascinating. I liked how the author used the myths from the human world in her story to give elements of what was false and what was true in this world - an excellent way to draw you further into the story.
Cecile and Tristan were excellent. I enjoyed the exchanges between them and not once did I find myself yelling at Cecile to stop being stupid (something I am wont to do when it comes to other female characters of books where romance is a factor). The emotions they experienced seemed real and as complex as they can seem in real life.
The magic in the book added an extra element of intrigue and emotion - I can't say much more than that without giving things away, but suffice to say that while it did initially feel like Jensen was throwing too many elements into the pot, it all wove together really well from about the 40% mark (yes, I read this on my Kindle).
Occasionally it felt like Jensen was adding in extra action and such just to flesh out the storyline, but this happened rarely, and often added greater meaning further down the track. My other little nitpick is that the ending left me feeling really dissatisfied, but I think that was kind of the point...
The most remarkable thing about this book was that I finished it and felt like I'd be interested in reading the next book, but wouldn't wait with bated breath for it. But ever since then I have been wanting to be back in that world, and find out what is happening with Cecile and Tristan. Apparently absence does make the heart grow fonder when it comes to fantasy novels.

I read an advance copy of this book.

You would like this book if: you like romance with fantasy baked right in; you enjoy reading about fantasy races and aspects of their politics and magicks.

Rating: 8 /10

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