Title: Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
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.
This book was so much fun and not what I expected at all! I was definitely hesitant to read it at first, because you know, trolls, but I’m so glad I did. Full of adventure, great characters, mystery, and a sweet romance, I couldn’t put it down.
This book follows a young girl named Celine who has a beautiful singing voice and an uncanny talent for making people do what she wants. Headed home one day, she gets kidnapped, dragged under a mountain, and sold to trolls. She is their only hope for breaking the curse that keeps them imprisoned beneath the mountain, a curse placed there by a witch years before. Trapped in the lost city of Trollus and forced to be the bride of the young troll prince Tristan, she searches for a way back home. She needs to find a way out fast though, because the longer she stays, the more she gets draw into the city’s politics and the more in love she falls with Tristan.
BUT GUYS, GUESS WHAT?!?! NO INSTA-LOVE BULLSHIT! AND… NO LOVE TRIANGLE! IT CAN BE DONE! MY FAITH IN YA BOOKS HAS BEEN RESTORED!
Celine is a strong and likable heroine. She fights to escape, sneaks around to discover everyone’s secrets, and has a kind heart. Sure, she can be a little emotional and makes a few decisions that had me beating the stuffing out of a pillow in anger, but no one’s perfect. The thing I liked most about her was that she had an open mind and was fairly smart. Once she in free to roam Trollus and starts meeting it’s citizen’s, she begins to understand and sympathize with the class difference. The problem surrounding that and the trolls wanting to be released back into the world has several different points of view, and she considers all of them while searching for a solution. She is dealing with the conflict between her head and her heart through the whole book. But when her heart starts to win, I wanted to cheer. The relationship that developed between her and Tristan was glorious. When they finally decide to work together to fight for something more important than both of them, I almost started cheering.
Tristan was just as likable, if a little bit of a jerk at first. But that whole situation was predictable, we all know he was just mean to her to protect her and keep her away from his secrets. Once he starts showing his true self though, he is caring and brave and has to make so many hard decisions. It was a little bit annoying that a lot of the royal trolls have deformities (due to inbreeding, yuck!) but prince Tristan is absolutely perfect. I knew he was going to be, but I had really hoped that he would maybe have some soft of flaw, just to make it a little more interesting than gorgeous girl falling for equally gorgeous guy. I guess I shouldn’t have expected to have everything in this book. And the chemistry between him and Celine was swoon worthy. Everything about him was so intense, whether they were fighting or making lusty eyes at each other. Speaking of fighting, holy shit, could these two fight. They were just both constantly going for each other’s throats then running off to sulk about it. You’d think after the first fifty times they’d stop getting so butt hurt about it.
The thing I loved most about this book was the world building. Trollus was such a beautiful place, and the lore surrounding it was so intriguing! That was the thing I wished we could have learned more about, but there is clearly a level of secrecy surrounding trolls and where they come from, and I can’t wait for all to be revealed. The way that their magic works, and when it’s compared to witches, it really interesting and I hope that in the next book, since we should be encountering more witches, we will be getting to see more of that. The city itself is so bleak and dark (literally), but they still have so many beautiful things from artists placed around. The mental image the author’s writing conjures up is just a cold dark city, filled with little lights and shadows, but beautiful colors and hidden treasures.
The plot is very well paced, I never found myself bored or skim reading. I really enjoyed the few chapters we got in Tristan’s POV, it was never enough to really give stuff away, but it teased you and confirmed your suspicions. It made waiting for the two of them to stop fighting and start smooching a million times more painful. And the idea of bonding is so romantic but sad at the same time, I loved how it affected the story and hearing other characters’ experiences with it.
There is constantly enough conflict going on that Celine is always struggling with different people or situations or trying to solve mysteries. I liked that Celine is caught in the middle of rebellion, being on the side of the rebels and the royalty, and trying to find a solution that will save both. Her few friends in Trollus are also interesting characters, even if the friendships seem a little shallow at times. Not with Marc though, he was the best and reading about him makes your heart feel all warm. Anyways, she has friends on both sides, half-blood one’s that work in the mines or as servants, and royalty like Tristan, who she just so happens to be totally in lurve with.
How I knew I liked this book was that at the end, my heart was just a swirling pit of emotion. I was so sad and angry and frustrated and worried, I felt sick. And the emotions that Celine felt, it brought tears to my eyes. Even if I was thoroughly annoyed by some of the decisions made by certain characters, and I wished some of the overly dramatic parts were a little toned down, I found that it didn’t take away from the story. It was so well written, maybe a little long, but never boring to the point where I wanted to put it down, and the characters had such good personalities and chemistry, it really carried the story. I can’t wait for the next book!