Author: Danielle Jensen
Series: The Malediction trilogy
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Political
Rating: 5 stars
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.
Don't mind the crappy pitch. It really doesn't do the book justice and is a little misleading. It makes it seem very Mary-Sue and only about destinies and prophecies. But the title makes complete sense as you read.
I found myself really drawn into every aspect of Stolen Songbird. First, the overall plot and idea of it. The fantasy aspect of the novel is trolls. Right away, I knew it'd be at least decent. Because, really, how many YA books (or any books really) that are about trolls? Not many. I read one other series, the Trylle trilogy, which is fantastic! It too is about trolls, but in that case,the troll community has a lot of similarities to fairies. So while it was different, it seemed almost like another fairy series. (Nonetheless, they're really good.) Versus Stolen Songbird's trolls actually seeming like trolls. Personality wise mostly. But that isn't to say that Jensen made the trolls to be typically gorgeous. A lot of them have mangled faces, or other features that make them look ugly. Or the queen having her sister attached to her at the back in a miniature form. (No worries, I didn't get it either.) They also have magic in them--the royals more than any, which is why they are royalty.
From page one, the entire plot drew me in. First, Cecily is kidnapped by someone she once believed to be a friend. He endangers her, drags her through hell, gives her to a man with a mangled face, only to find out that trolls are very much real and the king paid her "friend" to bring her in. (Don't be alarmed. Later in the book we see what happens to him. hah) All to be "bonded" with the prince, Tristan. Which is a much more intense version of marriage. They know each other's feelings now, and if one dies, the other has a high potential to. When one half of the bonding dies, the other will find every way imaginable to kill him/herself--drowning, starving themselves, ect. The magic in the bond drives them to despair. So she's bonded to this total stranger who pretty much hates her because all trolls hate humans; half human half trolls are plain useless and are made servants.
I see all of you rolling your eyes at this...stop! I swear this book is really good.
And then Cecily learns the reason that she was brought there: there is a prophecy about a girl (her) who once bonded to the crown prince, she will break the curse laid on them by a witch thousands of years ago. The curse puts their community under a mountain away from humans.
As the plot continues, we are introduced to the deeper story within this. Tristan isn't just some prince; he's the leader of a group of trolls who wants the king brought down, the hatred of humans to cease and for the mountain to stay in place. Bringing down the mountain would unleash the trolls on humans. So while Tristan is secretly happy that Cecily wasn't able to break the curse, he acts like he is upset.
In the midst of this, the romance between Tristan and Cecily develops in a nice way. It goes from dislike, to a sort of friendship where they learn to trust each other after Cecily learns the truth, to eventual love. Once it hits that part, you can not help but adore the two together. During the last few chapters, when Cecily is in danger of dying, readers really get a glimpse of the love Tristan has for her. It made me tear up because it was so sad but cute at the same time. Unlike a lot of books, though the bulk of the book is told in Cecily's POV, there are a few chapters in Tristan's. Through his voice, we get to see how he goes from dislike, while needing her to be safe, to caring for her deeply.
I really enjoyed the characterization of Tristan and Cecily. While a lot protagonists in YA books are all oh-my-poor-me!, Cecily wasn't. She fought them, tried to escape their world every time there was an opening, she didn't fall in love with Tristan at the drop of a hat. It was a nice progression. While Tristan seems like just some hot, spoiled prince who acts cocky, arrogant and rude, he is much more. Tristan can't be explained in words; he needs to be read to get the full effect.
The curse, the intrigue, the world- building, and the characters were all well done. If you love fantasies, romance, and political intrigue, then you really need to read this book.
*impatiently waits for book two*
Excuse the horrible way of me writing a review. It's more or less word vomit about the book--but it gets the point across.