For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...
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.
I finally dived into the magic that is Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen! It's been in my TBR Mountain of Doom for too long after I read so many raving reviews and I must say that they definitely lived up to the hype! Stolen Songbird was mysterious, incredible, and heartracing! And oh so many more things too!
Cecile (please forgive the lack of accents and other marks, as I don't know where all those are in my posting. I am so not technology friendly!) is a seventeen year old girl who's about to live out her dreams of singing. She plans to move to the city and live with her mother, but all that is stopped when a boy she once thought of as somewhat a friend, kidnaps and delivers her to the Trolls who live in an underground city.
Though, "living" there is a stretch, as many years ago, a witch cursed them, so that could not leave the hovel they created for themselves underneath a mountain. Cecile was kidnapped by the king's orders so that she may be a bride for his reluctant son. All in hopes that their bonding will break the curse and they would be free to live above ground once again.
Cecile finds that Tristan is no prince charming. He's rather surly and if it were up to him, he wouldn't have married Cecile at all. But Cecile is about to learn that a tangled web of politics is at play. The king is a tyrant and Tristan plans to overthrow him once he reaches 18 and comes into his full powers. In the meantime, he and his trusted allies plan a revolt of sorts. Plans are being made secretly and when Cecile stumbles upon them, Tristan is forced to let her in on the fold.
While the whole kidnapping a girl and bringing her into a strange new world is not a new idea, I've come to enjoy these stories. It's weird, because you can practically smell the Stockholm Syndrome coming off them before you even open the pages, but you don't really get that at all. Especially here. And that I find myself enjoying these kinds of reads again and again, worries me a bit, but oh well! I'm a reader! Though this is in no way an insta-love factor. Cecile and Tristan both resent one another despite their bond. The bond allows them to feel what the other is feeling, so naturally, we do get little hints as to where their feelings might really lie, but it's still a gradual process and I enjoyed that!
The pacing was a tad slow in some areas. I felt like I didn't know where we were headed for this installment of the trilogy. So much was happening, yet I felt like none of it was truly relevant to the overall outcome. That's still not to say that it wasn't enjoyable. Sure, some parts were slow and I could've done without, but it fit with the story for the most part and definitely contributed to the character development.
This was told in both Cecile and Tristan's point of view, but mostly Cecile. I found myself enjoying Tristan's chapters more though, I guess because he was such a standoffish guy and we rarely got to see the true side to him since he kept that under lock and key. So his chapters were insightful to this brooding prince. We learn he's quite more human than we thought despite being a troll.
The other characters in this were also enjoyable. There's a set of twins, Vincent and Victoria who Cecile was quick to befriend. They kind of reminded me of Janco from Maria V. Snyder's Study books. In that that are fierce and strong, but still humorous as well. There was also Anais, who was a thorn in Cecile's side as she was in love with Tristan and wanted Cecile's place instead. Though her character was harsh at times, we got to see a softer side of her. Another classic trope in some ways, but still one I enjoy seeing! While a trope can be reused over and over, it's still uniquely the author's own. There are differences you will see to this then you would see in another author's book. And I think that's partly why I rarely tire of seeing something over and over again, because it's never the same as the first or last!
The ending to this one was exciting! The politics and battles come back into play and it definitely leaves you wondering what's going to happen next! Especially since we are kind of left mid-action in that area. Although, another part of the story I did see coming in the ending. Ironically, because I've read a few others that are like this story in the big picture and they ended the same. The little details though, the ones that matter are so far and different though! That's what made this one unique and standing on its own! I cannot wait to dive into the next book, which I plan to do asap and see how the story will continue to unfold. Though it's totally conceivable that that ending will kill me and I'll be waiting even longer for the final book.
Truly, the world doesn't understand the pain of being a reader! Although, I know other readers do! Heehee!
Stolen Songbird was a fantastic read with magnificent storytelling! While it's not completely flawless, it's still a remarkable book and I cannot wait to read more with these characters.
Overall Rating 4/5 stars