Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: Stolen Songbird

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
April 2014 by Strange Chemistry
469 pages--Goodreads

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 will start off by saying that ending was so much not okay.  I need book two right now.  What do you mean book two wont be out for a year and then I have to wait a whole nother year for book three?!  GAHAHGadfjaoeiwnodainvpaofiahs.

Now that I've gotten that out, I will say that I loved Stolen Songbird.  It was not a perfect book and it is not a book for everyone, but I could not put it down.  With the exception of the 30 or 40 pages I read before going to bed, I read the whole 400+ pages in one day.  Had I started later in the day or had the book been longer, I would have needed to stay awake all night to finish it to find out what happened.

This is one of the very few times a romance has taken center stage in a plot without me objecting as I read.  With many, many romances I roll my eyes at how shallow the characters are and how uninteresting their story is, but I cared about this one a lot.  And the romance didn't detract from the other important things going on.  I really wanted Tristan and Cecile to get together, and at the same time I really wanted to figure out Tristan's political machinations.  And I wanted to find out whether the rebellion would work or fail miserably.  And I loved seeing how Cecile integrated herself into Troll society 

I also loved the minor characters.  Marc, Tips, even Anais, but especially the twins.  I loved Victoria and Vincent and their good natured competitions and Cecile's friendship with them.  Along with engaging characters, Jensen presents us with a rich world with complex political and social structures without infodumping.  We are given answers just a little bit at a time as Cecile learns things or figures them out.

Stolen Songbird reminded me a lot of The Hollow Kingdom but with more adventure and romance.  And endearing characters.  And pages.  Basically take everything I liked about The Hollow Kingdom and add more of it and you get Stolen Songbird.  I did not expect to love it so much.  It is not the right book for everyone, but it was the right book for me right now.  It's full of mystery and intrigue, and I need answers.  Do you hear me, Jensen.  I need book two now!

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