Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stolen Songbird

Publication April 1, 2014

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.
from goodreads.com

Beth says 4.5 Stars...
First of all, I absolutely love this cover.  It's all manner of pretty and has a slightly odd, but appealing, Emerald City vibe.  Although I understand where the title comes from, I think there might have been something better (I don't quite know what, though).  Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel.  I'm a sucker for some epic political intrigue and Stolen Songbird had it in abundance.  It takes a while to get into the main action, so don't be discouraged by the first few chapters!  Most of the characters have hidden motives and all sorts of secrets are slowly revealed throughout the book.  Once things got going I couldn't put the book down.  It turned into one of those nights where I played the "just one more chapter game" until I finished the novel.  I'm super excited this is a series because so much more can be done.  For instance, the world-building outside of Trollus is basically non-existent.  Since a majority of the book is confined to the troll world is isn't too big of an issue, but it leaves opportunity for expansion.  Plus, I have questions about the human society that I want answered!

Cécile is a decent heroine.  She's a mix of cautious and impulsive, sometimes making rash decisions with unfortunate consequences, but at others is quite rational.  What I did really like was that she grew during the story.  As her knowledge of her role in Trollus increases, so do her informed actions.  I definitely liked the trolls much more.  The complex web of court relations delighted me.  Figuring out who each character was loyal to provided tons of interest.  Not only that, but all of the characters had to be multi-layered because surface actions and motivations were constantly suspect.  Trolls aren't a particularly common topic in YA right now and I enjoyed reading something a bit different!  These trolls can be best described as a mixture of court Fae and the typical troll legends.  I appreciated the intelligence of the trolls because it made everything so much more interesting.

This is a wonderful start to a new series.  I can't wait to see what Jensen does next with this world and these characters.  There's so much more to explore and I'm excited!


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