Review: Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

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 received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Cécile is kidnapped, gone through hell and married before you quite realise what is happening. Dragged down into Trollus, married off to Prince Tristan and therein failing to break the witch's curse, this has got to be her worst day ever. She has heard of the existence of Trollus and trolls, but it was supposed to be a myth, not in your face reality.

Being stuck in the mountain, Cécile will do whatever it takes to get out of there and back to her family. She did not gave in so easily to the whole marriage thing, but she quickly realises she has no other choice. Escaping will not be easy, she is constantly watched so she will need to bide her time. While waiting for the right opportunity Cécile starts to learn more about trolls and this curse she was supposed to break. She even starts making friends and there might be something blooming between her and Tristan.

In the beginning it all goes pretty fast and after the marriage it really slows down. It's definitely not just a love story between Cécile and Tristan, they really can not stand each other. Though being bonded and therefor being able to sense each other's emotions, does help them to connect. I love that there is no instant love. It grows slowly from hate and mistrust, to friendship and possible love. When they reach that point it is quite lovely and makes you melt on the inside.

The focus of the story lies more on the political intrigue in Trollus. Trolls have magic and therefor rule. Humans and half-bloods are beneath them and are very oppressed. So there is this secret underground rebellion movement, with Prince Tristan as their leader. He just wants everyone to be treated equal, but as long as his father is alive this won't happen. It's far more complicated than the way I am explaining it, but I can not say much more without spoiling anything.  

Besides the two main characters, there are some great secondary characters. Each and every one of them has a layered back story. This all gives it more depth and really drags you into their world. The world Cécile and Tristan live in, is beautifully described and very detailed. Danielle did an excellent job with that. 

Stolen Songbird was a wonderful read. It was the first time I read a story about trolls and never expected it to turn out this way. Very well done. The world building was very detailed and really made it easy to imagine it all. Cécile and Tristan are very multi-layered characters and I loved to see them grow individually and as a couple. I will definitely be reading the sequel.

The Author
Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

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