Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Me on Stolen Songbird
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
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 make friends. 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 the 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.
Stolen Songbird is magical, a unique fantasy where a promised miracle fails to happen and the girl who was the promised savior must learn to survive inside a mountain.
Cécile is willful, at times afraid and clueless, but nothing special. She acknowledges that there's nothing that important about her, even though the trolls initially believe otherwise. Afterwards, they're stuck with her, and she is stuck with them. She wants to leave desperately, but any attempt to escape could mean death. But, as she learns, so could staying. But so could asking questions, getting involved, trying to make things right. But so could doing anything.
Tristan is extremely complicated. And extremely secretive, but he has to be. If he wasn't then too much attention would be on him, and enough attention is already paid to him, but that's what happens when you're the heir to the troll kingdom. In Tristan there's a middle ground between attractive prince and hideous monster troll. Cécile acknowledges that he has an appealing face but knows without question that it's not a human one. I do wish there were more chapters from his point of view, though. Compared to hers, his were few and far between.
I like that their relationship began with hatred and distrust. There was nothing magical about it, their "marriage" didn't make them suddenly attracted to one another. They have an odd forced together relationship that slowly builds up to tolerance of the other because they discover they can use each other, and friendship when they realize there are similarities between them.
The underground/under a mountain world of the trolls is creative and different in terms of the description and the social hierarchy. Trolls living in a mountain or underground is nothing new, but this world is. The varying appearances and heights of trolls, the differences in their magic, the many personalities and quirks and leanings. The supposed architecture of the inside of the mountain sounds complex and rather detailed.
I don't read a lot of epic fantasy, mainly due to the length and how often it feels like little happens in those 500+ pages, but I'm glad I read this. I enjoyed this. Cécile comes off as something special, but when things stay the same, prophecy or not, both she and the trolls have to cope with the fact that she's there. She can't leave. They can't just kill her. So, what's next? As much as I'm not a fan of endings like the one in this book, it makes complete sense, and so I'm really looking forward to what will happen next to both Cécile and Tristan.
(I received an e-galley of this book to review from Strange Chemistry through NetGalley.)