Friday, June 5, 2015

Me on Hidden Huntress

Title: Hidden Huntress
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Angry Robot

Beneath the mountain, the king's reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king's power. Or his manipulation. Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high. To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

Hidden Huntress is a dangerous and magical search for a witch, a lesson in conflict and indecision. Does Cécile search down what the king wants, potentially freeing him from the underground, or does she leave her troll prince trapped and jailed?

Cécile is desperate to get back, desperate to save everyone in Trollus. She's in Trianon because it's the best place for her at the moment, away from the trolls who would do her harm, away from certain death. But she's lonely and lost without Tristan. This time around we see the complicated relationship she has with her mother, a woman she should hate, but Cécile is desperate for her affection. Even as her mother berates her, yells at her, pushes her. Cécile isn't perfect, she's emotional, stubborn, head-strong. Maybe a little reckless.

Tristan has never been so low. Jailed and beaten, trapped, he's still trying to plot and plan around his father, around those who would take the above-ground world for their own without paying any mind to the humans. It's interesting to see more of Tristan's thoughts this time. He's nowhere near perfect. He's brusque, controlling, harsh, practical. He's ragged around the edges. He's trying to save the trolls and half-trolls that want to be free from his father's tyranny. He needs Cécile.

There's a lot more world building this time around, up above in the human world in the city of Trianon. The house Cécile lives in, the opera house, the palace. The lavish opulence. The humans walking the streets. Trollus is still there, the mines and the mountain ceiling that hangs over them. The deception and the death. Both places are highlighted, and after a while, neither place seems safe.

This book feels so much longer than the first. There's a lot of planning and plotting going on, a lot of searching and discovering. I won't deny that it slows everything down. There's a lot going on here. That being said, the ending is explosive. It opens a whole new can of worms for Cécile and Tristan to battle. I'm very curious as to what will happen next, how everything will end.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Angry Robot through NetGalley.)

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