Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy
Genre: Fantasy/Romance (YA)
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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 C├ęcile 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. (from Goodreads)

I've read enough fantasy books that I have a pretty clear idea in my head what trolls look like. They're big and green. Preferably hairless, but if they have hair it's kind of rust colored and has the texture of a wire-bristle brush. They're kind of squish-faced with protruding tusks. Basically, a cross between an ogre and a hobgoblin.

The trolls in this book are nothing like that. In fact, I would most compare these trolls to elves. Some of them are exquisitely beautiful, but with an otherworldly wrongness to them, and others are disfigured horribly. They have a very limited worldview: human's are little more than half intelligent beasts-of-burden (blessed with opposable thumbs) and half-breeds are slaves for life.

I will admit, the first issue I took with this book was how gorgeous the main guy is. Not that it was truly unexpected, I was just half hoping that, with the physical appearance of the other trolls that he would be a little less perfect looking. And no, no matter how books try to convince you otherwise, there really isn't such a thing as too perfect.

While I am very glad that Tristan wasn't a 'satellite character' and had his own story outside of being a love interest, I cannot help but think that I would have been much more interested in the book had it followed him instead of Cecile. The small clips we got to see from him in the first third of the book did nothing to quench my interest in his story.

I really liked the setting for the story though. It was actually French influenced - and that's rather unusual for fantasy stories. Though I'm not really sure if this was supposed to take place on earth, or in a fantasy world. There were mentions of traveling to 'the continent'. But, for as much as I liked this idea, nothing was explained.

Cecile was, honestly, the bane of this book. She's wonderful. She's strong. She is the prophesied, but she fails. Seriously, how can this girl go wrong? Well, she did. She did shortly after she was bound to a certain handsome prince. With this bonding, she's able to sense his emotions. She cannot tell what he's thinking, but she can feel his fear, excitement and everything else. Makes me wonder if she could feel his indigestion.

She soon became all consumed in Tristan, even when he gave her no reason to be. She was extremely stupid while in 'love'. If she could have kept some of that bravery and feisty-ness, I think I would have actually liked this book, even for the world building flaws.