Stolen Songbird - Danielle L Jensen
ISBN - 9781908844958
Publisher - Strange Chemistry
Release date - April 2014
Find - Goodreads/Book Depository For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...
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
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
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
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.' - Goodreads
It's not often you come across a book that is a little bit different to all the other fantasy books out there but Stolen Songbird is definitely one of them. I can't remember reading a book featuring trolls not only as main characters but as the love interest and as soon as I started reading I was hooked.
Cécile is kidnapped by someone she considered a friend and taken deep under the mountain to Trollus where she learns she is to marry the troll prince, Tristan. Bonded together and married, proven by strange filigree markings on both their hands/wrists, Cécile doesn't stop trying to escape even when it becomes obvious that she is falling for Tristan and being seen as a beacon of hope by the half-blood trolls that make up most of the population of Trollus who treated with nearly as much contempt as the few humans that are in the troll city. When we first meet Cécile you think she's going to be another pretty but empty-headed main character, this turned out to be the exact opposite. Throughout the book Cécile meets every challenge thrown at her with strength, courage and bravado and by putting on a mask - especially when it comes to Tristan who it turns out is doing the very same thing. I love how the relationship between them develops over time, no case of insta-love here, their feelings seem real and deep. Tristan doesn't want to fall in love with Cécile as he is terrified that his father, the troll king, will use this against him whilst his aunt - the Duchesse, seems to be encouraging both of them. They are both fantastic characters, as are most of the supporting characters in Songbird. I particularly liked Vincent & Victoria, twin trolls and firm supporters of Cécile, they bring a some light relief to the story and are amongst Cécile's first friends while she is in Trollus. Another favorite is Marc, from his description he appears to be more like the trolls that we are used to, a very dark character due to the pain of losing his bonded wife (trolls are not meant to survive this),
two sides of his face, so flawless on their own, were like halves of a
fractured sculpture put back together askew.The lack of symmetry was
more than unsettling – it was shocking, gruesome even. One eye higher
than the other. One ear lower than the other. A mouth marred by a
permanently sardonic twist.
The world-building in Stolen Songbird is wonderful, not what you would expect from a debut novel but when the city of Trollus was being described I could see it, every dark corner and every rose in the Glass Gardens, the ferocious underground river & waterfall and the small opening miles above the city where the moonlight comes in during their bonding ceremony. All the usual myths we've heard about trolls are turned on their head too. They aren't ugly, far from it in some cases such as Tristan with his beautiful silver eyes. They aren't stupid, some are sly & calculating, some are out to outsmart anyone who gets in their way but there is a troll who is completely insane, violent and delusional (staying spoiler-free I can't tell you who it is!) And the one myth we probably know best? trolls turn to stone when exposed to sunlight? Definitely not true as Cécile finds out to her humiliation when she thinks she is saving Tristan! She also makes some important discoveries about herself, thanks to a troll librarian called Martin and this brings into play a whole new set of possibilities.
Stolen Songbird has it all really. Love, intrigue, action, secret plots and magic... I couldn't put it down once I started reading it and at over four hundred pages I was left looking a little bleary-eyed after finishing it at 4am in the morning but I would do it all over again. The only thing I didn't like? The ending... I was speechless and actually flicking back pages to make sure I hadn't missed something. I hadn't, it really ends the way it does. I can't believe that we now have what may be quite a wait to find out what happens next to our songbird & troll prince but you can be sure I will be snatching up a copy of the second book as soon as humanly possible. If you like your fantasy with a fresh new twist and wonderful writing then you need to read Stolen Songbird now.
Many thanks to Strange Chemistry for providing me with an ARC of Stolen Songbird! As Stolen Songbird could well turn out to be one of my favorite books of the year I'm offering you the chance to win a copy for yourself. You're eligible to enter if you live in a country that the Book Depository
ship to - find the list of countries here. All you have to do is leave a comment and I'll pick a winner on April 7th!