Sunday, 30 March 2014

Review - Stolen Songbird by Danielle L Jensen

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...

'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.'
- 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),

The 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!

Winner chosen - Christina F!!!

36 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for providing both your review and the giveaway! The cover, the plot and the heroes remind me a lot the "Labyrinth" movie for a reason. Yet i like and hope to see more of this story. XD

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  2. Wow.
    This looks really better than I hoped it would be
    And your review is awesome
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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  3. This book was sooo good! And yes, Vincent & Victoria were awesome. They were my favorite characters in the book. :)

    I can't wait till the next one in the series comes out!

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  4. Thank you for review, sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance on the giveaway. koala571 at msn dot com

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  5. This one is getting a pretty good rating and I glad you liked it so much. I wanna read more fantasy book so thank you for the giveaway!!! :)

    tonka0907 at net dot hr

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  6. I have this one coming up on the review pile and now I'm really excited to get to it. Great review!
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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  7. Sounds like a goodread. The cover is simply gorgeous and the plot has that touch of uniqueness that looks very promising.Thanks for the chance of actually winning a copy :)
    ellis_dream (at) hotmail com

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  8. And yes! I've wondered about this book and have to say, I'm excited now!!!!

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  9. What a fantastic review. Fantasy is my favourite genre and this sounds like a book I would absolutely love. I am really intrigued by the idea of the love interest being a troll, and trolls in general. I can't wait to read it. Thanks so much for the giveaway, I would love to win a copy. If I am lucky enough to win a copy you can e-mail me at sharpewords (at) gmail (dot) com
    Thanks, Rochelle.

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  10. This book is TROLLific. Okay this is also the my first encounter with a book featuring trolls as one of the main focuses of the story. Not to mention, as a love interest and a prince!

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  11. This book looks absolutely amazing! :D

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  12. First of all, the cover is eye catching. I really enjoyed your review and looking forward to read Stolen Songbird. And yeah, I love fantasy!

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  13. I first fell in love with the cover and then with the summary! Reading your review makes me want to read it right now so thank you for the giveaway. And it releases today yayy :)
    milkristia(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  14. Fantasy with a fresh new twist sounds great. Your review is not the only positive review of Songbird I have read today. The book sounds absolutely delightful, so I guess there is only one thing left for me to do... add Songbird to my TBR-list! :)

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  15. I love how you're exTROLLing its virtues!!

    It is very unique, and I love how the world and the characters seem to be very well thought out and engaging!

    Thank you so very much for reviewing this book - I wouldn't have known about it and your reviews are always very informative and passionate!

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

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  16. Wow!! sounds like a good read and Really liked your review nicely detailed.
    A book with trolls!!! and a strong heroine, this certainly makes it more interesting :D

    thank you very much for the giveaway

    anubha56 at gmail dot com

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  17. Great review! Thanks for the giveaway :)

    courtlawrence11 at gmail dot com

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  18. Really excited about this book! Can't wait to read it! :D Thanks for the chance to win!!

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  19. Oops! Forgot my email! midgetpirateninja@gmail.com

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  20. Thanks for the review. I do not like cliffhangers but this does sound like an awesome read. I've added it to my wish list and can't wait to read it.
    Thanks :)
    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

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  21. This has such a unique premise! Forced marriage, trolls and great worldbuilding I'm definitely interested! Your review has me convinced. :)

    january1449 at hotmail dot com

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  22. Cant wait to read this it sounds great and that cover is gorgeous thank you for sharing with us .Hope you have a fantastic day.
    flanagan@mebtel.net

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  23. The Stolen Songbird looks and sounds amazing! I would love to win/read/review it!

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  24. I've been looking forward to Stolen Songbird since I first read the synopsis months ago! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!! Seriously can't wait to read it even more now! A little worried about the ending now though...I can be really impatient when it comes to finding out what happens next in a story...but oh well. Thanks for the review!
    Also, thanks for the chance to win a copy of Stolen Songbird!

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  25. Thank you for the great review! I've been wanting to read this. I saw this on yabookscentral on it's cover reveal and I've been interested ever since. And I really like the genre. It's my favorite. Witches, trolls, magics, and such. The cover really caught my eye when I saw this on yabookscentral and I've been following reviews on Goodreads. It's really nice of you to have a giveaway. I really hope I win. I really want to make a review of this book. Thank you and have a nice day! :)

    Greetings from Philippines! :)
    reiko.akire16@gmail.com

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  26. I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  27. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I have seen this around a bit and have been on the fence, but the cover art was just so arresting that I keep coming back. I am so glad that the story is just as wonderful. I have added to my TBR and am looking forward to the read, thank you for the opportunity to win a copy :)
    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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  28. I've read nothing but great reviews. The cover caught my eye but the storyline has me hooked!

    tropicalsunlover05 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  29. Glad you enjoyed it. The cover is beautiful.

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  30. Retellings has caught my attention lately and this sounds promising..Thanks for the review and a chance to win a copy.

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  31. o wow this sounds so good and your review just helps it write along i hope i win and i would love the chance to win it. thank you
    badboatygirl@gmail.com thank you again for your hard work for us

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  32. This sounds like a great book! Thanks so much for the giveaway! saralisah at yahoo dot com

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  33. This book sounds really different and intriguing. Thanks so much for the review and the giveaway!

    rainjeys@yahoo.com

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  34. I can't wait to read this one!!
    It sounds amazing!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  35. This book sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing your review.

    brooke811 at ymail dot com

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  36. I heard very good things about The Stolen Bird, I am look forward to read it soon *-*
    Thanks for the review! :D

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