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BOOK REVIEW – Warrior Witch (The Malediction Trilogy #3) by Danielle L. Jensen

BOOK REVIEW – Warrior Witch (The Malediction Trilogy #3) by Danielle L. JensenWarrior Witch (The Malediction Trilogy #3)
by Danielle L. Jensen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The thrilling conclusion to the breakout Malediction Trilogy by Goodreads Choice finalist Danielle L. Jensen.

Cécile and Tristan have accomplished the impossible, but their greatest challenge remains: defeating the evil they have unleashed upon the world.

As they scramble for a way to protect the people of the Isle and liberate the trolls from their tyrant king, Cécile and Tristan must battle those who'd see them dead. To win, they will risk everything. And everyone.

But it might not be enough. Both Cécile and Tristan have debts, and they will be forced to pay them at a cost far greater than they had ever imagined.

Review:

Warrior Witch was one of my most anticipated releases of 2016, and I was sadly let down.  Immensely.  I fell madly in love with the first book, Stolen Songbird.  With the second book, I was devastated that Cecile and Tristan were apart, but they each stood on their own and I loved how the story become mysteriously intriguing.  So I have been ecstatically counting down the days until I could find out how the story would end.  But Warrior Witch was missing everything that I had previously fallen in love with.  And that’s not even the worst part.  Worst of all was that ending.  That ending left me completely unsatisfied and utterly depressed.  

✮Cecile Was Cruel and Illogical – I adored the risks Cecile previously took!  Yes, she could be rash, but given her situations I would have done the same.  So I expected that there would be a moment or few that involved Cecile’s rash or clever thinking.  Yet what I found instead was two instances where she was cruel and illogical.  And the Cecile I had admired wouldn’t purposely send someone in harm or deaths way.  Yet she does.  She put others at risk without a second thought of the consequences.  And that angered me and left a bad taste in my mouth.  The worst was the tent scene, that made me livid.

✮A Separated Couple – I was so excited with how Hidden Huntress ended!  Cecile and Tristan together again.  A united front.  I had desperately missed their chemistry, and I was looking forward to all of their moments together in Warrior Witch.  Oh, how I wish someone would have warned me.  It felt as though they were apart and fighting separately for more than half the book.  And the moments they were together lacked passion.  It lacked their banter and their chemistry, and I kept hoping that the next time they’d be together that it would resurface.  Yet it never did.  I never got a glimpse of the couple I had previously fallen head over heels in love with.

✮A Happily Ever After that was NOT – What lead up to that ending was utterly depressing and heartbreaking.  So no, I was not okay with that ending.  It felt as though they were cheated out of so much happiness.  And that left me feeling angry, depressed and so lost.  And the “fix” to try to make this story have a HEA felt like a slap in the face.  Was that supposed to make everything that happened before disappear in my eyes?  Was that supposed to make me feel happy?  Because it didn’t.  It only made me even more depressed because of an element that happened near the end.  That whole ending gutted me, and I hated every part of it.

I could continue this list to include the story-line being all over the place, to questions about certain characters powers, and plenty more, but I’m ready to step away from this series.  Because this book let me down in every single way possible.  I lost respect for a heroine that I loved, I failed to see why I had fallen for them as a couple, I can’t even talk about how Tristan plummeted off of my book-boyfriend list, and that ending left me feeling utterly depressed.  So no, I can no longer recommend The Malediction Trilogy.  Not at all.

PS If you’re still curious and want to read Warrior Witch then you HAVE to re-read or skim the previous books.  There are no recaps or hints to what happened in the past.  The aren’t references to how a character tied into their past.  If you don’t have solid information for what previously happened, then you will most likely feel lost.

*ARC kindly provided by Angry Robot Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
stolen songbird danielle jensen
Stolen Songbird #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
Anna
hidden huntress danielle jensen
Hidden Huntress #2
Reviews:
Jen
warrior witch danielle l jensen
Hidden Huntress #3
Reviews:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW – Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

BOOK REVIEW – Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy #2) by Danielle L. JensenHidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy #2)
by Danielle L. Jensen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Beneath the mountain, the king's reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cecile 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 Cecile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted.

Review:

***I did NOT like the final book in this series. It was missing everything that I had previously fallen in love with. And that’s not even the worst part. Worst of all was that ending. That ending left me completely unsatisfied and utterly depressed. You can see my review of Warrior Witch here – Warrior Witch: 1/5 Stars***

*Spoilers for Stolen Songbird*
Hidden Huntress was mysteriously intriguing, and it was entertaining trying to unravel the questions that surrounded Tristan and Cecile.  There is so much more at stake, and it felt as though their trials were insurmountable.  But at times, I found myself distracted.  Because honestly, I was desperately racking my head as each page passed trying to figure out how in the world they were going to find their way back together again.  While I whole-heartily love Tristan ad Cecile separately, I desperately missed their chemistry.  The way they were capable of making my heart clench and then become elated on a single page, sigh.  Together they were intoxicating.  So while I struggled in the middle of the book, I was without a doubt happy to be drawn back into their world!

Upon escaping from Trollus and healing, Cecile has taken residence with her mother in Trianon.  By night she performs and by day she hunts for the witch who has cursed the trolls.  While she knew it would be a near impossible search, what she doesn’t count on is that she is still within the grasp of the King.  And his incessant need to be freed from Trollus.  But Tristan isn’t able to protect or help her, because he is being held captive within his own city that he was once destined to rule.  With their lives continually piling up with obstacles, how can they ever start to dig themselves out?

Even though situations were changed, Tristan and Cecile still contained all of the same attributes that made me love them in Stolen Songbird.  Cecile was still daring and brave.  The decisions she had to make were difficult and at times selfless.  And I love that no matter how hard or dark times got, she still pushed ahead.  She still searched and never gave up trying to find a way to be with Tristan again.  I was rooting for her on every single page!

Oh, and Tristan, how I love you!  This time we got to be in his head so much more!  His thoughts, agony and suffering were ours to behold.  Nothing was held back and we got to understand every single tiny part of him.  How he wanted to be a better person, err troll, for not only Cecile but everyone else in Trollus that is counting on him.  I did miss his witty, sarcastic side, but circumstances definitely wouldn’t have allowed that to happen.

So yeah, I did struggle in the middle.  I started to ache for Tristan and Cecile to be back together again because I desperately needed their chemistry to be on the pages I was reading.  Yes I know that I am being whiny but my goodness, the way they were written in Stolen Songbird together was phenomenal.  It was impossible not to miss that feature while starting this book.  But, and this is a big but….the characters are strong enough to stand on their own and the mystery was still a lot of fun!  Ohhhhh, and the way this book ends?!?!  It looks as though we will get to experience the peril that elated yet terrified me in Stolen Songbird!  I am counting down until the final book is released next year!  I. Can’t. Wait!

*ARC kindly provided by Angry Robot Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
stolen songbird danielle jensen
Stolen Songbird #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
Anna
hidden huntress danielle jensen
Hidden Huntress #2
Reviews:
Jen
warrior witch danielle l jensen
Hidden Huntress #3
Reviews:
Jen

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BOOK REVIEW – Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

BOOK REVIEW – Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. JensenStolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)
by Danielle L. Jensen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

***I did NOT like the final book in this series. It was missing everything that I had previously fallen in love with. And that’s not even the worst part. Worst of all was that ending. That ending left me completely unsatisfied and utterly depressed. You can see my review of Warrior Witch here – Warrior Witch: 1/5 Stars***

This book was beautifully intoxicating.  From the feeling of being in past generations from their dialect, to characters that enchanted my heart, to the intricate storyline that kept me glued to the pages, it was impossible not to become lost in their twisted world.  I was completely blown away by how much I loved this book and how Cecile and Tristan’s happiness, sorrow and horror became mine.  Everything that filled these pages was perfection and what I always hope for when picking up a book!

Does a troll know sadness, anger, or happiness? Can a troll love another troll? Or are they as cold inside as the rocks they were buried beneath? – Cecile

Cecile is destined for fame with her opera voice, and her mother has been grooming her for her destiny.  But before her departure to start her new life, she is kidnapped and taken to Trollus.  A city that is trapped underneath a mountain where the trolls have lived for over 500 years because of a witch’s curse.  They are hoping that by creating a union between Cecile and one of their own, a prince, that the prophecy will be fulfilled and that freedom will become theirs for the taking.  But Cecile has her own plans, and those include escaping.  But while plotting her escape, her feelings for the troll Prince, Tristan, start to bloom.  For what shall she do?

And I was done with crying – tears accomplished nothing but exhausting me further and I needed my wits about me if I were going to escape this place. Perhaps not today, tomorrow, or even the next day, but I would stand beneath the sun again. I swore it to myself. – Cecile

Cecile is now on my favorite heroines list.  She was daring, brave, smart and a fighter who truly cared about the hardships of others, even if they were trolls.  Her feelings and reactions to situations felt so real and honest that I had such an easy time slipping into her shoes which helped me become further lost in the story.  But my favorite thing about her?  That she doesn’t lay down and die when her situation is dire.  She plots, plans and bids her time.  Time that is sometimes filled with Tristan, sigh.

If I wasn’t careful, she would be my undoing. – Tristan

You MUST meet the troll Prince, Tristan.  I was all kinds of questionable about falling for a troll BUT he is sexy, infuriating, haughty and sarcastic.  His actions sometimes made you swoon and other times made you want to punch him in the face.  But the swoon worthy moments I promise are worth his jerky moments!  Not only do we get those swoon worthy moments, but we also get a few chapters here and there that are from his perspective.  Plus add in the fact that we get to know what his emotions are from Cecile, once they have bonded, and clearly we can see that there is a lot going on underneath his indifferent facade.  When you combine some of the acts he did without hesitation and the emotions he radiated, it solidified what an amazing troll he was and kept me hoping that he had feelings for Cecile.  He always tried to wear his mask of indifference when it came to her, but the more it slipped, the more I fell for Tristan.

“They aren’t ugly.” I bit my lip, trying to find the right words. “More like beautiful things that have had the misfortune of being broken.” Tristan turned his face back to me. I saw the sorrow in his eyes and felt it in my heart. – Cecile

I had a feeling that I was going to love this book, but so many things still took me by surprise.  The peril was through the roof intense.  It was the type of situations where you can’t read fast enough yet you also want to slow down because you are terrified about how much more horrific everything is going to turn out.  I panicked, I cried, and I even yelled at my book.  Those multiple scenes turned me inside out.  And then on the flipside, the banter and fighting between Cecile and Tristan had me laughing so hard I had tears pouring down my face.  I desperately wanted them to defy the odds and be together.  And I won’t ever forget the setting of Trollus, it felt so real and vivid.  So without a shadow of doubt, Stolen Songbird is going on my favorites list!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
stolen songbird danielle jensen
Stolen Songbird #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
Anna
hidden huntress danielle jensen
Hidden Huntress #2
Reviews:
Jen
warrior witch danielle l jensen
Hidden Huntress #3
Reviews:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW – Stolent Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

BOOK REVIEW – Stolent Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. JensenStolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)
by Danielle L. Jensen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

What I loved in Stolen Songbird can be summed up by the sentence above. Indeed, what’s better than a book which shows the ability to surprise you?

“I think it is our nature to believe evil always has an ugly face,” he said, ignoring my question. “Beauty is supposed to be good and kind, and to discover it otherwise is like a betrayal of trust. A violation of the nature of things.”

What you expect : Regular Trolls
✔  What you get : WIN! Absolutely not the ugly and stupid creatures Trolls are known to be.

Now, I know a big amount of readers were annoyed by the fact that the Trolls aren’t like we could expect but come on. COME ON. Regular Trolls? They’re so fucking lame and stupid. I mean, how in the world could I have been interested in the story if the Trolls were what we’re told they are in other fantasy books? How? During what I love to call my “fantasy days”, when the only books I read except for the classics I studied in Uni were fantasy books, I met a lot of Trolls, and let me tell you, I never ever felt a spark of interest toward them. Never. The guys are morons big ugly creatures used as villains more often than not, and damn, I grew tired of this shit. The “Special Guy” (yes, guy, because have you noticed that Special Girls aren’t that frequent in Fantasy?) must fulfill the World Saving mission he’s been asked to? He met fucking Trolls in the journey. And let’s the battle begin. Sigh.

Excuse me if I prefer BY FAR the way Trolls are portrayed here : clever, designed to rule the world, filled with magic, not sexist (yes, that’s important), and, yes, “handsome”, because it seems to be the major problem for a lot of persons. Not for me. Oh, wait. Am I the only one who think that a lack of symmetry can be completely freaky? Okay, Tristan is handsome. And I’m not complaining because let’s face it : I don’t ship overly beautiful male-leads but come on : a troll like I used to read about in fantasy would have been an awkward love interest, I must admit, because they are STUPID MORONS, remember. Is it bad if I hope that Tristan had more scars, though? Yeah? Well, sue me.

What you expect : A conceited Troll Prince who’s going to fall in love at first sight.
What you get : WIN! The incarnation of what I love in male-leads, no less.

Let me tell you, Tristan is THE guy, as he is *take a huge breath* sarcastic, strong-minded, protective but not creepy, sexy, adorable and selfless. He is Ash’s material, and I’m weighing my words here. One could say that he’s far too perfect, but in my opinion he’s not, because he does have flaws. The thing is, his flaws are the kinds that I love. He hides the truth and doesn’t give his trust easily? Thanks god he doesn’t! He’s a master of deception? I ship that. In life and in books, I often find myself hating when people tell stories about themselves, about the way they are, so special, little things, while their acts say otherwise. In my opinion, Tristan shows bravery, the real courage that is to accept to show a sick image of himself to protect those for whom he cares, as Jérôme says. Oh, and he made me laugh. And swoon. And ache.

“The one, the only, as they like to say,” Tristan said affably, brushing off his coat where I’d bumped into him.
“Which ‘they’ would that be?” I asked.
“Oh, you know. Them.” He waved a hand in the air, dismissing the question.”

Annnnd I’m leaving it at this otherwise my review would only be more and more declarations of love for Tristan, and you don’t want to read this, do you?

What you expect : A TSTL heroine with no other purpose that falling in love
What you get : WIN! A brave and funny female-lead we can relate to.

Cécile is full of awesomeness. Oh, look at this : Cécile. I still don’t understand why all the names are French in this book but that cracked me up at the beginning, because what is supposed to look exotic feels just … random to me. But then, I agreed with a friend the other day because as a fantasy reader I’m sometimes appalled by the names which are chosen, Terkana, Urkira, Putrok (I’m totally creating these), so the way they used French names here is somehow refreshing. French’s exotic, guys. Or not, buuuut that’s another story.

“Oh? And what feelings, pray tell, does this represent?”
I lifted my chin and looked him straight in the eye.
“My feelings for you, dear husband.”

So, Cécile. Let’s make a little list of what I loved in her, shall we?
• Be careful, because that might astonish you, but the girl has a life she doesn’t want to leave behind, and her opinion doesn’t change when she meets the magnificent Tristan. I know, I know, how fierce of her, right?
She’s never TSTL in my opinion. I mean, yeah, she does make mistakes and knows some instant-jerk reactions, but even if I was worried and mad at some point, never, at any moment, wasn’t I able to understand why she reacted in such way. Actually, she reminds me of Megan from The Iron Fey series, and although I realize that a lot of readers didn’t like her, I always thought that her mistakes were understandable and above that, fucking realistic. Have you never react without thinking of the consequences because you were upset? Nope? Ha, if that’s the case, you’re far better than me in a lot of ways.
She’s not straight-on bitchy to other women, and she manages to develop girls friends. Fuck YEAH!
• She knows how to defend herself from sarcastic comments *rubs hands*

What you expect : Instalove & Instalust, if you’re lucky like that.
What you get : WIN! A realistic, cute and adorable romance.

▶ Indeed I absolutely loved how their feelings gradually increase, without the sudden trust that never fails to annoy me in several YA books, nope. They’re bonded together? Correct. Do they trust each other first time they meet? Oh, Fuck no, because you know what? Trust must be earn, as in real life : how amazing is that? Moreover, the “I’m going to let everybody think that I hate you” trope? I’m such a sucker for that shit!

What you expect : A story focused on the main characters
What you get : WIN! Interesting and well-portrayed secondary characters

What you expect : A slow-paced, about 500 pages read
What you get : WIN! Such a page-turner that you wonder how in the world it could really be 500 pages.

To say that the story was captivating would be an understatement : the plot is well-wrapped and the ending brings just the right amount of closure and angst, making you want to read the sequel immediately.

What you expect : Miscommunication driven angst
What you get : FAIL! Miscommunication driven angst

▶ Lack of communication driven angst never fails to piss me off, and Sigh. There was a moment where I was both worried and mad, because while I could understand Cécile’s instant-jerk reactions, I was appalled at the same time because never before she let her temper drive her actions. What? I wasn’t expecting that, dammit, she didn’t make me accustomed to such behavior!

Annnnd that’s where I’m feeling unfair because let’s face it, if she had made me used to this kind of stupid (sorry, but it WAS stupid) behavior I wouldn’t have loved her but she didn’t so I did like her and then I felt stabbed in the back. Oh, well. I’m just going to accept that sometimes I’m worse than a spoiled child. There.

Moreover, as much as I appreciate the fact that the secondary characters were multi-layered (Anaïs included), I failed to understand some of their reactions at some point, reactions that I found out of character.

What you expect : Unoriginal plot and world-building
What you get : I can’t say that the plot isn’t original, it wouldn’t be true. However I can’t deny either that the world contains many similarities with The Iron fey series. As it is, I can’t really complain because hell, I loved this series, but I would feel dishonest if I didn’t bring this issue.

• A human MC in a world ruled by magic
• These people can’t lie, and their promises are unbreakable, because you’re bonded by them
• A hero who isn’t who he seems at first, and acts as he hates the heroine to protect her
• The Trolls can be wounded by iron.
• There is a Summer and a Winter Court.

There. The similarities ARE here. Now, did they prevent me from enjoying the story? Of course not. Writers always take inspiration in other works, and that’s for the best, if they don’t end copying another book’s plot and calling it their own. Here it’s far from plagiary, therefore I’m completely okay with that.

PS : A friend just told me that some readers thought that the Trolls here might be Fae in disguise. That’s a smart theory, which would explain a lot of things. I guess we’ll see 🙂

“Correct again. Remind me to choose you for my team if we ever play charades. I like a stacked team.”
Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
stolen songbird danielle jensen
Stolen Songbird #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
Anna
hidden huntress danielle jensen
Hidden Huntress #2
Reviews:
Jen
warrior witch danielle l jensen
Hidden Huntress #3
Reviews:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW – Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

BOOK REVIEW – Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. JensenStolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)
by Danielle L. Jensen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

*Buddy read with my wonderful friend, Kat*


I was terrified. It was not like the terror of running from a wolf, always knowing you can turn and fight. It was not like the sense of drowning, where there is a chance to flee to the surface. From this darkness and this place, there was no escape. I could neither run nor hide, and no one can fight the dark. All there was left for me to do was die.

Okaaaaayyyy so…..a book about trolls? Really? I mean, come on. In what way could this possibly be appealing? And, even if it did appeal to my senses, how could a troll possibly be hotter than the sun our dear Cecile so desperately misses? I can’t answer these questions with coherent and well thought out answers, but I can assure you of one thing: Tristan. Was. Hot. This story? It was beyond addicting. Every single one of these characters had a way of getting under my skin that mirrored only my favorite stories, and that is very rarely an occurrence for me.

“They aren’t ugly.” I bit my lip, trying to find the right words. “More like beautiful things that have had the misfortune of being broken.” Tristan turned his face back to me. I saw the sorrow in his eyes and felt it in my heart. “Why are you always so unhappy?” I asked.
“I think it is our nature to believe evil always has an ugly face,” he said, ignoring my question. “Beauty is supposed to be good and kind, and to discover it otherwise is like a betrayal of trust. A violation of the nature of things.”
“Do you think trolls are evil?” I asked.
“Do you?” His eyes searched mine as though he might find the answer there.
“No,” I said. “I don’t.”
He exhaled softly, reaching up and stroking my cheek with one hand. “From your lips I can almost believe it’s true.”

It’s quite simple, really…Cecile is stolen from everything she has ever known, dragged ‘leagues’ downward to the passed over and only rarely mentioned city of Trollus where all the Trolls are trapped because of a curse some witch cast on them a long time ago. And how might they break this curse, you ask? Well, it is foretold that if a daughter of sun (who sings) and a son of night (prince) are brought together in marriage, that the curse will be lifted. Or so they think…

“I wish I was not what I am.” His voice was twisted with anguish. “I wish I was not who I am. I wish I had met you in different circumstances, in a place far away from here, where there is no magic, politics, and deception. Somewhere where things could be different between us. I wish I was someone else.”

Cecile doesn’t want to be a troll’s wife and she doesn’t want to sleep in the same bed as her newly (forced) betrothed. So she does what any good wife would do: She plots. She plots and researches and waits for her moment to escape. She waits to capitalize on the mistakes of the city around her and, most importantly, her husband. But this is probably the largest problem with her whole plan: He can feel her. Every emotion. Every flinch of pain. He can feel if she’s becoming deceptive or if she’s hiding something…but can he ever really know?

“That was only part of it.” I barely heard him speak his voice was so quiet. “I was afraid…I am afraid of loving you, knowing that someday you will go and leave me here.”

Trolls can’t lie, but humans can. Oh sure, they can deceive. They can mislead. They can lead someone off the edge of a cliff or push them off themselves, but they can’t directly lie. Thus making for one of the biggest problems for our romantic duo throughout the whole story. Even hate at first sight can lead to something when you see them for what they truly are. Forced together when neither of them wanted each other, they form a bond they never anticipated. They forged an understanding. They had a common thread that linked them and, ultimately, bonded them.

“Ha ha,” Tristan snorted. “How dreadfully clever. And speaking of clever, is this to be your bid for escape?” He contemplated my clothing. “In a dressing gown and bare feet? Now tell me, if I go put on nightclothes and slippers, might I join you, or is this a solo adventure?”

On the outside they loathe one another. They walk through the city’s streets and ignore one another until absolutely necessary and even then share minimal exchanges unless venom is spitting through their teeth. But they can’t hide what’s on the inside: The pain. The turmoil. The misery. The longing. The secret ‘you aren’t so bad’ thoughts. No, it’s all fun and games until you realize you are starting to befriend and care for the other person. And when you have enemies hidden in plain sight within the city, you can’t afford to show that you’re falling for her, not when your carefully planned ruse could so easily crumble-Or when she could so easily be used to bring you to your knees….we wouldn’t want that…would we?


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Tristan was by far my favorite character, that much was certain. But it’s not often I can say I loved the female lead almost as much-Cecile was strong-willed, stubborn and she made mistakes. Costly mistakes. But because of these mistakes, we got to know both her and Tristan on a deeper level. We got to see my favorite thing about any story-I’ve only said about one hundred times that I love seeing a desperate male lead saving the damsel in distress in the fashion that he could lose his life in exchange-and I haven’t gotten to see that in action for a long long time….not in such a dramatic fashion, anyway. In short-I loved how every perilous situation was handled in this book. The author didn’t shy from the nasty things or the bloody things and, no, there wasn’t necessarily an abundance of those either, but all in all I loved seeing it play out and the desperation and love that was brought forth in these situations. Seeing Tristan and Cecile fall for one another both warmed and broke my heart….because they can only be used as pawns against one another…did I mention I loved that?

Dying was an easy thing to accomplish, effortless in its agony. It was living that was hard, requiring endless toil and labor, and for all one’s efforts, it could be stolen in an instant.

Normally I would touch on what my complaints were for the story, but I really didn’t have any. Like…at all. I really enjoyed this and found it was very difficult to put down at any cost. This was everything I love in a story and then some. Very rarely do action and peril meet my standards alongside the romance within the same story. I never would have guessed that a book such as this would become an instant favorite of mine, but it has and I can’t seem to find the words to explain just how great this book was. It was addicting, heartbreaking, hopeful, fun, action-packed, and sweet. I fell in love with the world and what they were trying to do-the lies, the deception-all for the greater good. I am obsessed with these characters and can’t wait to see how their story continues. My only hope is that it isn’t too long of a wait before I can see what becomes of these wonderful characters with so much to lose.

“This all seems like a dream now, but like every dream, eventually you must wake.”

*Sorry-my review was more factual than fun, and I hate that-but I’m so tired…and it shows.*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
stolen songbird danielle jensen
Stolen Songbird #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
Anna
hidden huntress danielle jensen
Hidden Huntress #2
Reviews:
Jen
warrior witch danielle l jensen
Hidden Huntress #3
Reviews:
Jen

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