Book Review: Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

July 23, 2015

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. JensenHidden Huntress by Danielle L Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #2
Published by Angry Robot on 2nd June 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 464
Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

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…

I’m trying to write this review minutes after finishing Hidden Huntress and let me tell you: the feels are strong. Very strong indeed. I honestly thought there was no way I could want book 3, Warrior Witch, more than I wanted Hidden Huntress. I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Hidden Huntress pretty much drops us where we left Stolen Songbird, although Cecile has now left the forest for Trianon, and is juggling her desire to find Anushka with trying to fill the role her mother has created for her on the stage. And I was hooked almost instantly. It was like I’d never left the world that Jensen had created, and I was surprised over how many of Stolen Songbird’s details had stuck with me.

The plot to this trilogy is so much bigger than I originally expected. I honestly didn’t believe that it would develop much further past Cecile trying to find Anushka, but wow, did I underestimate that! And that’s what I love about fantasy – there’s always a bigger picture, even if you don’t spot it straight away. Hidden Huntress isn’t just the second book in a series. This isn’t a filler book, this is important. Big plot movements happen here, and that’s what made it such a compelling read.

I don’t really want to talk about the book too much as I’m so worried I’ll divulge an accidental spoiler! All I can do is urge you to pick this series up, even if you’re not a huge fantasy fan. The romance between Tristan and Cecile is exquisite, and they’ve fast become one of my favourite couples in YA. These books really offer something for everyone, and that’s why I love them so much. Now just the totally agonising wait for Warrior Witch.

Book Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L Jensen

November 15, 2014

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L JensenStolen Songbird by Danielle L Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #1
Published by Angry Robot on 1st April 2014
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 469
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for...

I heard so many mixed things about Stolen Songbird, I wasn’t entirely sure whether or not I actually wanted to start reading it. I’m pleased I finally gave it a chance though, as I sped through it as if my Kindle was on fire!

Stolen Songbird appealed to me in a way that Switched didn’t. The two books aren’t hugely different, but their writing styles are, and I much preferred the rich descriptions Jensen provided in Stolen Songbird. I felt as if I was living in Trollus myself, although, if that were the case I probably wouldn’t last five seconds there! The place really came alive in her writing, and certain scenes almost left me aching for a chance to visit there and see these places myself.

So, the writing and setting were both excellent. The characters were a bit more of a mixed bag. I liked Cecile but that was about it. She was extremely emotive and vocal, but I just couldn’t connect with her. She was resourceful, yes, and she tried her hardest to do right by everyone but she also made some damn stupid decisions. I had no doubt though that her feelings for Tristan were real, and I found those to be a huge driving force behind the story. Tristan was frustrating, there’s no getting away from it. He starts off incredibly arrogant, changes, has lots of lovely moments with Cecile and then resigns himself to almost certain death, the idiot. Sylvie was a favourite character of mine, as was Tips, and I hope we get to see more of them in the future.

The ending to Stolen Songbird nearly killed me. Seriously. You cannot just end a book like that. But Jensen did, and now I’m pining stupidly hard for the second book to just hurry up and get here already. Hmph. And here I was thinking I’d never get this attached to trolls, but it’s happened.