Book Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

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.

Note: I “read” this novel via Audiobook on Audible (Pssshhhttt, I did it this way: Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks)

I think that it should be something of note that this is the first audiobook that I’ve ever finished that I haven’t previously read in print.  I had trouble focusing on audiobooks in the past that I hadn’t already read, as my mind would wander and I’d lose minutes of narration that would be important to the story.  Side note: I do workout while I listen to audiobooks, so sometimes I get distracted looking around at other things.

So it is definitely saying something when I say that I not only finished Stolen Songbird, but that I actually paid attention and didn’t lose interest.  In fact, it was to the point that I ended up doing an 8 mile green way walk while listening to this novel and didn’t realize it until I was already two hours in because I was so engrossed in the story.

stolen songbird

I made this after ALL THE FEELS. Tristan x Cecile

Things that were fascinating about Stolen Songbird:

The use of Trolls (or what are seemingly Trolls–it is alluded to that they might not be *actual* Trolls, but I suppose that is something that will be addressed in the sequels) as some of the main characters, and the trolls are not stupid, or ugly, or brutish…they are calculating, beautiful, and brutal in ways. But it’s definitely a race of fantasy creatures that get relegated to the background in the majority of narratives, so it was quite refreshing to have them in the forefront.

Other than Tristan and one or two others, a lot of the main characters were women.  Despite the use of alternating point of views with Tristan, Cecile’s POV dominates the text and her friends, Elise, Zoe, Victoria, and even Anais are more present in the text than any of the other male characters bar Tristan and possibly the King.

The narrative picks up really quickly and what could possibly be considered a major climax of the story takes place within the first few chapters: Cecile is kidnapped, taken to a city that she thought was a myth, and then forced to marry a handsome prince.  ALL IN THE MATTER OF A NIGHT.  Talk about a tumultuous evening.

Other than the wonderful blossoming of friendship and love between Cecile and these creatures she always regarded as monsters, I think the class struggles were a wonderful addition to the story that I wish we could have seen more of.

Sure, there’s a lot of time spent discussing the half-bloods (troll/human) and their plight under the mountain, relegated to servant duties and other physical labor that is deigned too base for a full-blooded troll.  It is a very literal interpretation of a proletariat/bourgeoisie society, and the proletariat has their bourgeois sympathizers that help them to gain some power within Trollus.  Marx describes the proletariat’s plight as one where they “live to work and work to live,” which is exactly how I’d describe the miners in the bowels of Forsaken mountain.  I could go on and on about that, and it’s a different post!

I’ve already downloaded the audiobook of Hidden Huntress and can’t wait to get back to Cecile and Tristan’s world, because that ending broke me.

4 Bards





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