ARC Review – Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

17926775Title:  Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)

Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Rating: ★★★

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.

Sam’s Review:

Huge thank you to Netgalley and Strange Chemistry for this ARC.

The Stolen Songbird is an all right book for the most part. It suffers from some awkward pacing issues, on top of some equally interesting, if blandly written ideas. I think for a lot of readers either the writing style is going to grab you and you will adore it, or be like me, and just doesn’t feel as invested in it as I should be.

I think my issue with this book is that I wanted more from it. More characterization, less one dimensional, awkwardly described characters who have motive, yet the motive doesn’t feel exciting or even interesting. That’s not to say it was bad, but when the plot was on it was great, but this novel suffers from a lot of bloating, and parts of it felt longer than it should have been. I do love the overall story about the girl with the angelic voice set to break a curse and failing, and I loved that she is forced to live among the trolls and ultimately find out her true purpose. These story aspects were great! And the book even has moments where it’s genuinely funny (if a touch corny), and there are parts that shine and are even really fun.

Cecile and Tristan are also super cute together. They have a really strong relationship that starts off rather awkwardly and yet they behave like a real couple. They fight, argue, make up, and there’s nothing really insta-lovey about their relationship. I think it helps that the secondary characters are also well woven into the story and adds to this relationship further, making the reader care about the predicaments of the characters. I did find it a bit odd that this novel shifts points-of-view considering Cecile’s POV dominates over Tristan’s. I thought it was even odder that I’d read five Cecile POVs and then one Tristan and then the cycle would repeat itself. I wish in a lot of ways that was more consistent because a lot of the time I would forget when the POV with shift to Tristan, which I feel was unfair to his character.

The Stolen Songbird is a decent debut, but it’s stuck being a bloated and predictable read at times which can definitely suck away some enjoyment the reader might have. The world is interesting and the characters are interesting enough, but the writing just often leaves a enough to be desired, and I found I struggled to really invest myself in the narrative. With the right reader The Stolen Songbird could be a real hit, but for me, it fell flat in too many places for it to be something I’d easily recommend.

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