Thursday, 13 March 2014

Stolen Songbird blog tour: Review + Author Interview with Danielle L. Jensen

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen! I loved this fantasy premise and Danielle's take on trolls. Thanks to Caroline at Strange Chemistry for organizing this tour! Read my review below and then an interview with the author :)

Title: Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Release date: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 324
Source: Publisher

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.

Stolen Songbird is a fantasy novel surrounding mythical creatures I've never seen portrayed in a good light - trolls. I have to say I was intrigued in the beginning, and the book just kept getting better. Both protagonists are amazing to read about, and the storyline had me hanging onto each page.

Though I have read books with a similar premise - a girl kidnapped and forced to marry a supposedly evil prince, they end up falling in love, etc. - this one still felt unique to me. Mostly because of the trolls, of course. Cécile is a farmer's daughter, nothing exceptional, but she is kidnapped and taken to the mountains under which the trolls reside, and Cécile finds herself in the middle of some really dangerous situations. She is bonded and married to Tristan, the troll prince and heir to the throne, but he's nothing like what she expects. Cécile discovers more about herself and her capabilities here than she ever could have back in the village, and what she finds surprises as well as strengthens her.

I love reading about protagonists who don't seem badass at first but whose inner awesomeness is revealed later on, and that's exactly what Cécile is like. Obviously she's panicked when she's taken to the trolls, but I loved that she doesn't let anything or anyone break her resolve.

I adored Tristan, obviously. Yeah, he's a troll, but these trolls are very different from what we think they are. Tristan is freaking gorgeous, and that's the only thing that makes him look inhuman. Well, that and his apparent lack of emotions. But there's a lot more to him than anyone sees on the surface. Tristan has his own plans that conflict with those of his father, and he knows that his secrets could get him killed, despite how important he is. What he wasn't planning on is Cécile showing up and messing with his mind and feelings, and now his enemies have leverage over him thanks to his new wife.

I've mentioned this in previous reviews, and I'll say it again here - I really don't like too much politics in YA novels. That being said, there were some parts that I had to skim a little because the politics messed with my head a little, but I'm glad they didn't take over the plot of the novel. There was plenty of action and humour to keep me fully interested in the book.

What I particularly loved reading about is Cécile and Tristan's relationship. It's pretty much insta-hate at first, and the insults they trade had me laughing out loud. They really know how to dish them out! And Tristan's polite manner on top of that just made his snark even better. And when they start getting closer, you can't help but root for them. There's so much danger surrounding them, and so much on their shoulders.

After devouring Stolen Songbird, suffice it to say that I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in this trilogy. The romance is amazing, the characters are so real, and I loved the premise. Danielle has done a great job with this, and if you love YA fantasy, you shouldn't miss out on this one.

*Thank you to Caroline at Strange Chemistry for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

Interview with Danielle L. Jensen

Hi Danielle! It's so great to have you here on the blog :) Okay first question, the one I'm dying to ask - Why trolls?

That’s a popular question! I get a lot of raised eyebrows when I tell people I wrote a YA fantasy romance about trolls. Everyone thinks about the creatures in The Hobbit or Harry Potter, and mine are obviously quite a bit different. The idea for the setting – a city buried by rubble – came first. The trolls came into being when I started thinking about what sort of creatures would inhabit such a place. They grew along with the plot until they became the characters everyone is now reading about.
Why did you decide to write YA fantasy?
Fantasy is my favourite genre to read, and I really like the character-driven novels found in the YA section.
 How has the road to publishing been for you?
Really long! I sent out my first query letter for my first novel (Stolen Songbird is the 3rd novel I queried) back in April of 2009. Sometimes it’s a really tough road to walk, but I love what I do, so I’d never give up any of the experiences I’ve had along the way.
Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?
I listen to classical music when I write. I have a hard time listening to anything with words because I get distracted easily.
Did you base any of your characters off of real people you've encountered?
Not in this book, no.
Now for a few this or that!
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars
Popcorn - sweet or salty? Salty
Comedy or action? Comedy
Physical book or ebook? Physical, although I do have a Kindle.
Summer or winter? Summer, which is unfortunate given I live in Canada.
I agree with pretty much all of your 'this or that' answers! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Danielle :)
About the author:
Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

Find Danielle on:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I have been tempted by this book but didn't end up requesting if. After reading your review, I will definitely be getting my hands on this as soon as possible! I LOVE SNARK, so this definitely sounds like something I will love. Thanks for the honest review :)


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