Recently I read Stolen Songbird, and I honestly wasn't expecting that much. I just got it because I thought it would be a quick read that would be entertaining enough for the time being, since I'm waiting to buy some books online.
Boy was I wrong.
I absolutely loved this book! It had everything and more that a great book should: a strong main character, a plot that wasn't just about a girl slowly falling in love with a boy, and issues that really make you think.
Stolen Songbird is about a girl, Cecile, who lives with her father, brother, and sister in a small countryside town (probably around the 17th century-ish time period, there isn't a specific era given, but horses and horse-drawn carriages are the main modes of transportation). She is an aspiring singer and has a very beautiful voice which has been carefully trained by vocal instructors her mother, who lives in the city and is a singer herself, has sent to teach her; however, Cecile's mother finally feels she is ready to be trained in the city, since she is seventeen.
The book starts out when Cecile is on her way to the main part of town, by herself, in order to get eggs for her last dinner at home, when she is kidnapped by a boy named Luc. He ties Cecile up and throws her on his horse and takes her to the mountain, called Forsaken Mountain, near their town. There, he takes her into mysterious tunnels in order to get to the elusive city of Trollus, a city full of, you guessed it, trolls.
These trolls aren't the ones of fairy-tales with hunched backs (although the royal family does seem to have many birth defects due to inbreeding) and green skin, but creatures that look like normal humans, other than their silver eyes. Trollus is under the Forsaken Mountain, and was cursed by a witch centuries ago, causing no troll to be able to escape past the city limits. Humans are free to come and go, many of whom the trolls depend upon to deliver goods and foods, but anyone with a drop of troll blood is not able to get out.
The whole reason Cecile is brought to Trollus is to be bonded and wed to the prince, Tristan. His aunt is known to tell prophecies, and she predicted that the curse will be broken once the prince is bonded to "one of the sun", meaning a human girl. Cecile has stunning red hair and green eyes, which is a big difference to the trolls' darker looks. The trolls believe Cecile's bond (and marriage) with Tristan will break the curse, and are very disappointed when it doesn't immediately happen. However, Tristan is relieved, which Cecile feels since their bond also bound their emotions together, enabling them to know what the other is feeling.
Cecile goes through the next couple of weeks with Tristan treating her horribly, and soon finds out there is a large group of rebels fighting for half-human half-troll rights. She joins the cause, and also begins to learn more about the curse, and the witch that cursed Trollus.
I loved this book so much, because it was more than a simple cliche "she hates him but loves him" love story; it had depth in the issues within Trollus and showed how corrupt any society can be. The way the halflings are treated is a direct mirror to how minorities in our world have been treated throughout history, and it really shows the courage rebel leaders have, and what it takes to achieve equality for everyone. Danielle L. Jensen really created a world that was believable and complex, and I love her writing style. There was always something interesting going on, and I found myself not being able to put this book down, and would read it for hours each time I picked it up. There are also some really funny and lighthearted moments that weren't forced at all.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to everyone! It's a great read that entertains you and makes you think at the same time.
What have you read recently that you have really liked?
Thank you so much for reading, and have a great day! :)