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. (goodreads.com)
This was a side YAck for us because there was a small revolt with having to read two contemporary YA novels in a row so if we couldn’t read porn then STOLEN SONGBIRD it was. Plus for me it sounded more interesting than the contemporary the other half of us read so there’s that.
I went into this book with rather high expectations of totally falling for the love interest without having actually met him in-plot yet. It was just a FEELING. And then Marc found his way onto the page I went THIS IS IT and got all excited because HERE’S THE LOVE INTEREST and he’s a troll so half beautiful and half shockingly disfigured and it’s going to be a Beauty and the Beast thing and GETTING TO KNOW HIM. And then Tristan comes in and ruins everything.
Yeah, great. He has a heart of gold and he doesn’t like the mistreatment of trolls and he’s not really two-timing his purchased wife and yadda yadda yadda. He’s still disturbingly gorgeous in a too-perfect sort of way and that kind of killed it for me. This is a troll world. An underground troll world. An inbred troll world. Tristan’s family is very troll-like in demeanor. But Tristan is inhumanly gorgeous. Damn it all. Yes, there is some explanation for this, them being trolls only because that’s what people had come to think of them as and not what they ACTUALLY are and apparently there are other equally gorgeous (and hideous) trolls in Trollus but aside from Cecile’s rival, Anais, who is a gorgeous matching Tristan’s, it was only a passing comment and not actually applied indiscriminately to everyone around her. Most of the trolls around her were deformed, down to Tristan’s cousin Marc, his father and his mother/aunt. But Tristan is boy band hot and my heart died. It’s just of those OF COURSE HE IS things that just made the story incredibly superficial when it didn’t have to be and it disappointed me.
The whole romance irked me as well. I wouldn’t call it instalove because she was down there for months and it took a bit for her to warm up to her forced husband but the bonding creates shared headspace where each others’ emotions can have an effect on the other. So when given the chance to purge her brain of that connection to really get a grip on herself and make a more informed decision about throwing away her entire life, Cecile thinks on it for about fifteen minutes and promptly tosses her world in a dumpster for her captor. Who’s not really her captor, his father is (and he’s also trying to kill her so yeah), but she’s in the whole situation to begin with because she was bought and forced into it against her will. So, yeah. A bit Stockholm-ish with some excuses to try and not make it so but it didn’t sit right with me.
I loved the world of Trollus and despite the fact that it’s basically an underground cave the author did a fantastic job of making it feel just the opposite. Despite it’s dreary demeanor it was a place that still felt like it had a lot of light to it. It was a rich world with a myriad of depths to it that made it feel like more than a hole in the ground. I did like the whole fighting the power thing as well, with the treatment of the halfbloods and the uprising and just how ruthless some of the trolls, Tristan’s father especially, could be when it came to that plight. It made the intrigue up itself even though it wasn’t a world that Cecile actually belonged in. Even when her presence was attempted at being shoehorned in there it wasn’t quite fitting. A lot ended up getting hinged on her shoulders when it shouldn’t have been and she took on a lot of responsibility based on nothing more than her own obligation to do so and it all wrapped itself around her staying there as well. It was a bit clunky.
The whole songbird aspect is irrelevant. Other than her singing calling Tristan to her it doesn’t serve a purpose. I imagine it will in future books but as of now it’s a needless fact that apparently plays into the prophecy but we don’t have a lot of details on that either so we’re left in the dark.
It’s an okay story. I did enjoy reading it. But I don’t know if I’m going to read on. I’m rather disappointed that Tristan isn’t Marc and that Tristan is so incredibly pretty and it’s a hinderance to me. Plus the whole love thing. Meh. It’s a good story. Take that away from this review. But I’ve read better in a more well-rounded sort of way.