“I think it is our nature to believe evil always has an ugly face,” he said, ignoring my question. “Beauty is supposed to be good and kind, and to discover it otherwise is like a betrayal of trust. A violation of the nature of things.”
Cécile de Troyes’ life changes forever when she’s kidnapped and taken underground, to the lost city of Trollus, a magical place where trolls and magic are cursed from ever leaving the city.
From the beginning I was completely enamored by the book’s premise. Anything that has magical places and curses is an instant win with me. Danielle L. Jensen described Trollus in such an amazing way. The place, even though it was a prison to Cécile, was absolutely magnificent. The descriptions were so vivid to me; I felt like I could actually see Trollus before my eyes.
Fountains and statues graced every corner. In place of greenery stood gardens of glassworks sculpted into trees, bushes, and flowers. The delicate displays would not have lasted more than a month exposed to the elements above ground. Then again, hailstorms likely did not trouble Trollus.
The romance is built so adorably! Cécile is headstrong and impulsive, and while that sometimes didn’t work out in her favor, it was notable that she was so active in the storyline. Tristan is our love interest, and he’s incredible. I think he’s one of my favorite characters. He’s snarky and funny, but also cunning and noble. Tristan and Cécile’s personalities are pretty different from each other’s, but there is something that unites them: their feelings for each other. They both know that they need to do the best for the other, and with that comes a relationship that’s passionate and loyal, while also filled with strife.
The secondary characters themselves are all so vital to the story. Everyone is fully fleshed out, and you can’t help but love every single one of them. I especially loved Marc, Victor, and Victoria; these characters were so supportive yet really stole the spotlight whenever they appeared.
The villain in the story is seen early on: The King of Trollus himself. There’s an underlying uprising brewing, and the King can’t know about it, resulting in lots of sneaking around. The whole storyline is full of mystery and deceit, our characters having always to be careful of whom to trust.
The way the book progresses was great to me, although I know others may not like the slow burn pace. I loved that the author took her time describing everything, slowly introducing us to both allies and enemies, and letting us piece together the clues. If there was one thing that annoyed me, it was that Cécile didn’t push harder for answers. If she asked something, she was given a vague answer or said “don’t worry about it” and she’d just purse her lips and move on. She had to push harder! She had to get those answers! However we get the answers eventually, so I guess there was no harm done.
Overall, Stolen Songbird was the start of an epic series, with a breathtaking setting and refreshing characters. The ending is a cliffhanger that’ll leave you wide-eyed and ready for the next book, so be sure to have it ready!
I’ve got to admit, Hidden Huntress was my least favorite book of the series for many reasons. It certainly fell prey to the “middle book syndrome” and that really dampened my enjoyment of it.
I found that Cécile’s unwillingness to pursue things in book 1 was intensified here in book 2. I thought Cécile was incredibly naive and just plain dumb. Whether it was her reluctance to believe that some of her friends may be enemies in disguise, or just plain stupidity, she really took a long time to come to conclusions that I had predicted way before she did.
Another thing that sucked my love for this book was the fact that it had so little Tristan/Cécile moments. I understand these characters have an impending fate to deal with, but I really wanted to see more of them together, since their chemistry has always been so great.
However, I did find things to enjoy. The pacing here was faster than in the first book. I found myself glued to the pages, wanting to keep finding out what was happening. Things are unravelling quicker and there’s a bit of a countdown lurking in the background that makes the book more thrilling. Here, there are more enemies than ever before, and it’s increasingly difficult to know who to trust or if you can even trust anyone.
While I think Cécile was lacking in the common sense department, I do think her character has evolved from what she was in book 1. Here she’s more independent and capable, and even stronger than she was before. Cécile doesn’t let others trample her, and defends what she thinks is right.
The ending to this book was way more action packed than the first one, and I think that was it’s saving grace. The way all the events unraveled and the secrets were revealed left me speechless. The cliffhanger even bigger than its predecessor!
Overall, while the main character dampened my enjoyment of the book, the pacing, thrills, and character development were amazing to see. The way all the events led up to the ending was brilliant, and a great way to keep me on the edge of my seat ready for the next book.
Now THAT is what I call a heart-stopping ending. Warrior Witch definitely ups the stakes and keeps you at the edge of your seat the whole time.
There are so many risks, so many enemies, so many things that could go wrong. Cécile and Tristan are at odds because they both want to do things their way, which led to a lot of bickering between them which was both funny and frustrating.
However the author always keeps the book engaging, and the way everything built up to the explosive ending was incredible.
There are a lot of heartbreaking moments as well. We see firsthand that not everyone gets a happy resolution, and sometimes to solve things there has to be sacrifices.
The author takes a risky decision by ending the book in a bittersweet/melancholic note, rather than giving us a happily ever after. However through tears and heartache I definitely believe this ending was the best way to resolve the series. It was different and realistic, and something totally unexpected.
Overall, this trilogy has been engaging from the start, with incredibly character development, twists, turns, heartbreak, and more. This is a fantasy series like no other, that I can’t wait to re-read someday!
Big thanks to Angry Robot Books for sending this trilogy to me so I could review them! ❤