For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…
But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…
I absolutely loved this book when I first read it although it definitely was a product of its time and very tonally different from modern-day reads. Looking back on it from when I read it more than a month ago, I suspect a big part of the reason I enjoyed it was because I essentially devoured the book in like a couple of hours or so. If I didn’t, my mileage would probably have varied although I think I’d still enjoy it, just not as much.
I actually went back and read this because I read an e-arc of Dark Shores which I really loved. I realized I have a copy of this book from that Angry Robot Humble Book Bundle a year ago so I decided to give this one a go.
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.
Stolen Songbird revolves around a girl named Cecile. She’s this girl who lives in a village and trains to become a singer in the big city with her mother until one day, she gets kidnapped in order to be a bride for the troll prince. This was because Cecile was supposed to be this prophesied Chosen One who would free Trollus from its curse. This curse prevents the Trolls from leaving their mountain kingdom. The troll prince thankfully isn’t the ugly troll of folklore (although those do exist in their city) but handsome. I feel like this is a pretty common trope in YA- take ugly creatures from folklore and make them pretty.
The characters aren’t that bad. Cecile’s husband, Tristan, isn’t really an abusive asshole who she falls for despite that. Mainly, he’s really just apathetic and cold and in general, more focused on his rebellion against his father. Which does make sense. I did like that they took the time to get to know each other before falling in love and I really appreciated the slow burn. Also, I liked how the chosen one trope is kind of inverted in this one when Cecile fails to set them free from their curse immediately after she married Tristan.
I liked the setting and I think it’s quite creative in the way it’s set up. There’s lore and a reason for the things that happen in this world and I really enjoyed reading about the world-building. I wish there was more on their history, but what was given to us was pretty good and detailed so I won’t complain about that too much.
The plot also moves fast- or at least it did for me so much so that I devoured the book in like, a couple of hours. It’s very easy to read and the writing is quite solid for a debut novel (and it gets stronger in Dark Shores!). I enjoyed the rebellion plot and I felt that the way it ended was on a realistic note. It’s not a happy one, but it is a hopeful one which sets up the sequels nicely.
Overall, I did enjoy it quite a bit and sometimes it’s fun to look at an author’s previous work after loving their new releases. Would I read the sequels? Probably. For now, the only way I can get them is through digital copies so I might buy it when I get the chance.