I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #2
Published: 2015 by Angry Robot
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Stolen Songbird was one of my favorite books of 2014, and so I was incredibly excited to be able to read the sequel, Hidden Huntress. Hidden Huntress resumes the story of Cecile, a young woman who was kidnapped by trolls in an attempt to break the curse that holds them under the mountain.
This post will contain some spoilers from the first book, so if you haven’t read it, jump back to my earlier review.
At the end of Stolen Songbird, Tristan manages to free Cecile from Trollus, sending her back to her own world, where she joins her mother in the city of Trianon and begins her musical career. But Cecile isn’t really free. She’s still bound to Tristan as his wife, and she’s in love with him and resentful about being sent back when he is suffering in Trollus. She goes to the border of Trollus to see if he is okay, and finds the King torturing him. In exchange for his safety, she makes a promise to find Anushka, the witch who imprisoned the trolls under the mountain. But Cecile doesn’t quite want to do that. She wants to ensure Tristan’s safety, but she doesn’t want to unleash all the trolls, because even though many of them aren’t scary and don’t conform to the stereotypes she’s been told, others (like the king) do and she doesn’t want to be responsible for the destruction that will result if she does. But troll promises are like fae promises, so she doesn’t really have much of a choice in the matter.
One thing that I particularly enjoyed was some of the lines that Jensen was willing to cross in this book. For example, normally dark magic is something that only evil characters become involved with, but Cecile isn’t evil, and uses it as a means to an end because she doesn’t really have other options. She’s bound by her promise to the troll king, and when she exhausts her normal channels of information, she does something drastic and dabbles in the darkness. It’s a fascinating exploration of whether or not the ends justify the means. And, as in real life, the answer to that question can be ambiguous.
And then there’s the relationship between Tristan and Cecile. Even though the relationship began with coersion, the two of them are perfect for each other. But because of how their relationship began, Tristan is burdened by guilt at taking Cecile away from her life, and he wants her to be able to have the life and career she’s dreamed of. And Cecile wants to be with Tristan, despite the danger and the fact that she’s not really cut out for troll politics. They’re coming from completely different worlds, and they have to find a way to trust each other enough to make it work, and to truly believe that each of them wants to be with the other, despite the challenges and consequences
Hidden Huntress is suspenseful, romantic, and will have you at the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. If you loved Stolen Songbird, you should read this one immediately!