Series: Stolen Songbird #2
Published by Angry Robot on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.
Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.
Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.
To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…
Hello, my name is Danielle L. Jensen and I like to sharpen my cliffhangers by introducing some yet to be explained magical element and leave my readers dangling in disbelief until the release of the next installment.
I’m dying here, people.
➽ While I liked Cécile for the better part of Stolen Songbird, I didn’t hold much love for her towards the end of the first instalment where she made a really stupid decision (plot device, I know, but still). For the first couple of chapters in Hidden Huntress, her stupidity picks up where it left off. My head ached from all the eye-rolls. As the plot progresses, she seems to gather her wits again which pleased me to no end, because stupid Cécile was simply insufferable compared to scheming Cécile. There’s not a lot of character development but it was interesting to see her struggle with adapting to the human world again after having spent 3 months in Trollus. She also experiments with her witchcraft on the hunt for the witch who trapped the trolls under the mountain.
➽ Now, Tristan’s chapters were delightful and a welcome alternation to Cécile’s POV. Whereas she’s off singing on the stages of Trianon and engaging in a fruitless hunt for the whicked witch, Tristan is in chains, battered, and tortured. An event frees him of his chains and he’s all scheme-and-intrigue from there. Of course, he has flaws but he’s also observant, cunning, and kind-hearted, which makes him a much more captivating protagonist than the main character, if I may say so. He’s weakened but he gathers his friends and plays the cards up his sleeves against his father. I loved reading about the little workings in his cunning mind.
➽ The supporting characters were a wonderful addition once again. I’m very fond of Cécile’s human friends, Sabine and Chris. Sabine is snarky af and Chris is such a loyal companion (although there might be reason to doubt his loyalty but we’ll see). Underground, Marc was not as present as in Stolen Songbird which was disappointing because I absolutely adore his character. Tristan’s aunt, however, played an intriguing role, as did (once again) Angoulême and King Thibault.
➽ The plot held my attention but it’s without a doubt inferior to Stolen Songbird‘s. It does, however, pick up towards the ending. The climax in Hidden Huntress is quieter than the fighting in the first instalment. Nonetheless, it held a lot of tension, having me at the edge of my seat. While the first instalment evolved around the growing love between Cécile and Tristan, the sequel offered more information. And after that cliffhanger, I predict there’ll be need for swords and daggers in Warrior Witch, to which I say “Yes, please!” (the title provides further indication).
➽ While I sometimes doubt Cécile’s worthiness of Tristan, I still love them together. To answer a question some readers will have after the ending of th first instalment: Yes, they will be interacting closely at some point. Compared to Tristan, Cécile does not show a lot of individual growth. Their relationship, though, grows in many ways! They’ve always had chemistry but it becomes clearer why they are made for each other. And yes, the chemistry…
“If I am distracted, it is your fault. You have been my undoing since the day we met.”
In a nutshell, Hidden Huntress was not as good as its predecessor but it certainly had its charm and held promise for an action-packed finale.
Side note: Having spoiled myself the finale, meaning Warrior Witch, I have decided to abandon the series before Jensen could get my blood to boil with fury.