CM . . . . Volume XX Number 23 . . . . February 14, 2014
Stolen Songbird is the first of what will be a series of books following the adventures of heroine Cecile de Troyes. In this novel, readers see Cecile kidnapped and brought to the secret and magical world of Trollus in order to be married to the troll prince, Tristan. The King orders this be done in the hopes of fulfilling a prophesy which would free the trolls from a witch's curse which keeps them trapped in Trollus, away from the rest of the world.
As the story develops, readers learn that breaking a curse is not always a good thing. Cecile discovers that Prince Tristan fears what his father and other powerful trolls will do once released into the non-magical world. Jensen creates a complex society within Trollus which deals not only with trolls but also a societal hierarchy based on the "purity" of a troll's blood and their degree of magic which helps illustrate the basis of Tristan's anxiety.
Jensen takes her time developing the relationship between Cecile and Tristan, using the psychic emotion bond forged between them at their union as a tool to overcome the barriers of fear and mistrust in each character. Cecile makes a few friends and takes on Tristan's enemies, but these secondary characters are fairly flat.
Overall, this lengthy fantasy novel offers a lot of adventure, romance and political intrigue. It would suit any voracious young reader looking for an entertaining read with thoughtful substance behind it.
Laura Dunford is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Children's Literature program at the University of British Columbia.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.