Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Strange Chemistry | Paperback, 472 pages
April 1st, 2014
Young Adult | Historical Fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

“She foretold that when a prince of night bonded a daughter of the sun, the curse would be broken.” – Chapter 7, page 81

The day before she’s to move to the city with her estranged mother, Cécile was kidnapped. The abductor sold her to the trolls living in the magical mountain. All her life she thought that trolls are just a myth to scare off misbehaving children and a cautionary tale for the adults, but she was wrong. They are real, and the heir to the King of the city of Trollus needs to bond with a human in an attempt to break the curse.

Tristan is unlike any other trolls she’s heard about: handsome, fierce, and…rude. It didn’t take long before Cécile realizes that escaping, or even fighting with them is futile. So she decides to make the best of the situation. Slowly, she becomes an inadvertent sympathizer to the half-bloods in a brewing rebellion against the full bloods; and at the centre of this rebellion is someone of an unexpected surprise.

In Trollus, she will discover a blood magic that she didn’t know she possessed; she will also discover a love for its people and their bid for freedom. Most of all, she will find herself making a choice between freedom and fighting for the love of a prince she thought she hated.

This book sounds so good, doesn’t it? Fantasy, romance, trolls…how could I not love it? Well, very simple. I’m not a fan of this genre. I can’t stand fantasy, to be honest. It’s why I have several unfinished books in this genre (most recently, The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas). More and more, I realize that I am more of a realistic fiction reader than anything. Doesn’t have to be contemporary; my escape is no longer about worlds beyond my imagination. I am more than likely to enjoy a book that will break my heart than I would about dragons, trolls, and fae. Which is unfortunate, because a lot of books in this genre is a good work out if I ever want to do a bit of writing myself.

The world described in this book is as fantastical as they come: a mountain suspended over a city, giant slugs with toxin saliva enough to paralyzed trolls for their consumption, curses, blood magics and oaths. There is a ruling regent powerful enough to  keep the mountain from crushing the entire city; and romance between two people desperate for their own freedom.

Readers would be given privy to both Cécile’s and Tristan’s perspectives. Unfortunately, Tristan’s very short and limited chapters only gave us insights to the present situations as they occur in the book. There’s really not much about him other than his fight, a bit about Cécile and the hate he has for this father. Cécile, though, she rendered the most perspective, also lacked any depth. I didn’t understand why she wasted time learning about useless things that could be considered frivolous. I mean, you learnt of a war brewing and you decide to polish your strategy by learning about music and art? She eventually started to take matters in her own hands by learning about Trollus’ history and the curse that has befallen them, but the story could’ve used a bit of trimming. I thought time spent learning about art and music was somewhat incongruous, considering what was at stake.

It took me a full week to read this book; it was one of those things when I was forcibly reading to stave off dying of boredom. Harsh? I’m sorry, okay?! It’s just, I could’ve easily quit but I made a promise to myself this year that I’m going to finish reading every single book that I started on January 1st. I know this has been well-liked by practically everyone that I follow on Goodreads, but I just couldn’t.

Regardless, if you’re a fan of fantasy, and trolls are something that you’ve yet to explore, you should check out this book. It just wasn’t for me.


  • starryeyedjen29

    Sorry this wasn’t for you, but I’m impressed that you pushed through it to the end. I have a feeling I’ll love this one because I do tend to love fantasy and whatever Strange Chemistry puts out, but we’ll see.

    • I haven’t had much experience with Strange Chemistry books, but I’m hoping things will improve considerably.

  • I’m sorry you didn’t love this one Joy! Though I’m glad to see you didn’t hate it, at least. 🙂 This one is definitely fantasy all the way, and I can see why it wouldn’t be so wonderful if you’re not a fantasy reader already. I do agree about the length and mentions of things like the art and music that didn’t have much to do with the story (didn’t really bother me, but objectively I agree!), because the book is quite long and could benefit from a trim. Nonetheless, great review! 😀

    • Thanks, Rachel. I just didn’t get the points of reference, that’s all. Ultimately though, I’m just not into fantasy. Major problem since this book IS. Lol.

  • Fortunately I LOVE fantasy. It breaks my heart a little that you didn’t finish The Burning Sky, but we can’t all agree on everything. (: I’m starting this one tonight and I’m excited.

    • Oh gosh! The Burning Sky is so highly recommended! I can’t, for the life of me, get interested in the story. I suck. 🙁

  • Ah yes I can understand the problem with fantasy books. It’s really tricky for me as well. I actually like books like that but it’s not really my thing so I don’t read them either. I’m glad you were able to finish though. The troll thing is intriguing too.

    • It sure is intriguing! I just wish I’d enjoyed it more.

  • Christy

    Fantasy like this isn’t a favorite of mine. UF, yes, but not like this. It takes me way too long to finish them, sometimes way more than a week. I tend to feel bogged down, like it’s a chore to read.

    • Precisely! That’s exactly how I feel about fantasy. I just…it bores me, unfortunately.

  • but, but, but…Marchetta?! One of your favorites is a fantasy, J.! :))) You must have gone right off the genre, and I’m feeling guilty now that I’ve recommended you 2 books you’ve mentioned you had to force yourself to finish. Sorry *meekly*

    • Yes! Marchetta. The difference is that MM knows what I love about characters. They’re never one-dimensional and they are the strongest that I’ve ever read EVER. Don’t worry about it, love. Don’t stop recc’ing me books!

  • Fantasy and trolls into a book does sound like a great read, esp with Tristan hot and sounds like frutrating at times

    • If that’s of an interest to you, you most definitely have to read this one. 🙂

  • Sorry you didn’t like this one. I don’t read much fantasy, but it’s not because I’m not a fan, it’s just because I seem to read more of other genres. The summary sounds pretty good, though, and it’s a shame you couldn’t enjoy it more. Thanks for your honesty! 🙂

    • I really wish I enjoyed this a bit more. I just couldn’t get into the story and the characterizations left a lot to be desired.

  • Bummer this didn’t work for you. I’ve been shying away from fantasy almost completely these days. It’s a shame both main characters lacked in depth–Tristan especially. I could NEVER make a resolution to DNF books. I seriously probably start at least 10 books a week, but I only ever finish 2 or 3 of them. That would be torture for me! Great review! I hope your next book is much better!

    • I really wish I didn’t make that promise at the beginning of the year. It’s not very logical and realistic. But so far, I haven’t had any DNFs.

  • I do agree his chapters are a bit too short. I’m so sorry to hear that you don’t actually like fantasy! Then you shouldn’t try to force yourself to read it because then its like work instead of fun. See me I’m all about the fantasy cause realism and contemporary is just blah to me. I don’t want to read about reality when I live it.

    • Thanks, Tabitha. That is exactly why I’m being picky with my reads. And I guess why, I’ve been reviewing more “real” fiction than fantasy.

  • “I can’t stand fantasy, to be honest” *gasps*
    HOW COULD YOU? *Just Kidding*
    I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t love this one as much as I did, Joy. I’m a huge fan of YA fantasy and I love it when books are detailed and complex, but I understand why it’s not the genre for everyone.
    You are a brave soul to have made the decision to finish all the books you start. I couldn’t do that. I would be cranky all year long!
    I hope your next read is better, Joy!

    • Lol! I know right? My mind is just not disciplined enough, I supposed. I can’t read pages and pages of world-building. I’m a conversation type of girl who typically ignores the tapestry of the scenes. So yeah, I’m more of a contemporary fiction kind of reader.

  • Good review Joy! It’s been a while since I visited your blog, but good job consistently posting up reviews and posts!

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

  • Aw, I’m sorry Joy. I’m sorry you didn’t like this book more : But glad you still didn’t hate it 🙂 But ack! How can you not like Fantasy?! lol 😀 It is my favorite genre. <3 I have seen so many people love this book.. that I actually ordered it, lol. Waiting for it to arrive ;p Hoping I will love it. Amazing review sweetie. <3 I would love to read about trolls, hih 🙂

    • Oh I knoooowww! What is wrong with me? Grrrr.

  • I am sorry you didn’t love this one. I have heard so many great things on it that I really want to read it but I am afraid the same thing will happen to me, that it will fall short and I will hate it.
    Fantasy and me already have a love hate relationship, I just don’t know if I should risk it.

    • Most of my Goodreads cohorts enjoyed this one, and if you’re a fan of fantasy – even occasionally, you might just enjoy it as well. I say, try it anyway. 😉