WARRIOR WITCH by Danielle L. Jensen

Cécile and Tristan have accomplished the impossible, but their greatest challenge remains: defeating the evil they have unleashed upon the world.

As they scramble for a way to protect the people of the Isle and liberate the trolls from their tyrant king, Cécile and Tristan must battle those who’d see them dead. To win, they will risk everything. And everyone.

But it might not be enough. Both Cécile and Tristan have debts, and they will be forced to pay them at a cost far greater than they had ever imagined. 


Title : Warrior Witch
Author : Danielle L. Jensen
Series : Malediction Trilogy (book three)
Format : physical
Page Count : 400
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Angry Robot
Release Date : May 3, 2016

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 3.5 star review

While this didn’t quite knock things out of the park like I hoped.. it did a lot of good. While, maybe, also having an equal part of things I was ambivalent about. But the ending? I can only imagine how many readers were split down the middle of loving or hating it but, surprisingly, I loved it. I even got a wee bit emosh about it. It was incredibly bittersweet.

We might not have as many big reveals in this instalment as we did in book two but we did have one and.. I don’t know. I feel after the way things went in book two it made this twist a little overdone. But it once again reinforces the concept of layers and how not everything in this world was as it seemed. Not to mention how clever the characters were and how long they had been playing the game, which did go some way in reinforcing how they’d been able to be so many steps ahead of everyone else.

I did, however, enjoy how the world was “saved” and the troll issue was solved; I thought everything about the learning of that fix was very clever. Jensen crafted this story in such a different way from the usual we’ve come to expect and I really appreciate that.

I do think, however, some characterizations were harmed in getting the plot moving and certain plot points were used and then apparently discarded, never to be spoken about again, so it was a little messy. It was a little pacey, too. So much happens and yet at times it feels like nothing is happening. But overall I’m really not mad about the whole of it.

I’m happy to have finally finished this series and while I will be unhauling (this was on my Series to Finish list because, yes, it needed to be finished but also because it’s one I owned and I need to split my focus between both of those goals) it’s not out of any kind of hate or disappointment; it’s merely because it’s not so loved that I want to keep it for future rereads. Plus, there’s always the library. That said, I definitely wouldn’t talk anyone out of reading this series and it’s actually given me some motivation to read more by this author. Maybe not anytime soon but I certainly won’t put off the urge if I ever feel so inclined.

HIDDEN HUNTRESS by Danielle L. Jensen

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…


Title : Hidden Huntress
Author : Danielle L. Jensen
Series : Malediction Trilogy (book two)
Format : physical
Page Count : 464
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Strange Chemistry
Release Date : June 2, 2015

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 3 star review

I ended my review of book one by saying how GR told me I’d read book two, but after the ending of book one, I was hard pressed to believe it. Having now actually read the book.. what? None of this was remotely familiar. I can’t explain it at all but.. hey, it is what it is.

So while book one was a surprise for how much I still enjoyed it, this one was obviously knocked down a peg. I wasn’t mad at the plot, the separations, or the losses and conflicts. I was mostly surprised by how there was one major reveal that should not have been a reveal. Or, rather, as it seemed so obvious from the get-go, I was frustrated it took the entire book for it to be unveiled. It was just painful. Yes, the characters had a red herring or two along the way but the fact that it never even crossed their mind.. arg. I wanted to give them a good shake. Particularly because these are not dumb characters.

Having said that, I didn’t see other reveals (post-major reveal) coming but really appreciate Jensen’s little “hah! you thought you knew it all” move. I should’ve seen it coming, because this series has always had layers and she’s made a lot of smart and atypical choices, but based on how long the main event took.. I just didn’t think there’d be room for more. Really enjoyed that.

Otherwise, if not for that complaint, I did enjoy this. Jensen didn’t pull punches in the sense that the stakes are high in this world and truly no one is safe. In both how that pertains to what these characters must endure and the friends they lose along the way. We also get further confirmation as to the world and how these trolls initially were part of it all and.. well, other spoilery things I’m not going to hint at. Naturally.

We’ve come full circle on one part of this conflict but there’s much more to come after the ending. And wow what an ending. I certainly didn’t expect the author to pull that particular rabbit out of the hat but she did. I’m really hoping we go out with a bang and yes, I’m diving right in to book three.

STOLEN SONGBIRD by Danielle L. Jensen

A girl destined for the stage. A prince cursed to darkness. A bond that will unleash magic caged for centuries.

Centuries ago, the Isle of Light was ruled by cruel creatures with dangerous magic until a witch bound them to their underground city. But a prophesy has spoken of a union with a human girl that has the power to set them free.

Cécile is a singer destined for the stage when she is kidnapped and bonded to the cursed prince of Trollus, with their minds linked in a way she never dreamed possible. Trollus is both magical and deadly, but as Cécile hunts for a way to escape, she discovers there is more to her mysterious husband than anyone realizes. 

As tension brews and political games escalate, Cécile finds herself at the center of a rebellion… and she is the one with the magic needed to overthrow the tyrant who rules.

Torn between returning to her human life and becoming the princess Trollus needs, Cécile must decide which world she belongs to… and how far she’s willing to go to save the prince who holds her heart. 


Title : Stolen Songbird
Author : Danielle L. Jensen
Series : Malediction Trilogy (book one)
Format : physical
Page Count : 469
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Strange Chemistry
Release Date : April 1, 2014

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

Yes, I am surprised about this rating myself. In no way did I expect this to live up to the four stars I gave it back in (check notes) 2015. I even rather jokingly said to a friend that I did not have high hopes for my return to “troll YA”. And here I’m eating them words. Yum.

In hindsight, while I thought I remembered this story, I only remember the first half (this seems to be a trend). Everything after that felt like reading something for the first time which was a nice bonus. I will admit I did like the first half more (maybe why it was more memorable) but the latter was still good. Just.. a little chaotic and fast moving.

But yes, if you didn’t already know about this one, it’s about a girl who has been kidnapped and brought to a kingdom of trolls, long since thought to be gone from the world, who have been trapped under a mountain by a long-ago witch’s curse. Thinking to break said curse, Cécile has the unfortunate luck to match the description of a prophecy and is quickly bonded (wed) to the prince. Their dynamic, of course, is reluctant and uninterested and fractious — at first — but time, and necessity, and then more, changes that. Also, as she realizes she cannot escape the mountain, she slowly starts to integrate into her surroundings and take note of the various politics occurring around her; the oppression and violence targeting the half-bloods or those too mortal to have any magic.

I was actually pretty surprised by how well Jensen handled numerous elements in this story, not just the romance. Though that was well done, too. This felt fresh and different in a variety of ways and I flew through it over the course of a few hours. I can only hope the trend continues for the rest of the series. GR tells me I read book two but after that ending.. I was actually doubting the accuracy of my shelving because I can’t picture any details that follow. Guess we’ll see!

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