What Am I Reading This Week?
Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen, Book 2 in the Malediction Series
The follow-up to Stolen Songbird (2014) really blew my mind. Not only did it deliver on the heart, adventure and creativity of book one, but it solved a major issue brought previously and set the stage perfectly for the final instalment, Warrior Witch (2016).
In Hidden Huntress, we meet Cécile living her dream, starring in the Trianon opera as the young Ingenue. At night she is taking the stage and entertaining audiences, but, during the day she and her friends, Sabine and Chris have been looking for any possible clues to Anushka’s current identity and a way to break the curse that keeps the trolls trapped under the mountain. While Cécile is above ground searching for a way to rescue Trollus, Tristan has been tortured and bound by iron and removed as the heir apparent and replaced by his sadistic powerful and uncontrollable younger brother, Roland. The distance between Tristian and Cécile does not dull their martial emotional connection, and the suffering and longing experienced by both results in sleepless night and painful injuries. This just spurs Cécile further in her search. The troll King decides to add more incentive. During a meeting between the two he presents Tristian in his tortured and broken state to her and elicits a promise from her to find Anushka by any means necessary in exchange for freeing Tristian. Now bound to the King through a promise her desire to find the witch has increased and the longer she is bound, the greater her fervour and the greater the possibility that she will be driven insane by the request.
The Curse – Hidden Huntress expounded on the mythology of the curse, delving into not only how to it was created. but also the intricacies of its enactment and why it was brought about. I thought the details were well constructed and made a lot of sense.
Anushka – The witch! We got to know a lot more about her and her motivations and how she has been surviving for centuries under the trolls radar. It was interesting getting more background information on our antagonist. It lead to a more well-developed story, it was good to have more than a one dimensional abstract villain.
Supporting Characters: The second book offered an expanded world view, allowing us to get to know the people that were in Cécile‘s life before Trollus and seeing how how everyone reacts to a changed Cécile. This includes her mother Genevieve, her brother Fred, her friends Sabine and Chris and their lives in the city of Trianon.
Loophole: This book had some of the best loopholes I have ever come across in a book, television or a film. It is obvious that this plot was WELL thought out. Kudos to Ms. Jensen.
There was actually nothing I could seriously say that I disliked about this book. The story was well executed, the characters were well described and I understood their motivations and the elements of magic, romance, politics and adventure were balanced wonderfully.
I am a definitely distraught over only having one book left in the series to read, but I am most certainly looking forward to learning about the fall out of the actions of book two.