Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

Hidden Huntress
by Danielle L. Jensen 
Read: June 5 - 10, 2015
Published:  June 2, 2015 by Angry Robot
Source: NetGalley (Thank you!)
Category: YA, fantasy, trolls, fae, magic 
Series: Malediction Trilogy #2
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

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…

Hidden Huntress is book two in the Malediction Trilogy. The first was Stolen Songbird. You can see my review linked in the title. To be honest, I went into this book expecting not to like it. Although I enjoyed the first book in the series, I’d seen some negative reviews of this one and middle-of-trilogy books are always dicey for me. The good news is that overall, I liked Hidden Huntress. However, it wasn't a perfect journey for me. 

Hidden Huntress does not do a lot of recapping of Stolen Songbird, and because I didn’t reread the first, it took me some time to reorient myself into the world and remember all of the characters.  At the start of Stolen Songbird Cécile was kidnapped by trolls and taken into the caves under the mountain where they've been cursed to live. There she was forced to wed the troll prince Tristan. It was an unwanted union on both sides, but developed into true affection and love throughout the course of the first book. Then at the end of that installment, a plot to save the persecuted race of half-blooded trolls – led by Tristan – was discovered. Lots of chaos occurred, and Cecile was nearly killed. To save her life, she was sent back to her home above ground. 

At the beginning of Hidden Huntress, Cécile is separated from Tristan, living in the city of Trianon with her mother and secretly hunting down the witch who cursed the trolls. Tristan is a prisoner of his father, who was not happy to discover all of his son's scheming. 

Hidden Huntress is a heafty book at nearly 500 pages, and the majority of that is spent following Cécile as she searches for Anushka, the witch who cursed the trolls. There were times when the search seemed endless and the story dragged, as and Cécile spent more time following her mothers orders. In general, I think some of the content in this story could have been condensed or removedPart of my trouble was that I figured out a key bit of information within the first half of the book. However, Cécile doesn’t realize the same information for herself until nearly the very end. I kept waiting for her to figure it out and became increasingly anxious when she didn’t. I honestly started to panic at one point that Cécile would never realize this info and I’d never get to the end. 

Cécile and Tristan spend a considerable amount of time apart in this story, but for the most part that wasn’t an issue for me. Partially because we were able to see what both of them were doing, and also because there isn’t any hint of a love triangle at all. They weren't always on the same page though, and I could understand why it took some time for them to reconnect when they finally saw each other again.  But I enjoyed watching their relationship develop further. Seeing their commitment to each other, slowly rebuilding trust, and sweet and swoony moments were highlights of this book for me. Still, these two both need to work more on communication and honesty. There were times that I wanted to yell at both of them for keeping things from the other – ESPECIALLY CECILE AT ONE POINT!! 

I enjoyed exploring Trianon in this book, it was fun to go to a new location and see how the human world contrasted with the trolls. It was interesting to discover how much Cécile and Tristan’s connection is part of a larger plot and schemes that have been building for much longer than they (or I) realized. Their individual situations and struggles against their powerful parents also paralleled well throughout the story. While the romance lover in me enjoyed seeing how they continued to choose each other despite the increasing odds against them. 

Although I had some issues with this sequel, especially with it feeling overly long, overall, I enjoyed Hidden Huntress and am excited to see what is going to happen in the finale. I’m definitely going to need more of a recap before that, however!  

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium - Ends in the middle of a dramatic situation, but the relationship drama cliffy is less this time around. 


  1. Awesome review Lauren :) So happy you liked this book. <3 But aw, I'm so sorry some parts of it were disappointing :( I also hate it when the characters keep secrets and stuff. It is never any fun, sigh. But yay for reading this book :) I have yet to read my copy of book one :p Sometime. Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  2. I haven’t read Stolen Songbird, because I hate cliffhangers, so I waited for the second book’s release. Glad to hear you enjoyed it overall, despite some qualms. Wonderful review, Lauren!

  3. I'm so, so happy Danielle refrained from writing even hints of a love triangle! It's so refreshing. But I do wish they had spent more time together and, yes, communicated more, especially at the end!! But really, these didn't bother me much. They have a pretty great relationship. I just wish the book hadn't dragged so much in the beginning!

  4. I agree, some editing probably would have helped with the pacing, but I still loved it. Love Cecile and Tristan together, but yes, when she doesn't tell him what she should tell him, IMMEDIATELY, I was very upset. Obviously she was in shock and in denial but still. I actually reread Stolen Songbird before reading this and I'm glad I did. Why don't authors do a quick recap at the beginning of the book? A "It's Been a Year Since You've Read…" They could summarize it in two or three pages and it would make me so happy. Honestly, there are some books that I just don't read because I don't remember the first one that well and I don't feel like rereading. So they're losing money because of it!!!! Great review, and I can't wait for the last book either. ~Pam


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