Title : Hidden Huntress Author : Danielle L. Jensen Series : The Malediction Trilogy Genre : YA, Fantasy Rating : Five Stars
WARNING – This review will contain spoilers!
Someone throw a bucket of water on me.
If you read my review on book one, Stolen Songbird you’ll be well aware of how much I enjoyed the first edition of this trilogy. The one and only fault I found was how passive Cecile was when being marched down the aisle to marry a complete stranger surrounded by ‘monsters’ or trolls but somehow that one flaw didn’t really bother me because I still really enjoyed that scene and I didn’t find it unrealistic. That was the only minor flaw I could find in the first book, I could nitpick for days and not find anything else that bothered me. That’s why I rated book one a four stars, book two however receives five stars and let me tell you why. I’m going to dot point them 1-5 (or 6 lol) below to make it nice and simple!
- Danielle L. Jensen wrote Cecile an out, gave her the option to forget the mountain and everything beneath it. Cecile had the opportunity to walk away from it all but she stayed true to her character and somehow maintained her loyalty to both her human friends and troll alike and I loved that. I really enjoyed seeing her become stronger as a character and because the majority of the last book was situated under the mountain it was a nice change to see more of her home and family. She was persistent and determined all throughout and I loved seeing her loyalty and dedication to Tristan as well as everyone else. Her character was just that much stronger but her strength wasn’t unrealistically exaggerated like it often is in books, her strength had limits, required learning and skill.
- We were shown more of Cecile’s friendships and relationships with her family and friends and each of these relationships and people were distinctly different from the last. They were very real in their mannerisms and reactions, each of their characters were unique. Her sister shocked me when she first met Tristan with her bravery and brutal honesty. I found their meeting wholly natural, their caution but willingness to accept each other once all that needed saying was said. Chris was really adorable in this book and I felt slightly sorry for him, we found out through Tristan in book one that Chris might have feelings for Cecile and his promise to protect Cecile may have been made because of this but I was glad to see he was not a jealous prick but rather a loyal friend. Sabine was a shock to my system at first, she was portrayed as more delicate friend in book one, her fear of riding etc but she did overcome that to search for Cecile, so I guess I should have seen it coming. Her character was just so much more stronger than I was expecting so her coldness towards Tristan came as a surprise. But it was nice to see them grow to trust each other and work together for Cecile.
- I have to mention before going any further – Cecile’s relationship with her mother was so intriguing. I’ll admit, I didn’t like her from the moment we met her, there was something ‘wrong’ with how cold and self centred she was but somehow Cecile hardly knew her and could acknowledge these flaws but loved her anyway. We’d been told that her mother was an elusive figure in her life but we weren’t given any reasons why. So in this book we got to delve into this further, there were so many little hints all throughout the book about what was happening but we never actually got to put it together until the end! Unless you were smarter than me because I knew something was sus but I totally didn’t put that final plot twist together until the end. I was blown away by the scheming and the absolute evil that was still in Anushka to be able to commit the acts she was committing. From the moment she drugged Cecile I knew there was more to her than we were being told I just couldn’t figure out where she fit. I originally thought that Anushka and Cecile’s mother were in league with each other but no way did I expect them to be one and the same person. It’s actually quite sad if you think about it, Cecile’s mother was murdered and her life stolen by the very same person who pretended to be her mother for years and the very same thing had happened to her mother and on it went for five hundred years! You could imagine my joy when she was beaten at her own game!
- Tristan and Cecile ended things on such a tender and emotional peak in book one and I’d known we’d see more of them apart than together in this book so I wasn’t looking forward to this instalment as much (I hate separations, I get all emotional!) I always flick the pages desperately waiting for them to come together again. I pine the whole book for that moment, hanging for them to be together again. But I must admit that it was great that we still got to feel that connection between them through the bond they share but I was left so disappointed when they finally found a way to be together again. Like Tristan, what?! She just set you free, you’ve just seen the sun for the first time and you didn’t kiss her? You didn’t even thank her. ARE YOU INSANE? I don’t know if you noticed but I got a little cranky at him there. It was annoying that every time they took one step forward together they took ten backwards and I found their distance after such an emotional separation in book one was a little odd to me. I know it was explained and was, I guess understandable, I just felt like it was silly. They weren’t appreciating the little wins and the fact that they were together when reality had been they’d struggle to see each other again. On a side note – I loved seeing them work a different society together, under the mountain they were unable to ‘be together’ in public because of the human stigma the trolls have. So it was refreshing to see Tristan learn to work through this human society and see both Cecile and Tristan navigating the social upper class together and scheming together this time around.
- The whole plot for this book was interesting. How had Anushka managed to live way past the normal moral lifespan? How were the Regent’s able to hide their intentions to help the trolls enemy when they’d promised the trolls to help find her? So many questions and so many hints, just enough to tickle at the back of your brain but not enough to have you knowing before Jensen wanted you too. I really enjoyed the whole twist this instalment gave the reader, book one was very beauty and the beast to me but book two surprised me. It was a whole other ball game.
- Now I’m adding a sixth thing. I just cannot ignore this scene. The sex scene. Okay I’ll admit, I loved it. I personally don’t mind when an author has the guts to give you a sultry scene, in fact I LOVE IT. Cecile and Tristan’s scene was so natural and beautiful in its simplicity. In book one when we saw Cecile and Tristan have a passion filled moment on the boat I got really excited because that was the moment I realised that Jensen was not shy about the sex stuff. I think YA tip toes around it too much when reality is we’re mainly a teen/adult audience so probably want more of it! So in Hidden Huntress when we finally got the sex scene I was legit jumping and squealing with delight and I just love how it happened. Sharing their scars and opening up to one another finally.
Wow, I’ve gone on for ages on this review! Honestly, I know I’ll remember something else I wanted to mention in my review but for now those are my jambled thoughts on this amazing book.
I’m impatiently waiting for the third and final book Warrior Witch to arrive on my doorstep before I go to Hong Kong. I’ve got a 10 hour flight and I’m fully prepared to read it in one sitting!!
I can’t wait to see what they come up against now that the trolls are free and all the monsters with them. Bring on book three!!
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Till next time,