Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy #2) by Danielle L Jensen (June 2015)
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…
Oh gee. I wanted this book so bad. Somehow I missed when it went live for request on NetGalley and then I sent a panicked email to the publisher (I love you, Angry Robot) and I was pointed in the right direction.. and poof! I was reading it.
You can see my review of book one, Stolen Songbird, here. I’ve been featuring book one in various lists and memes since I read it.. and gosh. It was just such a stunning start to a series.
Unfortunately, Hidden Huntress seems to have been hit by ‘second book syndrome’
What worked for me?
Tristan – Is still awesome. I really dug the parts written from his POV. He’s slick, he’s suave and yet he still feels so much. He says something in this book about Cecile wearing her heart on her sleeve, but the way he wears his effected me much more.
Sabine – Really left an impression in this book. Obviously we don’t see much of her in Stolen Songbird, but I was really taken with her spirit and ‘call to arms’ type attitude she has. She’s a go-getter. She actually does things, makes decisions (good AND bad) and powered by her own steam.
Trollus – It was nice to have a change of setting, but I was glad we still got glimpses of Trollus in the aftermath of Stolen Songbird. The court intrigue and the political power plays gripped me as much as GoT might.
What didn’t work for me?
Pace – Slow. I found this book quite hard to read in that nothing really happens for a good two thirds. It was nice to be back with characters that I have grown to love from the first book.. But jeez. It was slow going.
Plot – Surely, you knew where this was going, too? Was it just me? But for Cecile’s side of the plot, I kinda had it pegged down pretty quickly. The whole thing with Anushka was frustratingly obvious. Luckily, Tristan’s side of things, and what was going on in Trollus, felt less predictable and I enjoyed following that strand. To be fair, I didn’t expect the part near the end that Anushka shares (trying to be spoiler-free here, if you want specifics, please do message me!) and it was a nice touch to the overall lore.
Cecile – Was much more passive than I remember her being. There were glimmers of a more feisty nature, but as a character I found her more reactive than active. And the drama with her mother made me want to shake her. Gawds. Just get on and do what you ended up doing in the end! *sighs*
I had high expectations for this book. I was over the moon to be granted a review copy and to say I was excited would be an understatement. There were some really crackly, fiery scenes between Cecile and Tristan, and I devoured those. But for the most part, I was let down. This book is definitely more filler than killer.
Fans of the first book should still read this installment. (And that cover though?! GORGEOUS!)
I gave it a merry 3 out of 5 and I do look forward to reading the final book.