Series: The Malediction Trilogy, #2
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Category: High Fantasy
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
*ARC received in exchange for a fair and honest review*
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…
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015 by Angry Robot
I have fallen in love with this series by Jensen. I just can’t enough of it, and I have to say, I think the second book in the series was just wonderful. There was a great abundance of character growth, along with a lot of story development, shocking reveals, and even more danger. Once I started it, it was really hard for me to put the book down.
“Here lay the gateway between worlds, the divide between reality and fantasy. A dream or, depending on who waited, a nightmare.”
First, I have to talk about the characters. I adore Cécile and Tristan; I can’t get enough of these two. A lot has taken place since the first book and it was sad to see them suffer through the tribulations of their decisions and the dire situations they are in, but it was amazing to see both of them striving for better. Cécile is still that strong, driven individual from the first book, but in this one she gets tested more with her heart. Tristan, oh gosh, really endured a lot. I would say he had the most character growth out of both of them. But he is still that same kind and caring person, driven to do what must be done to protect his people.
I enjoyed (and though it hurt my heart), watching the struggles they went through because it really tested their characters and made them grow. Tristan learns to trust others, to let others guide him, to not always have control. He overcomes quite a lot in Hidden Huntress, but by the end Tristan’s growth was amazing and wonderful. Cécile, as I stated, gets tested more with her heart. Her tribulations end up striking close to home and family, but of course she isn’t one to sit around and do nothing. I felt she really stepped up even more despite the uncertainty she experienced and the dire situations.
The side characters built the story nicely as well. Each one was such an individual, both the good and the bad. I loved that we got to see more of Cécile’s family (I adore her younger sister). It was also nice seeing more of the characters outside of the mountain, though I did miss quite a few and wish there were more appearances of some.
The romance is, of course, limited due to the situations within the book, but the few scenes between Tristan and Cécile were absolutely sweet. Their chemistry really comes off the pages, and I swear I sighed a few times (they better have more moments in the next book).
The book doesn’t slow in action. From the first chapter to the last event, it never slowed down. Though I did enjoy the fast pace, I felt some developments and movements of actions a bit too fast. However, it still flowed nicely and I never got lost in transition. The detail was vivid and I got lost in the world that Jensen created. Her writing style pulls me in and I get trapped within her words. The tension in the book is high, and at times I felt my breath leave my body. The action was so well done I would find myself tense.
I did, however, figure out a very big plot twist right away. It was kind of easy to see it, but I don’t feel that it took away from the overall story. When it was revealed, I still was somewhat surprised. And then there is the ending of the book, it left me pretty speechless. It wrapped up a few things, but left me biting my nails in anticipation as to what is going to happen next.
Hidden Huntress didn't suffer from the second book syndrome. Like the first one, it’s filled with fantastic magical elements, wonderful characters, a startling world, and a story I love getting lost in.“If I am distracted, it is your fault. You have been my undoing since the day we met.”