The Malediction trilogy by Danielle L. Jensen was an eye-opener for me. If you read my review of Book #1, Stolen Songbird (link at the end of this review), you’ll learn I initially turned down that novel because I couldn’t imagine that anyone could make trolls attractive much less romantic lead material. Boy, was I wrong about that! Not only did Danielle L. Jensen succeed at doing that but she’s woven together a world in this trilogy that is fascinating to read about. I couldn’t wait to read Book #2, Hidden Huntress, and just finished Book #3, Warrior Witch. Each follow-up novel in the series was just as good as the first one!
This world is comprised of humans and several kinds of magical creatures, among them trolls, witches, and fairies. And those magical creatures are not just vying for power but are tearing their world apart in the process. Put politics in the place of magic and you may find some disturbing similarities to history and our current world. But this is the one-step-removed world of fantasy, so it’s much easier to read and shake your head at than it is when you look at real-world politics and upheaval. If you like fantasy, intrigue, and edge-of-your-seat suspense with a slightly feudal touch then I suspect you’re going to love this series as much as I have.
Warning – Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, this review will definitely contain a lot of spoilers no matter how hard I try to avoid them. My suggestion is that you read the Book #1 review at the link at the bottom of this review instead, so I don’t ruin the experience for you. It’s too good a series to have it ruined by spoilers. Oh – and this series absolutely needs to be read in order.
Having provided a spoiler alert, I know some people are not going to pay any attention so this review will be much shorter and much more general than usual…and even then there will be spoilers because it’s just unavoidable. Last warning…
Background: The trolls had been long ago cursed to remain inside of a mountain and to only associate with humans enough to allow the trade necessary for them to survive. That mountain became their prison even if they did do their best to make it as comfortable as possible. They knew there was someone who could set them free and they spared no expense in hunting for that person, which is how Cecile ended up being kidnapped and brought to their kingdom of Trollus. There she meets the prince, who is no more interested in marrying her than she is in marrying him; however, that marriage is part of the vision that has outlined how to set the trolls free. And, to cut to the chase, then all hell breaks loose.
The result? A great evil has been unintentionally unleashed upon the human world. Now it’s up to Cecile and Tristan to try to find some way to contain that evil force and to save the humans from it. The bad news (well, one piece of the bad news) the humans not only can’t grasp what they’re up against but have no power strong enough to withstand what has suddenly begun to happen to them. They will be sheep led to the slaughter if something isn’t done and quickly. Another piece of bad news is that Cecile’s and Tristan’s combined powers as witch and troll, even with assistance from other powerful beings, may still not be enough to stop this force from accomplishing its relentless progression toward its goal.
I think that may get the award for the shortest synopsis I’ve ever written…and possibly the vaguest but hopefully I avoided as many spoilers as possible.
Cecile has shown herself in all three series books to be talented, intelligent, strong, and to have her kick-butt moments. I was her biggest cheerleader throughout. Anyone who underestimated her based on her innate klutziness, did so at their own peril. She plays full out always, no matter what. Tristan is also sharp as a tack, and snarky (an added bonus). He’s well versed in power politics and can play those games with the best of them. That’s probably the only reason he survived to adulthood. He’s a character who you have to discover as his personality unfolds. There are a lot of very interesting people/creatures in this series, highly sympathetic as well as some extreme villains. Ms. Jensen is adept at showing glimpses into what lies behind why characters become who they appear to be, which enhances the storyline a lot.
The Malediction trilogy contains a well-researched and developed world – a world that works on every level. It is a world that is close enough to ours to be relatable yet different enough to be fantastical. The magical creatures who inhabit this world with humans are completely believable and their motivations make sense, based on the constraints under which they live and have lived for centuries. Even those who I found utterly despicable still made sense. This series is being marketed as a YA series; however, it’s going to appeal to readers of all ages and genders who enjoy fantasy, romance, political intrigue and suspense. I bit my nails a lot and had a great time on this intense roller coaster ride. I hope you will too!
Can’t wait to read it? Warrior Witch and all the books in this trilogy are available from your favorite online bookseller. Just click the link below and you can get it to read immediately, along with the other two novels in this series.
I’d love to get your comments on Warrior Witch, the Malediction trilogy, Danielle L. Jensen, and/or this review!
Click here to read our review of Stolen Songbird, Book #1 in the Malediction trilogy.