This book really challenged me to change my perceptions of Trolls. Two images come to mind when I think of trolls: the little dolls that were popular when my mother was young and again when I was young,
Neither one of these trolls would be my idea of something beautiful. However, from the beginning of the story, the author asked me to think of trolls as beautiful creatures. She described them as
The story is technically a prequel, but is suggested by the author as the third book to read in the series. The order is as follows: 1. Stolen Songbird, 2. Hidden Huntress, 3. The Broken Ones, and 4. Warrior Witch. To see more of her reasoning, visit her comment on Goodreads. I read it as a stand alone before seeing the suggested reading order.
The setting is Trollus, a cursed land that the inhabitants cannot leave. They rely on the magic of the King to protect them from an avalanche of stone. Even so, the King is somewhat of a tyrant. He sends half-bloods and humans to the labyrinth, a certain death, for not meeting quotas in the mines. Only those with magic are worthy. Years in partial imprisonment has led to inbreeding and an affliction of iron poisoning. Bonding to an iron poisoned Troll can lead to death for both bonded partners. Amongst all of these concerns, emerges the prince, Tristan, who opposes his fathers position on those who are not full-blooded Trolls. He enlists the help of his friends to begin and sustain a resistance movement.
Two of his friends are the voice of this novel. Marc and Penelope alternate perspectives. More than anything this is the story of Marc.
This was a clean read but does contain basic information regarding premarital sex, pregnancy, miscarriages, death, physical and mental abuse, and insubordination. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, was surprised by the unique elements, and plan on reading the other stories in this series. This would be a great story for anyone who loves fantasy and are willing to give trolls a chance.