Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy #2) by Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Angry Robot
Released: June 2nd 2015
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
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… (from Goodreads)
I enjoyed Hidden Huntress, and while it was not quite as good as Stolen Songbird, it was a quick and engrossing read, and after that ending, I am seriously dying to get my hands on the third book.
So I knew Cécile and Tristan would be separated for a while in this book. It’s pretty standard second book format. I wasn’t looking forward to it to be honest, but it was not as bad as it could have been. Okay, yes, I did want them to meet again, especially after that first part at the beginning of the book, and having them separated was a struggle. But we got to see from Tristan’s point of view, which I enjoyed, and it didn’t drag out as long as I thought it would. The way they managed to meet again was interesting and to be honest, I was not expecting that. I thought maybe Cécile would return to Trollus or something. But this proved to be more dramatic and set the story on a different path. The way everything ended up has definitely made me want to find out what happens next.
Again, I don’t think much would be able to beat book one, but I had this sort of fear that Cécile and Tristan’s relationship would become all sappy and annoying in the second book. Luckily, that did not happen. They loved each other, yeah, but it wasn’t all “let me plunge this dagger into my heart because I didn’t see you for two minutes, my love!”. There was still humour, still a flirty aspect to their relationship. The scenes where Tristan was pretending to be human were some of my favourites. And the chemistry was still there. I do have to admit though that I wasn’t quite as invested in their relationship as I was in book one. The humour wasn’t the same and everything just seemed a bit more serious - there was less time spent just being together, if you know what I mean. Cécile and Tristan both had some problems to work through, and it wasn’t all smooth sailing. But I did like how they actually talked to each other and tried to work things out. I’m hoping that they will be spending more time together in book three and we will be able to see some more humorous/fun conversations again.
Plot-wise, I did predict rather a lot of what happened, especially the things concerning Anushka and Cécile’s mother. It was still interesting to learn about their backstories though and I generally enjoyed seeing more of Cécile’s family. I must say, after a certain thing was revealed, I did feel really bad for Cécile’s brother (though he definitely was not my favourite character). He could have had a different life. Her father too. Listening to him explain his point of view…it was sad that things turned out the way they did. It was also interesting to find out more about witches and have Cécile explore her own power, as well as see Cécile in her element on stage. She was different when she was performing and it was nice seeing her enjoying something for her own sake (though I hated the way she let herself get pushed around by her mother so much, it was painful to read about at times). In regard to what was happening in Trollus - Tristan was going through a lot of things and bad stuff was happening all around him. But the weirdest thing was to do with the person impersonating Anais. Wow. That was…crazy. And messed up. But I did like her as a villain. She was doing something really wrong (like, really wrong) and yet was truly convinced that it was the best course of action. In terms of creepy villains though, Roland still won. He was super, super creepy. We also go to find out more about the history of Trollus, which I really loved and was one of the things I wanted to know more about in book one.
The ending was a cliffhanger, to say the least. How am I supposed to wait until the third book? I will be reading it, though I don’t think it will live up to book one (book one was just too good, honestly. It feels almost unfair to hold anything else up to that standard now, which is why I’m still giving this a 4 star rating despite my issues).
Overall, I enjoyed this book and while not as great as the first, it was a good sequel that has me excited for book three. Recommended, and if you haven’t read Stolen Songbird yet - go read it now!