This book was an absolute pleasure to read. It was magical. It was charming. It was exciting. It was just absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend this book for its wonderful storytelling and unique storyline and characters.
Plot: The book is about a talented singer named Cecile, who is kidnapped and taken to an underground city of trolls called Trollum. Here, she is forced to marry the prince of trolls, Tristan, because they believe she is the girl destined to free them from the curse that has kept them from going out in the sun all these centuries. Lo and behold, not everything is what it seems. There are hidden agendas, conspiracies, betrayals, and deceptions.
The plot is amazing. I didn’t know how much I could love a book centered on trolls, but now I know the answer. A lot. The world is fantastic, but there is a darkness to it. Beneath the magic to Trollum lie a lot of issues. There is prejudice, slavery, and a lot of hatred and bitterness. There are layers to the story that makes the readers unable to put the book down.
Characters: The characters are fantastic and very well developed. I have high standards for young adult heroines, and Cecile did not disappoint. Yes, she is scared and dejected at first, but who wouldn’t be? Despite every obstacle in her way though, hope glimmered inside her, and I found myself really loving her character. I sympathized with her. She is an innocent girl who got caught up in something much bigger than herself. She is bold, stubborn, selfless, and compassionate. She refuses to sit around and be idle when there is so much secrecy going around, and it makes the readers root for her.
The leading man is just as brilliant. Tristan comes off as cold and snarky at first, but it ends up making sense. He is witty and clever, and this, paired with Cecile’s own boldness and cleverness, makes for some pretty awesome dialogue throughout the story. Tristan is loyal to his subjects. He is kind and would do anything for the people he loves. This is what a main love interest should be like. Tristan is sarcastic and confident, but it doesn’t translate into being a jackass. I loved him as a character, and together, they made for a great couple.
Romance: I am not a fan of romance. I have said this many times, but this is the kind of book that makes me want to read about love and whatnot. The romance between Cecile and Tristan feels real. It snuck up on me. There is no instalove thank goodness. And no love triangles! Hallelujah! There is, however, chemistry there and tension that makes the romance so worthwhile. And even though romance is a big aspect of this novel, it didn’t overshadow the wonderful plot and world the author has painted for us, which is a great achievement.
World-Building: The world is absolutely fantastic and mesmerizing. I could feel the magic, and I felt as if I was truly there. Trollum is dark and dim, but it is overflowing with magnificent magic. It is an otherworldly place that I couldn’t get enough off. The hierarchy with the trolls, half-bloods, and humans is well developed and a nice addition to the plot. It is unfair, and it feels real. It’s a parallel to the real world we live in, so it makes us connect with these characters. It makes this wholly magical place feel real. We want to root for these people – see good triumph evil.
Overall, I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. It’s a wonderful fantasy book filled with tons of magic that will leave you wanting more. I am very much looking forward to the next installment.