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Release Day Fantasy YA Review: Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen (The Malediction Trilogy #2)


Egalley thanks to Angry Robot

Synopsis from 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…

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

6.5/10

* * *
 Sadly, I didn't like Hidden Huntress as much as Stolen Songbird. I would even go as far as to call it anticlimactic.



Instead of Trollus, the bulk of this instalment happens in Trianon where Cecile resides with her mother after her escape from under the mountain. She sings in the opera house where her ambitious mother prepares her to take her own place as a star while she'll retire from the stage. At the same time she is looking for Anushka with the help of her two loyal friends.

Meanwhile, Tristan is imprisoned by his own father, and his psycho brother is proclaimed a heir to the throne. Our quite brilliant prince spends the first few months moping around in his cage, and only a magical promise extricated by his father from Cecile spurs him back into action.

And that, my friends, is the crux of the problem. There is a lot of talk in this book, it tells, and tells, and tells instead of showing. And when something is shown it's glossed over in a half-arsed way. I honestly don't know what happened. The brilliance of the first book's clever dialogues and intricate political manoeuvres has been replaced by Cecile blundering in the dark and not being able to outwit her own mother who just locks her in the house after too many nights hunting the streets for some traces of Anoushka.

 I was tempted to DNF it a few times, but the last quarter of the book thankfully picked up and made it much more entertaining. In my opinion, it rushed through the most important events, but still managed to keep the suspense. Alas, for me the fascination with the series was seriously dampened, and I doubt I'll pick the last book in this trilogy. I think it lost momentum.

* * *
К сожалению, Спрятанная Охотница не понравилась мне в той же степени, что и Украденная Певчая Птичка. Я бы пошла дальше и назвала её сплошным разочарованием.

Вместо Троллуса, большая часть этой  книги происходит в Трианоне, где Сесиль поселяется со своей матерью после побега из под горы. Она поёт в оперном театре, где её мать безустанно готовит из неё оперную звезду, которая заменит её на сцене в скором будущем. В то же время Сесиль безуспешно пытается найти Анушку при помощи пары вернух друзей.

Тристан после побега Сесиль наказан и заключён в темницу своим отцом, а его титул наследника престола официально переводится в руки его психованного шизофреника брата. Первые несколько месяцев он жалеет самого себя и ничегошеньки не делает, пока Сесиль не попадает в ловушку его отца, заключая с ним магический договор, по которому она должна быстро найти Анушку или её невыполненное обещание сведёт ее с ума.

И в этом, друзья, лежит суть нашей проблемы. Спрятанная Охотница описывает словами главных героев, что нужно сделать и что они делают и что уже было сделано, вместо того, чтобы показать нам их непосредственные действия.  А те действия, которые до нас доходят, описаны через задницу и ну очень неохотно. Я честно не знаю, что произошло! Куда подевались дьявольски умные диалоги и маккиавеллевские интриги Троллуса? Вместо этого Сесиль неуклюже бродит по тёмным аллеям Трианона и натыкается на сплошные неприятности, которых можно было бы избежать осторожным планированием. Ей не удаётся перехитрить даже свою мать, которая запирает её дома после нескольких ночей брождения по части города с очень плохой репутацией.

Книга оживает только в последней четверти сюжета и заканчивается довольно интересно, несмотря на сюжет, перепрыгивающий с одного важного события на другое как наркоман на метамфетамине. Однако такие перемены происходят слишком поздно, и для меня книга теряет моментум. Я сомневаюсь, что буду читать заключение этой трилогии.
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