Interview: Danielle L. Jensen

Hi fellow bloggers, welcome to my second interview. Yeah I know it’s been a long time since my first interview but I’m working on it, am I not? 🙂 And this time it will worth the wait because the author whom I interviewed is the lovely awesome Danielle Jensen! Who is she, you may ask? Well…where have you been all this time doesn’t know about her? Kidding…she’s the author of the awesome fantasy book, Stolen Songbird. I love it and the sequel is one of books I’m looking forward next year. So without further ado, here are her answers for my questions:

Ask Danielle L. Jensen - Discussion Group

Me: I read in other interviews that Stolen Songbird was inspired by a dream of city buried and a real mountain in Canada. How did you develop it into the setting of Trollus?

Danielle: I thought about it A LOT. I spent months thinking about the world of Trollus before I wrote a single word down. The good thing about being a writer is that what other people call daydreaming, I call working.

Me: After the setting, what did you write/come in your mind first, the story or the characters?

Danielle: It’s hard to separate the development of the two, but I’d say the idea to have the trolls cursed to Trollus and Cecile being kidnapped to break that curse came next. In the first few drafts, Luc was a much more important character than he ended up being later on. He originally kidnapped Cecile to sell to the trolls because he was angry about her turning down his proposal. It’s a bit funny to think about that version of events now.

Me: When I read Stolen Songbird, there were characters that surprised me (Marc and Anais). Do you always know what will happen to the story and the characters long before you finish writing it?

Danielle: I didn’t plot out Stolen Songbird, so a lot of what happens in the novel surprised me as much as it would any reader. Which is a bit weird, given that it came from my imagination. But to answer your question, I do know how the series will end and what will happen to most of the characters.

Me: My friend (Hi Padma!) was kinda hesitant to read Stolen Songbird since it’s quite thick and she has not-so-good experiences with YA fantasy books with pretty cover and intriguing blurb. Stolen Songbird has both intriguing blurb and pretty cover, what will you say to her to convince her to read your book? (I recommended Stolen Songbird to her and she read my review and said that she will try it but if you meet her, what will you say?)

Danielle: Reading a thick book is like watching a television series with a lot of episodes: it isn’t harder, it just takes longer, and if you aren’t enjoying it, you’re probably less likely to stick it out until the end.

A lot of publishers offer the first three (or more!) chapters of a book free online through Amazon and other retailers. If your friend is hesitant about committing to buying the novel, I’d suggest that she read those free chapters to see if they catch her interest.

Me: What do you love about fantasy stories?

Danielle: I love that all the things that are impossible in real life become possible in fantasy novels.

Me: Did you always know that you will be a writer? What did you want to be when you were a child?

Danielle: I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was well into my twenties. When I was younger, I wanted to be a horse veterinarian, but I ended up getting a business degree and working in finance for quite a few years.

Those are my six questions to Danielle. She actually said that I can ask her five questions but five isn’t enough for me 🙂 What do you think? For those who haven’t read it yet, aren’t you interested reading Stolen Songbird? Since I love it, I’ll definitely re-read it in the future, maybe even sooner than later 🙂

I have a habit to “stalk” the author of the books I love. There are so many ways to stalk Danielle. I hope she doesn’t mind with me or you stalking her.

Discussion group on Goodreads




Review: The Malediction Trilogy #1, Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

17926775Blurb from Goodread

For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy…

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

ebook, 324 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Strange Chemistry
language edition: English
series: The Malediction Trilogy
genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
Although I can’t wait to read this book, there’s a part of me that doubt it will be good. As the blurb says, it’s about troll while the troll I know is the kind that turn to stone under the sun, the ugly creature who loves to boil human, the one like Tom, Bert and William from The Hobbit. So I was kind of wondering how will Danielle Jensen creates it into something good, nice, if not pretty creature without being too romanticized it. Tristan, the troll prince, says the troll I know is just human made-up, a myth that far from reality. Through his voice, along with Cécile, a human girl and the main character in this story, I believe that that is true.

It’s been a while since I read a fantasy book that feel like it takes place in and/or part of this world history. Most of fantasy books I read these days seem so far away from our time. Yeah I know that’s why it’s called fantasy but it also feels nice when I read fantasy that I feel like it’s a part of human history. A story I can relate too. Reading this book bring those feeling. The troll world with their knowledge of solar system, earthquake, and all make it close to the world I know. Hence I feel like Cecile and Tristan story is a part of our world, a history that can be read and relate to. It might sound weird, but I like that feeling.

As the main characters, Cécile and Tristan are easy to love and connect with. Tristan, the heir of Trollus has different perspective of his world from his father. It leads him into rebellion. Through Cecile’s eyes, I get that he’s perfect and swoon worthy. He is indeed perfect but it’s Cecile that makes me keep reading this book. She doesn’t have strength or magic like troll, easy to bleed and needs time to heal. She’s fragile compare to troll. She’s human. But to me she’s strong and brave. She refuses to be helpless and useless. Aside them, I also love supporting characters. Tristan friends, the twin Vincent and Victoria, I never get bored reading their antics. Marc, I love him I want him to have his own happy ending and Anais, she’s surprising me through and through. I even like reading Zoe and Elise and other half-blood.

I don’t think this book can begin and end better than what already has. The beginning makes me curious of the story. It draws me to read more, to know and understand the characters and their story while the ending makes sense, believable and left me wanting more. It also begins and ends with action. I think I can say that this book is full of action and tension, at least that’s what I feel. It’s fast-paced, though the pace is a little bit slower in the middle of the story. But it isn’t a problem for me because that’s where I learn more about Tristan world and their political intrigue. It doesn’t mean there isn’t anything happened in the middle of the story, though. I assure you, there are a lot of things happened, some predictable, some aren’t. One thing for sure there is always tension in it.

All in all, I love this book. Everything in it is perfect. And should I say that it’s well written with beautiful-magical worldbuilding and doesn’t have an insta-love or I-feel-like-I-know-you-forever-and-can’t-live-without-you kind of line? For me, it couldn’t be more perfect.

Result: 5 out of 5 stars