Published by Angry Robot on June 6th 2017
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #0.6
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
A prequel to the USA Today bestseller and Goodreads Choice finalist Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy).
Below Forsaken Mountain, a plot is being hatched to overthrow the tyrant king of Trollus, and Marc is the right-hand man of its leader. His involvement is information more than one troll would kill to possess, which is why he must keep it a secret from everyone, even the girl he loves.
After accidentally ruining her sister’s chance to become queen, Pénélope is given one last opportunity by her father, the Duke d’Angoulême, to make herself useful: she must find proof that the boy she’s in love with is conspiring against the crown. If she fails, her life will be forfeit.
Marc and Pénélope must navigate the complex politics of Trollus, where powers on all sides are intent on using them as pawns, forcing them to risk everything for a chance at a life together.
Except being together may turn out to be the greatest risk of all.
I recently read the entire Stolen Songbird trilogy over the course of a few days. I was swept away into the world of Trollus, sneaking a few more pages whenever possible (having the ebooks on my phone made this a lot easier). I’ll write those reviews in a bit but I wanted to start with The Broken Ones.
The Broken Ones is a prequel novel that chronicles the Romeo and Juliet-esque relationship between Mark and Penelope. It also reveals so much more about all of the characters I grew to know and love from the trilogy. While their pasts were well-explored in the series, there was something different about being able to see how it had unfolded and how their relationships had changed over time. Plus I’m a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet retellings, particularly if they involve magic.
Even though I knew how the story would evolve and how it would end, there was still enough tension to keep me intrigued. The secrecy surrounding the rebellion and the double-crossing Mark and Penelope initially are involved in kept the stakes high throughout the book.
I loved Mark, he was so precious and adorable. Penelope, despite her extremely sheltered upbringing, was a courageous young woman who shone incredibly bright. I loved that the author didn’t try to sugarcoat any of the difficulties the couple faced, even if it was heartbreaking at times. There was a wonderful contrast between the stolen sweet and tender moments between Mark and Penelope and the dangerous political intrigue going on in the world.
If you’re a fan of The Stolen Songbird series, definitely read this one for more of your favorite characters. If you haven’t read the series but love fantasy and a good romance, check this one out. It can be read either before or after the trilogy. The Broken Ones was a beautifully written book that I really enjoyed.