Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blog Tour: Hidden Huntress (Stolen Songbird #2) by Danielle Jensen {Guest Post + Giveaway}

Y'ALL. I am so excited (like beyond excited, really) today to be a part of the blog tour for Hidden Huntress, the sequel to Danielle Jensen's debut Stolen Songbird, which was one of my favorite reads last year. Be sure to get your copy on June 2nd (or you'll have to answer to me!). I've got a guest post from Danielle about the inspiration behind Anaïs' character (Les Mis!!!) plus I'm hosting a giveaway so you can either start this fantastic series or continue it with me! Read on, y'all!

About Hidden Huntress:

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…
Pre-order the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository

Rachel here! I had read on Danielle's blog about how Prince Hal in Henry IV, Part I inspired a lot of Tristan's character in Stolen Songbird in the beginning--which intrigued me, of course--so when I had to come up with some topic suggestions for her guest post, I began to wonder if there was any other not-so-obvious inspiration for the book. And boy did Danielle deliver! Let's not listen to me anymore, here we go!

Of all the cast of The Malediction Trilogy, the character I get asked the most about is Anaïs. Readers write to me and say, “I hated Anaïs in the beginning, but by the end, I loved her.” So in the spirit of giving more of what readers want, I’m going to talk a bit about the inspiration behind her character, which was Éponine from Les Misérables (some aspects from the musical and some from the book).

I could write a whole paper on the similarities between the two and what it means that so many people connect with them, but my post is supposed to be short and sweet, so I’ll stick with a few. In Les Mis, Éponine is initially portrayed as a spoiled and mean little girl living with a certain amount of privilege and wealth, but when the plot picks up after many years have past, the viewer discovers she has suffered a fall from grace. Her family has lost their inn and they are now living an impoverished life in the city. Anaïs also experienced a fall from grace – she was betrothed to Tristan and was supposed to become queen, but lost everything when her sister’s hemophilia was discovered. It happens before the events of Stolen Songbird, but that loss, in combination with the abuse her sister suffered at the hand of her father as a result, changed Anaïs’s personality, stripping away the spoiled girl and leaving behind a much harder young woman in her place.

A big similarity, of course, is that both girls feel unrequited love for a revolutionary leader. The leader values them, but only as an ally and friend, and behaves as though he is oblivious to the depth of the girl’s feelings (Marius might be ignorant in truth, but Tristan is not unaware). Both girls are part of the revolution, but it is unclear to the viewer/reader whether the girl believes in the movement or if her actions are entirely motivated by love for the leader (I have another post in the tour where I talk about this!). Both Éponine and Anaïs are enlisted by the leader to help in their pursuit of another girl (Cossette and Cécile), and both make an attempt to sabotage the romance. Éponine fails to deliver Cossette’s note to Marius, and Anaïs helps Tristan smuggle Cécile out of Trollus with the belief she won’t come back.

The parallel that most people will think of is the martyr moment where both girls take a killing blow to protect the leader. Again, the reader/viewer is left somewhat in the dark as to why the girl takes this action. Is it solely to protect the man she loves? Or is there a greater purpose? Éponine gives Marius Cossette’s note as she is dying so that he might find the girl he loves, and Anaïs remains with the King so that Tristan can break Cécile out of Trollus in the hopes her grandmother can save her life. What this moment is to me, more than just the sacrifice of one life to save another, is the sacrifice of a hopeless love in the hope of saving a love that has a chance of thriving.

There are at least a dozen more points of similarity that I could talk about, but I’m pretty sure if you sit down to watch Les Misérables, you’ll be able to identify them yourself!

About the author:

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.
Find Danielle online: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Thank you SO much to Danielle for taking the time to write such an awesome post for us and to Angry Robot Books and the wonderful Penny for letting me be a part of the tour! 

And now for the giveaway! One winner will receive their choice of Stolen Songbird or Hidden Huntress, so you can start this wonderful series or continue it! INTERNATIONAL so long as The Book Depository ships to you! Get to entering, y'all!

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