Danielle Jensen’s first novel reads fast, but has quite a bit going on in it. At the start of the story, the main character (Cécile) is kidnapped, and taken to a hidden city of trolls, where she is ‘bonded’ to a prince to fulfill a prophesy. The first part of the book is recognizably a “Beauty and the Beast” romance after that, but the plot soon outgrows that tale. Even in the first few chapters, quite a bit is going on.

Overall, the worldbuilding overshadows the characters a bit, most of whom go by fast enough that they never become fully-realized characters, but are drawn broadly enough that you still know exactly who they are when they show up again. Of course, this is a function of there being a good number of secondary characters in a fast-paced book. The plot itself is well-done, and small things early on in the book are important later. This is the first book of a trilogy, and the end of the book is very much not The End, but it does end the current equilibrium, and the next book will be very different than this one.

This is the first time in quite a while that I’ve gotten into a series just as it’s beginning, and I’m looking forward to the next two books!