I have been honoured to have been picked as a blog stop for the Blog Tour of Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen for the second book in the Malediction Trilogy. I adore this series and cannot impress how much awesomeness is packed in the second instalment of this fabulous series. The first book, Stolen Songbird was wonderful (read my review here) and the Hidden Huntress doesn't fall far behind. The ending just blew me away! I have to stop giving everything away already and more of my fangirling will be coming soon in my review. But for now, I was given the opportunity to ask Danielle one question and I promptly asked her what I have always wanted to ask her. Why does this series have so much French influence? The tittles and the names are all French which adds a touch of whimsical to the atmosphere and here is what she had to say. However, before that, let's remind ourselves what Hidden Huntress has in store for us.
Series: The Malediction Trilogy
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Angry Robot Books, UK
Released: 2nd June, 2015
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…
I won’t speak for other writers, but from my personal experience, the question readers most often ask is, where I get my inspirations. What inspired me to write about trolls, or to make my setting underground, or as in the case of this post, why I used French names. Truth be told, I have sort of a love-hate relationship with the question. Love, because it is interesting for me to go back through my novels to try to remember why I chose a certain name or pushed my plot in a particular direction. Hate, because I rarely feel that I give the question a satisfactory answer. But I’m going to give it my best shot.
I like to think of my novels as massive daydreams that I’ve recorded on paper for other people to read. And like any other person, my daydreams are reflective of all that I’ve experienced in life, all I wish to experience, and a healthy dose of what I’m terrified of experiencing. They are collections of hundreds of different things I’ve come across in life, in books, on TV, or in the media that I’ve found interesting or compelling in some way. Of course, every daydream has an impetus. For Stolen Songbird, it was a dream I’d had about a beautiful city buried, but not destroyed, by rubble. The vision of this place stuck in my mind, and I began to daydream a story to fill it, plucking bits and pieces from my inspiration collection as I went.
One of those bits and pieces was my interest in the French Revolution, particularly the role of changing ideologies that happened during the Enlightenment. While I didn’t model the half-bloods’ revolution in exactly the same way – religion is notably absent – I pulled aspects such as the resentment of royal absolutism and privilege of the nobility, the desire for equality amongst social classes, and the view that the upper classes were living large while the rest of the citizens suffered, straight from history. Although not all of what has been said about Marie Antoinette is true, I had in mind the popularized vision of her in elaborate dresses, throwing parties, and eating cakes while the French people suffered famines, as I wrote certain scenes. Additionally, Cécile existed from the beginning as an opera singer, which immediately brought to my mind the long history of opera in France, the inspirations of which you will see much more of in Hidden Huntress. So needless to say, it was a fairly natural decision for me to use French names, titles, etc. for the novel.
I love that Danielle is so candid with her readers. My review for Hidden Huntress will be following soon and keep you eyes peeled for this book is hitting the stores on the 2nd June, 2015 in the UK.