Author: Marlena Frank
Narrator: Caoilainn O’Horen
Length: 11 hours 32 minutes
Series: The Stolen Series, Book 1
Publisher: The Parliament House
Released: Dec. 16, 2020
Genre: Fantasy; YA
It’s difficult taking care of a delusional father by yourself. Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh Mallet would rather explore and photograph dilapidated buildings than cater to her father’s dark episodes. But when she’s kidnapped by a creature who carries her atop a flying bicycle into another world, she realizes this wasn’t the escape she wanted.
In a kingdom known as the Garden, where minotaurs pull carriages and parties are held in hot air balloons, Madam Cloom and her faerie servant, Teagan, rule over the land with incredible but terrifying magic. Shaleigh must prove that she is the reincarnation of a long-dead ruler, not because she believes it, but because it’s her only chance to survive. With the help of a trespassing faerie, a stoatling, and a living statue, Shaleigh hopes to outwit everyone. She aims to break the bonds of servitude and finally make her way home. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that she’s playing right into the hands of a far worse enemy.
Marlena Frank is the author of books and novellas that span genres from young adult fantasy to horror. Her debut novel, Stolen Book 1 of the Stolen series, has hit the Amazon bestseller charts twice. She has two books coming out in 2021: Chosen, the final book in the Stolen trilogy, and The Impostor and Other Dark Tales, a collection of dark fantasy and horror short stories.
Marlena has also written several fantasy and horror short stories, which have been included in notable anthologies such as Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Not Your Average Monster Volume 2, and The Sirens Call issue #29.
Although she was born in Tennessee, Marlena has spent most of her life in Georgia. She lives with her sister and three spoiled cats. She serves as the Vice President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Horror Writers Association and is an avid member of the Atlanta cosplay community.
She is also a Hufflepuff, an INFJ, a tea drinker, and a wildlife enthusiast.
Caoilainn is a narrator hailing from Los Angeles, they work from their professional home recording studio. Having grown up in the generation inspired by the Disney renaissance, they fell in love with animation and the voices behind the characters. Having been an avid reader, Caoilainn was originally going to school for animation and game design but switched their career path when they learned about audio books and how one person could bring so many characters to life. They started their Voice Over career in early 2017 and it has been their primary focus since then.
Compiled by Author Marlena Frank
I can’t give information about every song cause I don’t want to spoil any plot points, but here are a few songs that I wanted to talk about:
- Here – 2:00 AM Version
- “I’m sorry if I seem uninterested / … / But really I would rather be at home all by myself”
- At one point in the story Shaleigh is literally stuck at a party she would rather not be at. This song really captures her mood.
- Where’d You Go
- “Where’d you go? / I miss you so, / Seems like it’s been forever, / That you’ve been gone.”
- I see this as a song that explores the difficult relationship between Shaleigh and her father. Although they live together, they haven’t been close for a very long time.
- Bard Dance
- An instrumental song, this always reminds me of the refinement of the court and the elegance of structured dance
- The Mummers’ Dance
- “When in the springtime of the year / When the trees are crowned with leaves / When the ash and oaky, and the birch and yew / Are dressed in ribbons fair”
- This really sets the mood for The Garden, a city held forever in spring, and the rush of activity there.
- The Old Ways
- “Suddenly I knew that you’d have to go / Your world was not mine, your eyes told me so / Yet it was there I felt the crossroads of time / And I wondered why.”
- This has always been one of my favorites. When encountering an ageless entity, the singer wonders aloud why the old ways are lost. It’s implied that the entity used to belong to our world but doesn’t now. It really is metaphorical for much of the history referred to in the Stolen series.
- “Have I been wrong, have I been wise / To shut my eyes and play along”
- Crowded by the actors and the people on the streets, she wonders if she has been misled by what she has seen and has lost her way. Yet another metaphor for Shaleigh’s emotions throughout much of Stolen.
- What If
- “Here you sit on your high-backed chair / Wonder how the view is from there / I wouldn’t know ‘cause I like to sit / Upon the floor, yeah upon the floor”
- This song directly inspired one of the scenes that happens in a jail cell. And I really can’t say any more than that!
- Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
- A classic with such vivid surreal imagery that I felt like Shaleigh has a similar feeling when she first reaches the Land of the Fae.
We get into spoiler territory beyond this point if I say too much, so I’ll just list some poignant quotes from the following songs.
- The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine
- “I practice my scene / You think things are straight but they’re not what they seem”
- To Be Alone With You
- “I’d give my body to be back again / In the rest of the room / To be alone with you”
- This Lullaby
- “Where oh where have you been my love? / Where oh where can you be? / It’s been so long since the moon has gone / And oh what a wreck you’ve made me.”
- Just Another Dude
- “I used to stand so tall / Now I can’t stand at all / Baby made me fall / He shot me on the wall.”
- Million Reasons
- “I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away / But, baby, I just need one good one to stay. / … / And if you say something that you might even mean / It’s hard to even fathom which parts I should believe”
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