Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Review: Troll Fell

Legend tells of a secret kingdom... and a horde of gold...

A secret kingdom of trolls, guarding their legendary gold, lies in the mysterious shadows of Troll Fell. It is to this eerie and dangerous place that Peer Ulfsson must go after his father's sudden death, to live with his greedy, bad-tempered uncles, Baldur and Grim.

When Peer discovers his uncles' terrible plan to capture the gold by selling human children to the trolls, he has to bury his fears and find a way to stop them. He has only his bravery, his wit, and two new allies -- a daring girl looking for adventure and a mischievous house spirit looking for a good meal. Their story will become part of the lore of this extraordinary land by the sea.

Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish is the first book in her Troll Trilogy. It is full of wonderful Nordic myth and folklore. The main character, Peer Ulfsson, lives in a mill with his two uncles after his father's death. Grim and Baldur aren't interested in anything except Peer's money and using him as a servant. He's beaten and often left without food. But he makes a friend in Nis, an unpredictable and sometimes ill-tempered house spirit.

Later, he befriends the girl who lives at the farm near Peer. Hilde is a strong and brave young girl who is a wonderful contrast to Peer. She has two younger siblings, twins Sigrid and Sigurd, and the three live with their parents. Also near the farm is Troll Fell. The trolls that live here are cruel, and they've joined in a deal with Peer's uncles. The uncles plan to steal their gold while selling human children. And it's up to Peer and Hilde to rescue her younger siblings and set things right.

This adventure is truly an enjoyable read. The use of Norse folklore creates a wonderful backdrop for Peer's story. Peer is a very sympathetic character. You can't help but take his side. And his interactions with Hilde are fun. You can see a type of romance between these two early on.

I read this book for the first time a few years ago. And it's just as good the second time around. The moment you put it down you'll want to pick up book 2, Troll Mill.


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