Genre: YA Fantasy
# of pages: 317 (UK paperback)
Recommended for: ALL AGES.
A secret kingdom of trolls, and their legendary gold, lies in the mysterious shadows of Troll Fell. It is to this eerie and dangerous place that Peer must go after his father's sudden death, to live with his greedy uncles, Baldur and Grim, at their mill.
When Peer discovers his uncles' plan to sell children to the trolls, he has to bury his fears and set out to stop them somehow. In a world filled with magic and mystery, Peer has only his bravery, his wits, 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 legends and lore that fill this extraordinary land by the sea.
Troll Fell – the first book in the Troll Trilogy by Katherine Langrish – has all the ingredients for being an awesome fantasy series. There’s a simple plot filled with exciting action, memorable characters (including two lovable MCs, Peer and Hilde) a good dose of mythology and folklore, and a great ending. I devoured this book easily and eagerly look forward to the two remaining books in the series, Troll Mill and Troll Blood.
The story was very engaging from beginning to end. There were twists and turns, yes, but you know how some authors just love to keep readers on the edge of their seat to the point that their books start to get “plot-whiplash”? That doesn’t happen here. The story is exciting but easy to follow at the same time. So no whiplash!
Both of the MCs, Peer and Hilde, are 12 years old. From what I understand, in the fashion of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Septimus Heap (to name a few), they age over the progression of the series. Adults, don’t feel silly reading about 12-year-olds – they’re gonna grow up! Heck, don’t feel silly reading about 12-year-olds at all - preteens are AWESOME!
The villains of the book, Peer’s wicked, money-hungry uncles, are a little on the Stereotypical Villain side, but personally, I don’t mind if villains are one-sided or anything, as long as they’re entertaining. I will say, though, that I was kind of expecting more troll action, so I was a bit surprised that I didn’t really see the trolls until close to the climax of the story – even though the books *is* called Troll Fell. I think that actually worked in this setup, because by not showing the trolls until later, the story builds up on the suspense, and you get to the point where you’re just expecting them to JUMP out at any moment!
- Fantasy creatures? trolls, nithings (the Norse equivalent of brownies or nice boggarts), nixies, merrows (mermen), and giants all inhabit the setting in this story, based on 10th century Norway/Sweden
- Magic? This isn’t really supposed to a be a story heavy on the “magic” aspect of fantasies…trolls practice magic, but there’s not much of an emphasis in this series
- Awesome villains? Well, the trolls are pretty troublesome, and the King of the Trolls is conniving and deceptive, but the main villains of this story are Peer’s two human uncles… maybe in the next installment we’ll see some more villainous creatures!
- Unforgettable world/realm? The setting is around 10th century Scandinavia, and I’m guessing it’s either Norway or Sweden. So this isn’t a “high fantasy” series in that the setting is entirely imaginary, but magic creatures in history past? Sounds fun to me!
- Battle scenes? Not yet.
Final rating: 4.5/5. An awesome read for kids and grownups alike! Highly recommended! Next time you’re at your library, or surfing Amazon, or wherever else you turn to for your next reading material, I hope you’ll remember this fun series!