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Troll Mill Paperback – January 29, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (January 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060583096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060583095
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–Three years after the events of Troll Fell (HarperCollins, 2004), orphan Peer Ulfsson is living happily with his new family but is haunted by the memory of his two cruel uncles. Although they are now serving the trolls in the troll kingdom, Peer feels he has not seen the last of them. When their mill starts running again, seemingly of its own accord, Peer is alarmed, but determined never again to let anyone terrorize him. Even without the haunted mill, life is complicated–Kersten, the wife of his good friend Bjorn, has run off into the sea, leaving behind her baby with webbed fingers, and Peer suspects that she was a seal-maiden. Also, Peers feelings for his friend Hilde have developed from brotherly affection to something more. The narrative is tightly woven and more intense than that of its predecessor, and despite the presence of selkies, household fairies, and uncanny babies, the drama is centered around human struggles. In the tradition of Scandinavian myth and folklore, the conclusion is poignant and true, with enough open-endedness for another sequel.–Farida S. Dowler, Mercer Island Library, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 5-8. Strands of selkie legend frame Langrish's second book^B about likable orphan Peer and his corner of early Norse civilization, where the realities of sea, farm, and hearth come wrapped in shadowy tendrils of folklore. When a local woman disappears into the sea, Hilde's family (with whom Peer now lives) adopts her half-selkie baby, an act that incenses their volatile nonhuman neighbors. The upheaval intensifies the unrest plaguing Peer, now 15, who aches with unrequited emotions for his foster-sister. Finding new purpose in a plan to refurbish his treacherous uncles' abandoned mill, Peer haplessly stirs up further trouble, bringing his valiant, memorable surrogate family into yet another confrontation with the troll kingdom--and forcing Peer to face his savage uncles anew. Readers will want to start with Troll Fell (2004) to fully appreciate Langrish's elaboration on her characters' internal and external circumstances, though even newcomers will respond to the taut plotting and potent language; the rotating mill wheel "rumble[s] like some monstrous stomach," a ghastly beast slithers to the ground with a "squashy flump." The icing on the cake is an irresistible cover: lush, fanciful, and creepy in equal measure, it captures the best qualities of Langrish's evocative world. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Katherine Langrish grew up in Yorkshire, England and has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. She graduated from London University with a degree in English, and worked in an assortment of odd jobs including waitressing, teaching riding, and several years as Information Officer for Lloyd's Register of Ships in London. This last was an entertaining post dealing with an assortment of the ship-crazed public, including a man who claimed he could see shipwrecks with his 'magic eye.'

Married with two daughters, Katherine moved to France with her family and became involved in a storytelling group providing weekly stories, drama and activities for children. And the storytelling continued when the family relocated again, this time to the small town of Corning in New York State.

Returning to England in 1999, Katherine began writing 'Troll Fell', a folklore-based fantasy novel for children set in the Viking age. It was sold at auction to HarperCollins for a six-figure sum and was followed by the sequels, 'Troll Mill' and 'Troll Blood'. The books follow the fortunes of young Peer Ulfsson and his friend Hilde in a richly-imagined Scandinavian world. Katherine says, 'I don't do heroes with swords, rings and other magical gadgets, so my characters have to work out their problems by their own efforts.' The final book in the series takes the pair across the Atlantic in a Viking ship to the coasts of 'Vinland' (Nova Scotia). As part of her research she spent time learning to sail a replica Viking ship on Roskilde fjord, Denmark. Katherine approaches her fantasies as 'history with the beliefs put back in' - incorporating the beliefs of people of the past who took for granted the existence of trolls, ghosts, and other spirits.

Her fourth book for HarperCollins is a medieval fantasy called 'The Shadow Hunt' (UK title 'Dark Angels') which has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Choice (Spring 2010), selected by Kirkus as one of the 2010 Best Books for Children, and nominated for the ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults 2011.

The three Troll titles will be republished in one volume in March 2011 under the title 'West of the Moon'. Katherine is currently working on a new dystopian fantasy. You can visit her website at www.katherinelangrish.com - and you can catch up with her at her weekly blog 'Seven Miles of Steel Thistles' (voted 4th of the United Kingdom's YA fantasy blogs) at www.steelthistles.blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Fifteen-year-old Peer Ulfsson still feels like an outsider perhaps because of his past when his evil uncles tried to sell children to the trolls (see TROLL FELL). Peer lives with the family of his only friend Hilde, but though they nurture him, he feels that he does not belong. Besides which he finds it increasingly difficult to hide his deeper regard for Hilde. He begins to wonder if he is in love.

Bjorn's wife Kersten dumps her infant into Peer's arms before jumping into the nearby stormy sea. The locals insist that Kersten simply returned to her natural habitat as she was obviously a seal-woman, but Peer has doubts that this is true. At the same time, the millpond witch Granny Green-teeth demands possession of the so-called "seal baby" though Peer fears what she would do to the female infant. He also wonders who is running the abandoned mill that his uncles operated before they became trolls and whether that malevolent species is planning a new assault. Peer believes he must keep the child safe, uncover the secret to the mill, learn if the trolls are on the march and persuade Hilde to be his girl. Three of the four seem relatively easy to the teen.

This terrific character driven fantasy sequel stars a troubled teen struggling with his heritage in light of the nefarious activities of his former guardians, his uncles whom Peer had to stop. He also has an apparent unrequited crush on Hilde to add to his internal confusion. The story line is action-packed as the hero hardily investigates the secrets of the old mill and the goings-on of the trolls. Along the way, middle school readers accompany Peer as he meets up with the witch, selkies and trolls, all who seem authentic.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Katherine Langrish returns to the world of trolls and Nordic legends in "Troll Mill," the sequel to her excellent debut. And if anything, Langrish does an even better job -- plenty of action laced with humour, solid writing, and some romantic tension between the leads.

Peer is shocked when a fisherman's wife (who's rumored to be a seal-woman) dumps her newborn in his arms and leaps into the sea. Not sure what to do, he brings the baby to Hilde's family, but even as the fishermen hunt for the missing woman, Peer and Hilde realize that nasty creatures are after baby Ran -- including the lubbers and evil Granny Green Teeth.

While this is going on, Peer decides to clean out and repair the old mill, in the hopes that he can impress Hilde with it. But they soon discover that Peer's evil uncle Baldur (now a troll) has been using the mill to grind bones for bread. And even worse, two babies have been stolen from Hilde's house -- Hilde's baby brother, and seal-baby Ran.

Usually sequels are less interesting than the book before them. But Langrish actually makes "Troll Mill" better than "Troll Fell" -- it's more polished, better paced, and her writing has matured with the characters. In short, this book is everything a good fantasy story should be.

The plot unfolds very gradually, and Langrish's writing is solid and descriptive. There's even a bit of horror -- the lubbers and ghastly Granny -- romantic sparring, and some tragedy. There's even a bit of moral indecision when Peer tries to understand how an otherwise good man could kidnap the seal woman.

But Langrish doesn't forget the humor, such as a precocious troll baby tormenting the twins with gross songs and stories, or Gudrun giving the troll princess some parenting tips.
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Format: Hardcover
The is Langrish's second book in her "Troll" series...the third being the forthcoming Troll Blood. In Troll Mill we join Peer and the Eiriksson family several years after the events of the first book. Here Peer and Hilde are now 15 years old, there is a new baby in the house and a lot of romantic tension between Peer (who finds himself in love with Hilde) and Hilde (who has feelings for Bjorn's Brother)...and of course...trolls! This story gives equal time to two different storylines, the first is that of Peer who is happy to live with the Eiriksons but longs for a way to prove himself more of a man (and thus more attractive to Hilde) and which touches on his past with the mill and his uncles through a chrisis of identity. This time around we find Peer trying to establish himself in the world, returning to the mill and trying to make a go of it again on his own only to discover that it has been running at night...on its own. This initial storyline is engaging and exciting on its own and becomes even more intriguing when pared with the second storyline which focuses Bjorn and Kersten (the neighbors who helped so much in Troll Fell while Hilde's father was away). Kersten has just had a baby and one night while coming in from fishing with Bjorn, Peer finds himself being handed the young infant as Kersten runs off and jumps into the ocean. As the story progresses, we find that it has long been suspected that Kersten was a Selkie (sea-maiden)...as the fisherman and Hilde's father search the seas day after day for Kersten (and Bjorn becomes more and more distant, eventually not even coming to see the baby anymore), Peer and Hilde find themselves in the middle of two mysteries, both of which are threatening to tear these families and friends apart.Read more ›
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