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Troll Fell Hardcover – May 25, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8–Written in the tradition of an old Scandinavian fairy tale and filled with fantastic creatures, Viking ships, and some extremely loathsome humans, this is an exciting adventure story. When Peer Ulfsson's father dies, the boy is forced to live with his disgusting and greedy twin uncles. Peer soon discovers that they plan to sell him to the local troll king; he will be a wedding present to the king's son and will serve the newlyweds as a slave. Meanwhile, Peer makes friends with Hilde, a girl from a neighboring farm, and she tries to help him find a way to escape his fate. Then the uncles' plans change, and they abduct Hilde's twin siblings to sell to the trolls instead. As events unfold, Hilde and Peer begin to see a way to rescue the youngsters, escape, and rid themselves forever of the horrible uncles. Other magical beings inhabit this land, such as the Nis, a truculent and ill-treated household spirit, and Granny Green-teeth, a fearsome creature that lurks in a millpond. Peer and Hilde are easy to like and identify with. The troll kingdom is well and cleverly described. Readers will love to hate the uncles, who get exactly what they deserve in the end. This fast-paced novel maintains suspense and has a nice twist at the conclusion. All in all, this is great fun.–Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Gr. 5-7. Well-populated with menacing or mischievous creatures from Nordic folklore, this tale of an orphaned lad, and a spirited age-mate whose father has gone a-viking, offers full measures of danger, suspense, heroism, magic, and just deserts. His father's funeral pyre still alight, Peer Ulfsson is snatched away into servitude by his brutish twin uncles Grim and Baldur Grimsson. Along with encountering a sullen house elf and deadly Granny Greenteeth, who lives in the nearby pond, Peer meets Hilde, daughter of an absent farmer--and gets wind of his uncles' intent to sell human children for a golden reward to the king of the trolls dwelling under towering Troll Fell. But which children? Climaxed by a well-set-up twist and a splendidly trollish subterranean wedding feast, Langrish's tense, quick-paced story will keep readers glued to the page, cheering the determined young folk on as they muster the wit and courage to face challenges both natural and supernatural. A rousing debut, steeped in Scandinavian lore and history. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
Peer's father has died, just after completing a new longship. Enter Baldur, his ogrish uncle, who takes all of Peer's money and drags him and his faithful dog away. Peer's new home is a miserable place, in a land surrounded by angry neighbors and mischief-making trolls. He's treated like a slave by his uncles Baldur and Grim, and his only solace is the Nis (a neglected house sprite) and a girl from the neighboring farm, Hilde.
But things take a nastier turn after Peer encounters the ghoulish Granny Green-teeth: She reveals that at a forthcoming double wedding for troll princes and princesses, the uncles are going to give him as a wedding present. What's worse, they also plan to kidnap Hilde and give HER as a gift too. Determined to save himself, Peer runs away from home -- only to end up right in the trolls' hands...
"Troll Fell" is a good example of what a fantasy should be -- not derivative, well-written, quick-faced and with enough quirks to keep it from being too grim. Langrish doesn't stoop to deus ex machinae, but keeps the plot simple and straightforward, while peppering it with plenty of northern ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties.
Her writing is solid and descriptive, bringing to life everything from the bleak hills to the bizarre underground kingdom of the trolls. Langrish is particularly good at making the readers feel what the characters are feeling, such as Peer's almost crippling claustrophobia, or his horror at seeing faithful dog Loki thrown into a dogfight. A few threads -- such as Granny's threat to Peer -- are left unsatisfied, but a sequel might take care of those.
Peer and Hilde are a good hero and heroine, with their own flaws and squabbles and weaknesses. The supporting cast is equally good -- the scraggly, disgruntled Nis, the stupid lubbers, the grandmotherly yet homicidal pond-dweller Granny Greenteeth, feisty grandpa Eirek, and the greedy, scheming Baldur and Grim.
"Troll Fell" lives up to its promise as a suspenseful, well-written fantasy. Katherine Langrish does a good job, with plenty of promise for her future books.
The story begins with young Peer Ulfsson at his beloved father's funeral. Finding himself now the obligatory orphan required for most children's fiction, he goes to live with his two unpleasant uncles: Baldur and Grim. They live in an old watermill at the foot of Troll Fell - and soon put Peer to work, treating him like an unpaid slave. Fortunately, Peer has his faithful dog, Loki, with him - and soon makes friends with Hilde from a neighboring farm, whose father has just sailed off on a Viking ship. He also befriends a Nis - a mysterious little creature who cleans the mill, (badly), in return for a daily bowl of groute, (a sort of Norse porridge). Peer also makes the acquaintance of Granny Greenteeth who lives in the millpond, waiting to drag the unwary down to the bottom.
As if slaving for Grim and Baldur isn't bad enough, Peer soon discovers his uncles have more sinister plans for him; plans that involve making a nefarious deal with the trolls of Troll fell. I'll say no more - leaving you to enjoy this beautifully crafted tale for yourself. Suffice to say it all ends well, with a twist or two along the way. An excellent first novel - hopefully the first of many.
Peer makes friends with the housekeeper Nis the gremlin and with Hilde, whose father is going on a sea voyage. Peer learns that his guardians intend to sell him and Hilde to the troll king who will use them as a wedding present as the trio knows that the finest gift in the land is young human slaves.
The Harry Potter crowd will enjoy this feature length fairy tale mindful of the relationship between the stepmother and Cinderella. The well-written story line hooks the audience who will wonder if the two children can find a way to trump the sneaky trolls and the nasty human adults. The trolls slyly use shadows to cause trouble while the uncles are an unpleasant pragmatic pair rivaling the cruelty of de Cruella. Still the tale belongs to two courageous children and a frightened goblin as they seek a happily ever ending.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book I am reviewing is called Troll Fell by Katherine Langish. It is a fantasy as you could probably tell by the title.Read more
A boy gets taken by his mean, cruel uncles. Will he survive?
In the book Troll Fell a boy gets taken and his name is Peer.Read more