by Katherine Langrish
Review by Mel Jacob
Eos Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061116742
Date: 01 June 2008 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Troll Blood, the third in Katherine Langrish's Troll series for young adults, opens with a Native American boy and his father in Vinland during the period of Viking exploration. They witness the massacre of one group of Viking settlers by another. Only one small boy survives.
The scene then shifts to Troll Fell, home of Peer Ulfsson and Hilde, his foster sister. Both long for adventure, and Hilde implores her parents to allow her to accompany the wife of a ship's captain sailing to Vinland. They reluctantly agree when an older cousin, also named Peer, who will be sailing on the ship, promises to protect her.
The title comes from the wife of the Viking captain who claims to have troll blood. Most Vikings hate trolls although Peer and Hilde's family co-exist with them. The wife also claims magical powers and uses herbs to soothe her husband's nightmares.
When Peer learns the captain and his crew killed the Viking settlers, shock stuns him. Now he knows what ghosts haunt the captain. Peer must learn to control his temper and survive serious wounds. Hilde comes to realize her true feelings for Peer, but only after he disappears.
Langrish uses Viking and Native American sources for the background of her fantasy. Strange creatures abound, including trolls, ghosts, woodland spirits, an ice giant, and even a house elf reminiscent of Dobby from the Harry Potter books. She leaves room to continue the series, but with Peer now 15 and planning to marry Hilde she may have to move beyond her young adult audience.