Hi, my name is Kim and I am addicted to books. See? I can admit it!!
I loved the fantasy world that Amanda Hocking created in the worrld of the Trylle. It is a complex society that lives within our own world, completely off the grid for most humans. I read a lot of fantasy and rarely have I come across a world featuring trolls, especially depicted as socially cultured and refined creatures.
The society of the Trylle and the lore behind it reminded me a lot of Aprilynne Pike's Wings series. There is a very defined caste system which most are unwilling to change or challenge, different social groups of trolls who all function in specific ways. The changeling theme is also similar, although that is a piece of the lore that exists in a lot of mythology.
But, despite those commonalities, the story is its own. Wendy has had a rough childhood in a lot of ways. Her father died when she was very young and her mother hated her, going so far as to try to kill her when she was only six years old. She has never fit in and she was always more than a little difficult, no matter how hard she tried. Even with all of that, she grew up with her aunt and her big brother, both of whom loved her unconditionally. Despite the paranomal aspect to the story, there are some strong messages on family acceptance and love.
And then she meets Finn, who turns her world upside down when he tells her the unimaginable... that there is a reason that she is the way she is and that her life is in danger because of it. She soon discovers that latter is true, although she has a tough time wrapping her head around the rest of it.
I love Wendy as a character. She is strong and loving, and more than a little stubborn. She loves her family fiercely and is strong in her own beliefs. But she isn't sure that her new life is better or worse than her old life, and neither was I as a reader. Finn is a great character, strong and loyal. He is a warrior and a protector and full of honor. He is the epitome of the knight in shining armor, almost to a fault as he is willing to sacrifice even his own needs and wants for the greater good. Elora (Wendy's mother), however, is a conundrum. She is regal to the point of being more than a little cold. She and her biggest rival, Aurora, seem to take a great deal of pleasure sniping at Wendy. Nothing she does is ever good enough and there is no compassion for the changes she has been through. Elora is the woman we love to hate and Aurora is a raging snob!
Bonus: There's a bonus short story in the newer editions of the book, The Vittra Attacks, set in the world of the Trylle!
Forget the fact that the cover is gorgeous... this is a fun book with a great premise. There is a lot going on under the surface that we are only just getting hints at. There are secrets and mysteries and intrigue and I can't wait to read the second book!