Excerpt from Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Troll Fell

by Katherine Langrish

Troll Fell
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2004, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2005, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"But I haven't got an uncle!" Peer gasped.

The huge stranger paid no attention. He dragged Peer's arm up, twisting it. Peer yelped in pain, and Loki began to growl.

"I don't like saying things twice!" the man menaced. "I'm your Uncle Baldur, the miller of Trollsvik. Come on!" He challenged the crowd. "You all know it's true. Tell him so, before I twist his arm off!"

"Why—" Brand the shipbuilder stepped forward uncertainly, rubbing his hands. Peer stared at him in disbelief. Brand spread his arms helplessly. "This—that is to say, Peer, your father did tell me once—"

His wife, Ingrid, pushed in front of him, glaring. "Let go of the boy, you brute! How dare you show your face here? We all know that poor Ulf never had anything to do with you!"

"Is this my uncle?" Peer whispered. He twisted his head and looked up at Uncle Baldur. It was like looking up at a dark cliff. First came a powerful chest, then a thick neck, gleaming like naked rock. There was a black beard like a rook's nest. Then a face of stony slabs with bristling black eyebrows for ledges. At the top came a tangled bush of black hair.

Loki's body tensed against Peer's legs, quivering with growls. In another moment he would bite. Uncle Baldur knew it too, and Peer read the death penalty in his face. "Loki!" he cried sharply, afraid. "Quiet!"

Loki subsided. Uncle Baldur let Peer go and bent his shaggy head to look at the dog.

"What d'you call that?" he taunted.

"He's my dog, Loki," said Peer defiantly, rubbing his bruised arm.

"That, a dog? Wait till my dog meets him. He'll eat 'im!" Uncle Baldur tipped back his head and yelped with laughter. Peer glared at him. Brand put a protective arm around his shoulder.

"You can't take the boy away," he began. "We're looking after him!"

"You? Who are you?" spat Uncle Baldur.

"He's the master shipbuilder of Hammerhaven, that's who he is!" declared Ingrid angrily, folding her arms. "Peer's poor father was his best carpenter!"

"Best of a bad lot, eh?" sneered Uncle Baldur. "Could he make a barrel that didn't leak?"

Brand glared at Baldur. "Ulf did a wonderful job on the new ship. Never made a mistake!"

"No? But he sliced himself with a chisel and died when it turned bad!" scoffed Uncle Baldur. "Some carpenter!"

Peer's heart rapped like a hammer, hurting his chest. He leaped forward. "Don't talk about my father like that! You want to know what he could do? That's what he could do! That's what he made! See!" He pointed defiantly past Uncle Baldur.

High over the heads of the crowd reared the fierce dragon neck and head of the new longship. People stepped back, opening a path to where it lay chocked upright on the shelving beach. And the dragon head glared straight at Uncle Baldur, ogling him threateningly, as if it commanded the sea behind it, whose dark armies of marching waves rushed snarling up the shingle.

Uncle Baldur rocked back, off balance. He lowered his head and clenched his fists. Then he shrugged. "A dragon ship! A pretty toy!" he jeered, turning his back on it. The crowd muttered angrily, but Uncle Baldur ignored them.

He seized Peer's arm again. "You'll come now. I'm a busy man. I've a mill to run, and no time to waste!"

With a bang, a piece of wood exploded in the heart of the pyre. People dodged as the fire spat glowing fragments at their feet. The whole burning structure slipped and settled. Brand stepped in front of Uncle Baldur, barring his way.

"You won't drag the boy away from his father's funeral!" he exclaimed. "Why—it's not even over!"

"A funeral? And I thought it was a pig roast!" Uncle Baldur crowed with laughter. Sickened, Peer jerked his arm free, as the crowd surged angrily forward, some crying, "Shame!" They surrounded Uncle Baldur, who shifted uneasily, looking around. "Can't you take a joke?" he complained.

From Troll Fell. Copyright 2004 by Katherine Langrish. All rights reserved. Excerpt reproduced by permission of the publisher, Harper Collins. No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.