Reviewed by Dylan James (age 12) for Reader Views (10/08)
Peer takes a ship for a fantastic journey of wits and peril, all to be with the one he loves. With ‘niths,’ little shadows that trick people and can only be befriended by certain people, and half trolls who put their spirits into other things, Peer must dodge danger at every turn. He is trying to have enough courage to ask the girl he loves if she likes him back. It shouldn’t be hard, right? Wrong! She thinks of him as a brother, and if she had any romantic feelings for him, they were dashed when a strange girl hangs around him jokingly. Will Peer survive the perils and ask his beloved to marry him? Or will danger overtake him and the seas swamp him overboard? Find out by reading “Troll Blood!”
This book was interesting. It starts with the classic story of the hero who can’t fight and doesn’t think that he’s brave. He gradually finds himself and prevails over the dangers. This was one of the few books that both genders can relate to equally, but also stay within the same storyline. A girl could relate to someone falling head over heels for her, and a boy could relate to not having the courage to ask someone out or vice versa. It is definitely meant for teens, although there is nothing inappropriate for anyone eleven or under. I liked this book for its quick moments and shocking surprises; they really kept me reading without pause. It could be better by detailing the tense moments a little more. Like if it’s a stand off between a man who is a murderer and an expert swordsman, and a boat builder who hasn’t killed anyone in his entire life, the author might have something like: the murderer charged forward, double striking the left shoulder and reversing to backhandedly strike his leg. Also, maybe have the ship voyage a little more lengthened because that was a key part in this book. Even so, there wasn’t much that could be changed for the better in “Troll Blood,” and if Katherine Langrish created another book, I would advise her to keep diverse characters that opposite genders can relate to. That’s obviously something that the author is good at. This was a great action-adventure.