The best troll books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about trolls and why they recommend each book.

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Hilda and the Troll

By Luke Pearson,

Book cover of Hilda and the Troll: Hilda Book 1

This book is an absolute joy. It’s charming, funny, adorable, and filled with wondrous and odd creatures. This first book, in what became a series, is a short read at 25 pages, but spins such a wonderful tale that you can’t help but be impressed. It’s exactly as long as it needs to be. The world that it occupies is wonderful and strange and its cast is rich with characterization. If you don’t immediately fall in love with it when the “wood man” enters the scene that’s on you.  I’ll connect with any story involving a four-legged friend, a forest, or misunderstood creatures and Hildafolk delivers on all fronts.

Highly recommend this to any kid or adult that loves wonderful things.


Who am I?

I’ve always been drawn to the woods. There’s something strange and mysterious about the trees. It’s a place where true magic feels possible. I enjoy stories that recreate this feeling. That keep that sense of mystery. That don’t feel the need to explain every detail or every strange occurrence within their pages. Stories that build deep worlds over time, but maintain a sense of wonder. I love stories that are funny, that aren’t afraid to be weird or dark, and that have a strong heart. They are the type of stories I try to tell in my own work and the ones I most love to get lost in.


I wrote...

Goblin

By Eric Grissom, Will Perkins (illustrator),

Book cover of Goblin

What is my book about?

A young, headstrong goblin embarks on a wild journey of danger, loss, self-discovery, and sacrifice in this new graphic novel adventure.

One fateful night a sinister human warrior raids the home of the young goblin Rikt and leaves him orphaned. Angry and alone, Rikt vows to avenge the death of his parents and seeks a way to destroy the man who did this. He finds aid from unlikely allies throughout his journey and learns of a secret power hidden in the heart of the First Tree. Will Rikt survive the trials that await him on his perilous journey to the First Tree? And is Rikt truly prepared for what he may find there?

The Troll Inside You

By Ármann Jakobsson,

Book cover of The Troll Inside You: Paranormal Activity in the Medieval North

Ármann breaks the mold to show us how to understand and research Vikings in general. The essence of the supernatural being that Vikings called tröll shows us clearly that what we think is the norm today is unlikely to be that of the Viking age. 

His book is a warning that we modern people need a ground penetrating radar to reveal all the landmines that our modern mindset places in our path to learning about Vikings.


Who are we?

In the Viking age, one could not escape destiny, and so it is with William and Reynir, men from two vastly different fields who met by chance and shared a passion for discovery. Their research on Viking combat has led to many groundbreaking discoveries and never before done testing. Their work has been accepted by leading museums, universities, and professional societies, and they regularly share their research findings in lectures, classes, and presentations at these venues. The National Museum of Iceland recently opened a special exhibit that features their research. In many ways, their work has changed our understanding of Vikings and shown a new approach to Viking research.


We wrote...

Men of Terror: A Comprehensive Analysis of Viking Combat

By William R. Short and Reynir A. Óskarson,

Book cover of Men of Terror: A Comprehensive Analysis of Viking Combat

What is our book about?

Sometime near the end of the tenth century, a man named Fraði died in Sweden. His kinsmen raised a granite runestone to his memory in Denmark. The carved message appears to tell us that Fraði was “first among all Vikings” and that he was the “terror of men.” Known sources about the Vikings revolve around the constant threat of violence: literary and artistic sources from both inside and outside Viking lands, including poetry, myths, stories, and artwork; law codes; burial practices; weapons. In the book, the authors dig deep into Fraði’s society so that the reader will understand the importance of combat to Viking society, the nature of that combat, and the code of conduct of these “men of terror.

Hereville

By Barry Deutsch,

Book cover of Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

Mirka is a dreamer, unlike what her Orthodox Jewish family expects of her: to prepare herself for a future husband, to help around the house, to knit, to study. She dreams of witches, of trolls, and of fighting dragons. 

I loved the character of Mirka: bravely standing up to local bullies, cleverly outwitting the giant knitting troll, and also dealing—more or less successfully—with parental expectations and a large number of siblings. 

I found the mix of fantasy and cultural traditions delightful. I loved the few words of Yiddish sprinkled here and there (with their translation), and the cozy world of the Sabbath during which even concerns about trolls must stop. This is a really fun and funny book.


Who am I?

When I was five, my family moved from Morocco to France. We were Jewish in a very homogeneously Catholic world. My French upbringing didn’t include much exposure to other cultures and I often felt uncomfortably different. I would have liked to know more about various lifestyles, cultures, and traditions than those I observed around me. I now love to learn about other cultures through personal accounts, stories, and memoirs. I feel engaged and interested in a way I never experienced with textbooks. Reading about people who live a different life from our own can be an eye-opening experience.


I wrote...

Sylvie

By Sylvie Kantorovitz,

Book cover of Sylvie

What is my book about?

Sylvie lives in a school in France. Her father is the principal, and her home is an apartment at the end of a hallway of classrooms. As a young child, Sylvie and her brother explore this most unusual kingdom, full of small mysteries and quirky surprises. But in middle and high school, life grows more complicated. 

In this funny and perceptive graphic memoir, discover Sylvie, a French girl, who works very hard to be the perfect student, daughter, sister, and friend, and who also realizes she must be true to herself!

The Sea of Trolls

By Nancy Farmer,

Book cover of The Sea of Trolls

The Sea of Trolls is an excellent and satisfying read that immersed me in the fascinating Norse/Saxon world of 793 A.D. It’s the first book in one of the best series I've read in a long time—featuring rich world-building, magic at all levels, bold deeds, and a dry sense of humor. 


Who am I?

I’ve been reading middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy books via visits to local library branches (thanks, Mom!) and bookmobiles (anybody under 40 remember those?) since I was in grade school and writing in those same genres since 2005. That was when I tapped into my love of MG/YA fantasy novels and began writing about dragons between gigs as a professional animation writer.


I wrote...

Dragonfriend: Leonard the Great, Book One

By Roger Eschbacher,

Book cover of Dragonfriend: Leonard the Great, Book One

What is my book about?

If you think it's all good deeds and stuffy politeness over at Camelot, you're wrong! Most people don't know this, but things are pretty bad right now. King Arthur's in jail, Merlin's gone missing, and there's a cruel demon in charge. Seriously! Now it's up to young Leonard, a page to a poor but kind knight, to set things right—even if that means going on a dangerous quest, outsmarting hungry monsters, or risking his life to make friends with a bunch of grumpy dragons.

Filled with dragons, magic, and irreverent humor, Dragonfriend is an epic YA Arthurian fantasy novel in the spirit of The Princess Bride, The Sword in the Stone, and Excalibur.

Elf Killers

By Carol Phipps, Tom Phipps, Marija Vilotijevic (illustrator)

Book cover of Elf Killers

Welcome to the world of elves. It's a different world, one that takes a little getting used to. The language of the Trolls is, at first, a bit confusing. But I thought it was interesting how quickly the reader's mind can adapt, making the unfamiliar words meaningful and understandable. (The included glossary helps). The story of the elves is told very well and kept me interested to the end. An enjoyable read!


Who am I?

While the subject matter of the books on my list may vary, the thing that ties them together is the suspenseful tension that builds and keeps the reader on edge. The unexpected twists and turns are the "secret sauce"  that adds flavor and fervor. I like the way each of these books keeps your mind from wandering by combining vivid imagery with a compelling storyline. As an author myself, I am always fascinated by those who make it look so easy and effortless. And as an avid reader, I constantly search for these kind of books; the kind that make you feel as if you just have to keep reading.


I wrote...

Over My Dead Body

By Bruce A. Borders,

Book cover of Over My Dead Body

What is my book about?

When the director of Child Protective Services uses his position to exact a personal vendetta in removing three-year-old Ashley from her home, a protective father, Jeff Blake, puts up a fight. The situation quickly becomes violent and by the end of the short encounter, three people are dead. Ironically, Ashley is still taken.

To further complicate matters, Amy, the wife and mother, winds up in a mental ward due to the trauma she witnessed in her home. Ashley is placed in foster care, while the family’s attorneys attempt to salvage what they can and re-unite the family. The police, as well as the courts, understandably, are not too concerned with the needs of the family and it seems the entire justice system is against them.

I am a Troll

By Swati Chaturvedi,

Book cover of I am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP's Digital Army

When I started working in Indian politics, I believed fixing issues that people faced was the prime driver of votes. It soon became obvious that it wasn’t facts and issues that determined election results, it was emotions. It was also clear that emotions could be manipulated, and the information people chose to believe in wasn't necessarily based in reality. This book details how troll farms built by political parties can be used to shape the conversation on social media, generate fake outrage, and derail rational thought, and how this influences election results. 


Who am I?

I graduated early from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor to come back to my home country and work in Indian politics. Since then I’ve worked with a Member of Parliament, handled campaign design in states across India, and headed data analytics for India’s largest political party. This experience gave me an inside view of how politics operates and how elections are actually won. The fact that this was at a time when Indian politics was going through massive changes with micro-targeting, digital technologies and disinformation gaining ground made the experience even more unique. Based on this experience, my books detail how power is gained, (mis)used, and lost.


I wrote...

How to Win an Indian Election

By Shivam Shankar Singh,

Book cover of How to Win an Indian Election

What is my book about?

Written by a former election campaign consultant for a major political party, How to Win an Indian Election takes readers into the forbidden world of election war-rooms and gives them a glimpse of how strategy is formulated, what works with voters on the ground and what doesn't. Based on research, interviews, and the author's own experiences, this book is invaluable for its insight into the inner workings of politics, political parties, and what really makes for a winning election campaign.

Is There Any Hope For Advertising?

By Howard Gossage,

Book cover of Is There Any Hope For Advertising?

Howard Gossage was not your typical ad man. He was cut from a different cloth. His love/hate relationship with the profession led to some innovative ad campaigns. He once ran an ad that ended mid-sentence (people were dying to know what happened next). He advertised Finna Gas by offering free balloons - filled with PINK air. He was part troll, part genius. And his style and flair are things I try to emulate with my own work.

You’ll eventually get to a point in your copy career where you feel jaded. Where you’re tired of selling your soul one sentence at a time. When you reach that point, this book will bring you back to life. That’s what it did for me.


Who am I?

I started my adult life as a bouncer and a school teacher. A few years later, I was running one of the most well-known email marketing agencies in the industry. The reason this happened is because I dedicated my life to becoming a master copywriter. Learning how to write copy was the key that unlocked a level of freedom I didn’t know existed, both personal and financial. It’s also allowed me to write two bestselling books on email marketing, work with 250+ brands, and coach 2,200+ students around the world. I hope this list helps you take your writing skills up a notch.


I wrote...

Make it Rain: The Secret to Generating Massive Paydays from Your Email List

By Chris Orzechowski,

Book cover of Make it Rain: The Secret to Generating Massive Paydays from Your Email List

What is my book about?

People who master copywriting have the rare ability to turn words into money. If you do business on the internet, this is one skill you need to have in your toolbox. I wrote this book to teach people the basics of copywriting, specifically when it comes to short-form advertising mediums like email. After you read this book, every piece of copy you write will convert better. Your emails, social posts, and landing pages will light people up. Your sales will skyrocket. And you’ll finally be getting the attention, fame, and notoriety your brand deserves.

Ready to take your writing chops to the next level fast? Click the link and make it rain!

The Good Soldier

By Ford Madox Ford,

Book cover of The Good Soldier

In his tragicomic novel The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford’s thickheaded narrator John Dowell trolls, over and over again, through the detritus of his life, searching vainly for the origins of his predicament—namely, that he has been duped by his wife and her lover, his supposedly best friend and the “good soldier” of the novel’s title. When Dowell finally succumbs to the utter hopelessness of his situation, he turns away from his audience in a brash attempt to bargain with a misbegotten universe, and his dreams of an impossible reconciliation with the world become our own: “Is there any terrestrial paradise where, amidst the whispering of the olive-leaves, people can be with whom they like and have what they like and take their ease in shadows and in coolness?” In his greatest moment of anguish and uncertainty, Dowell grasps for the poetry of language to sate his weary soul.


Who am I?

If you’re anything like me, you are driven by your passions. And the key to stoking our passions is finding inspiration—sometimes in the most unlikely of literary places. The study of literature is intrinsically about the act of knowing. It is about knowing the world—a vast, uncharted universe of people and places, ideas, and emotions. But in helping us to know the world, literature is mostly about coming to know yourself. It is about exploring the recesses of your mind, the vicissitudes of your memories, the weight and pleasure of your deepest, most personal experiences. It is about getting closer and ever closer to understanding your own essential truths—and yet never quite arriving there. It is, in short, the most intimate and transformative journey that you can possibly take through the lens of your mind’s eye. It is about you.


I wrote...

John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life

By Kenneth Womack,

Book cover of John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life

What is my book about?

John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life traces the powerful, life-affirming story of the former Beatle’s remarkable comeback after five years of self-imposed retirement.

As renowned music historian Kenneth Womack reveals in vivid detail, Lennon’s final pivotal year would climax in unforgettable moments of creative triumph as he rediscovered his artistic self in dramatic fashion. With the bravura release of the Double Fantasy album with his wife Yoko Ono, he was poised and ready for an even brighter future, only to be wrenched from the world by an assassin’s bullets. John Lennon 1980 isn’t about how the gifted songwriter and musician died, but rather, about how he lived.

A Monster Like Me

By Wendy S. Swore,

Book cover of A Monster Like Me

This is a story about a girl with a port-wine stain under her eye. Looking different, people treat her differently. The main character, Sophie, copes by carrying around a book called "The Big Book of Monsters" and identifying the monsters and humans around her. I found Sophie pretty knowledgeable on the subject of old legends! There were a few I hadn't heard of and had to look up myself. I also like her character development, and how she becomes more empathetic. Overall, it was entertaining and informative.

Who am I?

I remember being gifted a copy of a fairy tale book for children by someone my dad worked with as a kid. "Wow, these are really close to the originals," Mom murmured under her breath.
"Wait, there are originals?" That set off a chain reaction of a lifelong love of fairy tales, myths, legends, and folk stories. Writing The Tooth Fairy forced me to double-check my lifetime of accumulated knowledge. Plus, being trapped indoors with audiobooks during a global pandemic left me a lot more time to learn! In short: I simply love the old legends.


I wrote...

The Tooth Fairy

By Helen M. Pugsley,

Book cover of The Tooth Fairy

What is my book about?

When Covid-19 hits, 26-year-old dentist Marlene has to move back from Yuma, Arizona, to her parent's ranch in Olsen County, Wyoming. There she finds out she is a changeling -- A fairy switched with a human child. She learns there is a human girl in Fairyland wearing her face.
The two women become fast friends!

Until something much darker happens, Marlene must save her newfound sister, Krysathia, from the fae. While also trying to save herself from both the pandemic and poverty.

The Scions Of Shannara

By Terry Brooks,

Book cover of The Scions Of Shannara: The Heritage of Shannara, Book 1

I first read The Scions of Shannara when I was 13 years old. At the time, this book was the first in a new series from Terry Brooks. In less than a year, I devoured his first series, The Shannara Chronicles, and wanted more. Terry did not disappoint. This book picked up 300 years after the original series and expanded his initial world-building of the Four Lands. While it contained Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Trolls, like most fantasy books, Terry developed his world based on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The sign of a good series is its ability to connect to the reader’s soul. With The Scions of Shannara, I connected to the story to the point where I became emotional and could not put the book down.


Who am I?

I was bullied throughout grade school until my senior year of high school. As a child, I only read Hardy Boy mysteries, so my mother tried to expand my range of literature by having me read The Hobbit. Reading epic fantasies allowed me to escape into another world and set my imagination on fire. ADHD has always been a part of my life, but fantasy novels helped to channel my creativity, allowing me to sit down and focus on something for hours on end. Readers will find themes from several fantasy authors in my books. They say to write what you know. I know epic fantasy and teen fiction.


I wrote...

The Scions of Faerie: The Faerie Chronicles Book 1

By J.D. Edwards,

Book cover of The Scions of Faerie: The Faerie Chronicles Book 1

What is my book about?

What if every story, every myth, and every legend were true? Driven by a need to rescue his aunt and avenge his parent’s murder, Ian Prescott discovers that the more he learns about his past, the less he knows about himself. Ian’s destiny lies hidden in the past he can’t remember and a future he can only imagine.

Unfortunately, all magic comes with a price. One false move could extinguish all life on Earth and plunge Faerie into chaos. The greater good always involves sacrifice, but every choice has consequences. When the needs of the many conflict with the needs of the few, Ian must decide who lives and who dies: His aunt or his mother’s best friend. How much is a single life worth?

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