My knowledge of fairy and folk tales is pretty minimal, so this is a completely new story for me, despite being based on a Norwegian folk tale. As its own thing, it’s a good story, though you can certainly see the folk take themes in it. Compared to most such books, this runs a little longer, and is obviously an expanded version of the story, though still easily readable in the YA range. Elements of the original were borrowed in Beauty and the Beast, and are easily recognizable here.

An interesting take away for me is that trolls here are very close to the Malediction Trilogy version: very powerful magic coupled with the need to follow any oaths/promises exactly. I’m more used to the D&D version (hunger personified), or maybe the ElfQuest version (lumpy green dwarf stand-ins).

In general, the novel is intelligent and engaging all the way through, keeping the cast of characters is engaging and large enough for things to happen while also small enough to keep the story nicely close and tightly-written. The ending seems to rush through things fairly fast, but the rest of the book has very good pacing, so overall it’s well worth a read.