Title – Troll Mountain: The Complete Novel
Author – Matthew Reilly
Troll Mountain is a YA novel told in installments about a tribe of Northmen who live in the shadow of the foreboding Troll Mountain. Illness and famine have recently racked their small village and as the disease spreads, they learn that the Trolls hold the cure. A band is sent by the ruling family to gain the cure.
The young man Raf is unique in his tribe and he sees that the ruling class of his village is no better than him. When his sister Kira takes ill he knows that he must act. On his own, he begins the journey to Troll Mountain.
Along the way he finds allies in the outcast warrior Ko and the lost Troll Dum. Their quest into Troll Mountain is more than the mission to find the elixir to cure the disease but along the way Raf realizes that all the truths he had once known may have been lies to keep him in his place. The ruling families of the village may have been keeping the truth away from the rest of the village to keep their hold over all the others.
In Troll Mountain he finds the Troll King who holds dominion over the valley by force and blood. Will Raf find in himself the warrior to overcome the dangers of Troll Mountain? Will he learn the true secret of Troll Mountain?
“..An elixir is not a magic liquid. It is knowledge. Bottles filled with magic liquids eventually run dry, but knowledge lasts a lifetime…”
Troll Mountain is written as a morality tale with heroic acts and betrayal on every page. Each character has moments of triumph and absolute moments of failure. The quest is a more of a journey to adulthood for Raf, whose acts must rise to the level of his thoughts and convictions.
The pace of this novel, since it was written as a series of installments is sometimes disjointed and with out a sense of continuity. The author, Matthew Reilly, adult novels excel in pace and excitement so in this story I found this somewhat surprising.
The tale itself is well developed and told with strong conviction. As a novel it does lack flow and that is what is disturbing as Reilly had shown himself to be masterful in this area.