fantasy with a rather insipid narrative. Stygius Rex, "the ultimate despot of Bonespittle," decides to expand his territory by building a bridge between his kingdom of gnomes, ogres, ghouls, trolls and such to Bonny Woods, home of their age-old enemy, the elves and fairies. Rollo, an apprentice bridge-builder, finds himself plucked from the ranks of "volunteer" labor to attempt a dangerous special assignment: flying. His surprise success earns him a spot on a scouting expedition to Bonny Woods, where he learns all is not as it seems; he befriends a fairy and faces a life-altering decision whether or not he should defy Stygius Rex. Vornholt's (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) lickety-split plot has some imaginative twists and turns, but they're beset by thickets of clich d characters. In the end, he convinces his downtrodden countrymen to join him in a showdown with the sorcerer and his henchmen, including the dread ghoul General Drool and a giant toad named Old Belch. An overabundance of exclamation points and clumsy prose (e.g., "Unable to do anything, Rollo froze with indecision"; "The trolls muttered and groaned, then they remembered that they were important") bog down the tale. The story ends with a cliffhanger that points to a sequel. Ages 10-14. (Aug.)
This was a quick, fun story. Rollo is a gentle troll who doesn't like the normal ugly and evil troll things. When the power-hungry king of Bonespittle decides to build a bridge across the Great Chasm, Rollo finds himself in the midst of the adventure of a lifetime.
Trolls,ogres,fairies,ghouls,elves and other magical creatures come together for a great read.
From front cover: "The truth behind trolls is more than meets the eye!"