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Katherine Langrish

Katherine Langrish fantasy authorKatherine Langrish grew up in Yorkshire, and has always loved reading and writing stories. As a child her favourite books were the seven ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ by C S Lewis. They inspired her to begin writing her own ‘Narnia’ stories in an old blue notebook, and she decided to try and become an author when she grew up. She kept on writing, studied English at university, married, had children and went to live in France near the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau, where she ran a storytelling group for children. She later lived in America before returning to England and writing ‘Troll Fell’, the first book of the Troll Saga. She enjoys researching the historical background for her folklore-based fantasies – for her latest book, ‘Troll Blood’, she spent a week sailing and rowing a replica Viking Age ship on Roskilde Fjord, Denmark. Katherine now lives near Oxford and writes full-time. Read excerpts and play the Troll Fell game at Katherine Langrish’s website.

Troll Fell: A bit pallid but for Norse background

Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish

Troll Fell is a decent young adult book whose Norse background gives a more fresh feel to an otherwise relatively mundane plot and set of characters. Younger readers will most likely enjoy it if not be inspired or captured by it; older readers won't find much to chew on.

The story follows young Peer Ulfsson who upon his father's death is grabbed up (literally) by a pair of wicked ogrish uncles for their own hidden reasons, the most transparent of which is to use him as free labor at their run-down mill, no longer frequented by the local villagefolk who have grown tired of being cheated by the uncles. Troll Fell is also the story of similarly aged Hilde, whose family, besides having been cheated by the uncles, has a long-running feud with them over a parcel of land under which lies the local troll kingdom (and its gold). Year's ago, Hilde's father managed to escape from the... Read More

After: Like panning for gold

After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia by editors Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

When I saw the new Datlow and Windling anthology After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, I was so excited. I love YA fiction, I love dyslit, I love short story anthologies and I love Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling as editors, so I figured it was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, my reading experience didn’t live up to my expectations.

After is an anthology of short stories set after. After what? Alien invasion, plague, environmental collapse, asteroid strike, it doesn’t matter. Just after. This leaves a lot of room for the authors to be creative, as they all can choose different afters to explore, and it leaves the anthology feeling a bit disjointed as you hop from one disaster to another. Technically, most of th... Read More

More books by Katherine Langrish

Katherine Langrish The Shadow Hunt The Shadow Hunt / Dark Angels — (2010) Ages 9-12. This book is titled Dark Angels in the UK. Publisher: Wolf had heard scary tales about this hill. Stories of blue elf-fires, burning at the mouths of long-abandoned mineshafts and tunnels. Stories of bogeymen and ghosts. Up on the very top, he had heard there was a road. A road leading nowhere, a road no one used. For if anyone was so bold as to walk along it, especially at night, he’d hear the clamour of hounds and the blowing of horns, the cracking of whips and the rumbling of a cart. And out of the dark would burst the Devil’s own dog pack, dashing beside a black wagon drawn by goats with fiery eyes, crammed full of screaming souls bound for the pits of Hell… In the wild border country between England and Wales, a boy is on the run. Thirteen year-old Wolf is escaping from the abbey which has been his home and prison for the last eight years. Scrambling up over the wild and haunted ridge known as ‘Devil’s Edge’, he has a strange encounter — and the creature he discovers will change his life for ever.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsWest of the Moon — (2011) Ages 9-12. Publisher: An epic and action-packed fantasy adventure that weaves together Norse legends, shadowy creatures and an unforgettable hero. When Peer is orphaned he is taken by his wicked uncles to live at their foreboding mill in the shadow of Troll Fell. Here he meets beautiful and spirited Hilde and after a terrifying encounter with the sinister creatures who live below the fell the pair form an inseparable bond. They are thirsty for adventure, so when a Viking longship docks at their village, they decide to set sail for Vinland — a mysterious place across the perilous sea. But are the ship’s captain and his sword wielding son really honest sailors? What creatures lurk in the shadows and forests of the new land? And will Peer and Hilde ever return? Spanning years and continents and filled with brilliantly imagined characters and creatures, this is gripping, atmospheric fantasy at its best.