John Vornholt,
The Troll Treasure
(Aladdin, 2003)

The Troll Treasure is John Vornholt's concluding volume of The Troll King trilogy. In the first book, The Troll King, Rollo -- a 14-year-old troll -- leads a revolt against the evil sorcerer Stygius Rex and his evil henchmen stopping their planned conquest of the land of elves and fairies. In the second book, The Troll Queen, Ludicra -- the young female troll who rebuffed Rollo's advances in the first book -- chases after Rollo across the Great Chasm in order to save him, and more importantly, become queen.

By the third volume -- The Troll Treasure -- it seems that everybody needs saving. Stygius Rex has turned back up. Is he still evil? Has he turned good? What about Rollo's fairy friend Clipper? She was good before she died in the first book. She was brought back to life in the second book and became evil. Is she good again? What caused these two to have alternating personalities? And now there is a second wizard. Where did he come from? What does he want?

On top of this, both the elves and the trolls are after the fabled treasure that was supposedly hidden long ago in the Great Chasm by an ancient troll king. Unfortunately, it seems to be protected by dragons. (Gulp!) Rollo certainly has his claws full as he makes his way across the land experiencing one adventure after another. The pace of the books is at lightning speed. If you read the first book, it seems like it was just yesterday when this young troll tried to impress his love Ludicra by skimming across the monster-filled swamp on a vine. Now Rollo is making monumental decisions and he hasn't even been crowned king yet!

As I mentioned in my review of The Troll King, these books claim to be aimed at those 10 and up. I think that is just a little low. As I mentioned then, if the intended reader can handle Narnia, then they can handle the Troll series. If they are already reading Harry Potter novels, then they have passed up the reading skills required for these books.

This series by John Vornholt has some editing issues. For example, there are times when the wrong character speaks when, in fact, they are currently in another location and not in the vicinity of the action. Or, sometimes, the wrong character's name is used. Still, the mistakes do not take too much away from the books. Make a mental correction and move on.

These books are not the best children's fantasy I've ever read, but they aren't bad. At a minimum, there are some good moral lessons to be picked up by the reader.

- Rambles
written by Wil Owen
published 29 January 2005

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