Samuel Blink and the Runaway Troll
The second book in the Samuel Blink series
by Matt Haig
UK writer Matt Haig recently branched out into children's fantasy and found himself the winner of the Nestlé
Children’s Book Prize, the most prestigious award for juvenile books in England, for the first book in a new
series about Samuel Blink. That book, called
Shadow Forest in the UK and
Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest here in America, introduced young readers to orphans Samuel Blink
and his younger sister Martha who have come to Norway to live with their Aunt Eda and Uncle Henrik near a
foreboding forest full of trolls, pixies, tomtegubbs, and huldre-folk—all straight from Norwegian legends.
Haig continues that story in Samuel Blink and the Runaway Troll.
In this new installment in the adventures of Samuel Blink, the forest is no longer a dangerous place, but it
still holds some pitfalls, especially for Troll-Son, who has lost the family eyeball, which he shares with his
parents and his little sister. Troll-Mother is so upset she threatens to send him to the Betterer, a ruthless
troll who tries to force troll children to behave like humans. That's when Troll-Son decides to run away from
home and go to live with Samuel Blink, his hero. But Troll-Son's arrival comes on a day that Samuel's sister
Martha has invited Cornelia, the richest, snobbiest girl in school, to her house for a sleep over. Unbeknown
to the household, Cornelia is there to spy for her father, who has stoked a long-time grudge against Uncle
Henrik. Needless to say, all manner of funny situations unfold and many tense close-calls happen. Then the
story takes a dark turn as Troll-Father and the Betterer march upon the human household to take Troll-Son back,
while the Betterer has an even more sinister agenda planned.
Matt Haig’s wry sense of humor can be found in his running commentary, sometimes even as intrusive author
asides, as well as his ability to get inside his characters' heads. His broad humor, which often drops into
slapstick, will have young readers rolling with laughter. Samuel Blink and the Runaway Troll is a
delightful read, giving readers a very different fairytale landscape to roam in. It is my hope that Haig will
find more adventures for Samuel Blink and his family and friends. This series could be very long lasting.
ARC of hardcover|
0399247408 / 978-0399247408|
Tweener Fiction, fantasy|
More at Amazon.com|
NOTE: Reviewer Janie
Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid!and co-author of
The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book.