Saturday, September 23, 2006

Troll Bridge: A Rock 'N Roll Fairy Tale

I recently finished reading Jane Yolen (see her online journal) and Adam Stemple's novel Troll bridge: A Rock 'N Roll Fairy Tale. I am not usually a fan of collaborative novels, especially one that features an author I have read, because I often spend an inordinate amount of time trying to determine who wrote what. It takes away from the magic of reading. So I approached this book with some trepidation. I need not have worried.

In this modernized fairy tale we meet Moira, a music prodigy and somewhat of a music snob. She is one of the twelve Dairy Princesses in the small town of Vanderby, Minnesota. There is a longstanding tradition of creating butter sculptures of each princess, placing them on Trollholm Bridge after the fair. This year a new major has eliminated the practice. Moira is on her way to a Dairy Princess photoshoot at the bridge and is running late. Arriving at sunset, she witnesses Anemarr, the troll, carry away the other princesses to Trollholm where they are fated to become troll brides. Moira is befriended by Fossegrim; an enchanted fox with his own agenda.

Next we meet the Griffsons, a popular boy band taking a much-needed vacation from their touring schedule. Jakob, Eric, and Galen are captured by Anemarr at the bridge,destined to become troll dinner. Foss explains, "Trolls, crave meat. Fresh meat. And human meat most of all." The townspeople had made a pact with the trolls, each year the dairy princess butter sculptures were given to the trolls and in return the trolls did not eat the townspeople. The new mayor's edict against the tradition has resulted in the pact being broken. Jakob escapes from Anemarr, and together with Moira and Foss work to save his brothers, rescue the princesses, and retrieve Foss's magic fiddle (being held by Anemarr).

Cleverly juxtaposed throughout the book are local radio news bulletins detailing the events in the non-magical realm as they unfold. Working together, Moira and Jakob make life-changing decisions that effect the fates of all involved. What follows is an updated fairy tale including quests, magic, tricksters, music, and the ultimate question of happily ever after.

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