The Prodigal Troll
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The Prodigal Troll

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  6 reviews
The Prodigal Troll is a tale of a human child raised by a band of mythological creatures that is both hysterical and moving.

When Lord Gruethrist's castle is laid under siege by an invading baron, he sends a trusted knight and nursemaid off with his infant son. Their escape across a wilderness landscape populated by fantastic creatures and torn by war takes unexpected turns...more
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published June 3rd 2005 by Pyr (first published May 19th 2005)
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Benjamin Newland
So, I had to read this book no matter what simply because the title is so utterly fantastic. Turns out it was a good book too, so I lucked out.

The story is essentially a Tarzan variation. A baby is abandoned at a very young age and adopted by a troll mother who has just lost her own baby. The kid is raised by trolls, who in this novel are primitive but not unintelligent, though certainly not as smart as humans. They're brutal, but it's an understandable brutality--a kind of natural state rough-a...more
In a world not of our own, the babe of a Baron is whisked away into the night by his nursemaid and a knight. As they flee, the castle they called home burns, over run with soldiers of the enemy. Nothing matters anymore but the safety of the child.
They fail and succeed a the same time.

Both adults meet their demise, however the baby is taken up by a female troll who has just lost her own infant. It is here Claye, known by trolls as Maggot, is suckled, then raised as a troll. Throughout his entire...more
This book deserves its comparisons to Kipling's Mowgli or Burroughs' Tarzan. The plot is familiar is that sense: baby lost in the wilderness, against nature is raised by animals. In this case, the boy is raised by trolls who act a lot like lowland gorillas. The trolls are fascinating, their society intriguing and really they are the whole are a lot more interesting than the humans, whose machinations are utterly confusing. The beginning with the intermarriage/named heirs/empress/eunuchs who are...more
Nicholas Whyte
The central character is a boy brought up by trolls, à la Tarzan or Mowgli, who then seeks his destiny among his own kind; he wanders into a human war between subsistence pastoralists and settled agriculturalists (Native Americans vs European feudal settlers seeming to be the paradigm) and eventually, in an ending that came rather abruptly though did at least fit with what we had seen before, chooses his own way.

I was a bit dubious about the sexual politics of the book. The story is all about ho...more
Some really charming and moving passages, and I love the trolls, but between the creepy queercoding of the villain and the "noble white dude sees through society's bullshit—society, man, am I right?" I was left feeling pretty meh.

I do really, really love the trolls, though.
A great twist on the usual Tarzan trope, and a fun story in its own right.
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Note: First novel and short story collection were published as "Charles Coleman Finlay."
More about C.C. Finlay...
The Patriot Witch (Traitor to the Crown, #1) A Spell for the Revolution (Traitor to the Crown, #2) The Demon Redcoat (Traitor to the Crown, #3) The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2014 Wild Things

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