James's Reviews > The Troll's Belt

The Troll's Belt by J.M. Ney-Grimm
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Nov 02, 2012

it was amazing

This is a reimagining of the classic Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, with a Nordic twist. J. M. Ney-Grimm's work concentrates on themes from the North Lands (as she calls them); a very Nordic/pseudo Norse sort of setting, heavy with mythology and culture. It's a very interesting focus, one that you don't see in a lot of writing--very refreshing.
This story concerns a young boy who discovers a magic belt--and ends up getting into more trouble than he bargained for. But really, it's a sort of coming of age novella--Brys learns some important lessons through his trials, and this makes the book as poignant as it is fun. It's the kind of story you could read to your young children at bed-time, but also the kind you could use as a life lesson for older children.

The writing style is fantastic. It's somehow youthful (as it's through the eyes of a twelve year old) and mature at the same time. Normally, it would be a challenge to discuss such mature themes as responsibility, loyalty and forgiveness with such a young "voice," but Ney-Grimm does so easily. The result is a thought provoking tale--to use the term again, it really is a coming of age story.

Heartily recommended, and it's made me looking forward to reading more of her work!
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