Just finished reading Rae Bridgman's Kingdom of Trolls. (
Sybertooth Publishing, New Brunswick)
It's the fourth book in her Middlegate Series which is set here in Winnipeg, but over in the magical part - you know the area - in between the cracks of reality.
In Kingdom of Trolls, Sophie and Wil, the two young protagonists travel to Iceland - obviously inspired by the author's visits over there. I got to go to the book launch back in February and was thoroughly entertained by Bridgman's expressive reading. She weaves 'an enchanted web' over her listeners and I do hope she gets many opportunities to read her work out loud. The writing style - with its Latin, Icelandic and troll sounds - begs to be dramatically presented. That said, my one minor criticism would be the way the troll words were written. I found the mix of capitals and non-capitals hard on the eye. But then, that mix does convey the gruffness of troll's speech.
Bridgman's beautiful ink drawings throughout add another dimension to the story, and I kept referring back to the colorful cover (another author drawing) when the two characters were deep in troll country.
I don't read a lot of fantasy, so this was a real treat - to escape into a plot full of talking rocks, ghosts, trolls, crystal balls, and more. My favorite lines come in the translation of one of the Latin chapter introductions: Chapter XXXVII: Observation: Problems can multiply like flies. Another observation: Gifts soon beget gifts. Third observation: The story certainly changes depending on the storyteller.
This storyteller gives readers the gift of make-believe with dramatic style and an incredibly vivid imagination.
p.s. I heard that the first three Middlegate books have been translated into Chinese. Congrats, Rae!