Going into this, I had no idea this book was a part of a previously established world. It only came up in a few comments and the confidence with which the author spoke about obviously established world elements. I was intrigued by the main characters being trolls that appear like normal humans apart from a few special abilities. Throughout the book, I enjoyed seeing how the classic elements of troll myths were balanced with the desire to make the world unique.
Bryn is a tracker, an agent who goes out into the human world and retrieves young changeling trolls. The changelings, trolls that can alter their form, replace a human baby and grow up only to find out the truth about their heritage when they’re teenagers. Rich families are chosen to serve as the foster family so that when the changeling is retrieved they’ll bring all their inheritance back with them. It was intriguing how the changelings can vary their skin colour slightly, to match the background or their mood. It’s surprising that the changelings, who have grown up believing themselves human, are just supposed to go along with this with no fuss. Surely a situation like this with would cause confusion and anxiety let alone finding out you’re not actually human!
Bryn’s split heritage made for some interesting dynamics between her and her tribe. Marrying out of one’s tribe isn’t done often, meaning that Bryn is treated quite badly due to her ‘half-breed’ status. I thought it was amusing that Bryn’s mother had to get wet regularly, so she’s nearly always in the bath or just got out of it. This technique really demonstrates the differences between the troll tribes.
Ripley, the love interest, was an entertaining character even before Bryn realized she was drawn to him. He’s sarcastic and funny, adding a good dose of humour to the novel. His relationship with Bryn developed naturally, though it may have seemed a bit surprising at the beginning.
Initially, Bryn had a crush on Konstantin Black, but that was destroyed when he turned traitor and attempted to kill her father. Both of these elements added to greater motivation for Bryn when it came to tracking down and capturing Black. The storyline dealing with Black and his plans was fast at the beginning yet became slower as the novel continued, focusing more on Bryn’s emotions and her life amongst the tribe.
I prefer fast-paced, action-packed books, though this novel became slower I still found myself enjoying it. I give it 3/5 and I’m keen to see what Bryn does in the next book.