Title: Troll Mountain
Author: Matthew Reilly
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia
A dauntless young hero.
An army of brutal monsters.
An impossible quest.
Journey to the mountain …
In an isolated valley, a small tribe of humans is dying from a terrible illness.
When his sister is struck down by the disease and his tribal leaders refuse to help him, an intrepid youth named Raf decides to defy his tribe and do the unthinkable: he will journey alone to Troll Mountain and steal the elixir from the dreaded trolls.
But to get to Troll Mountain, Raf will have to pass through dangerous swamps and haunting forests filled with wolves, hobgoblins and, worst of all, the ever-present danger of rogue trolls …
The journey to the mountain has begun.
IN THIS EPISODIC NOVEL MATTHEW REILLY TAKES YOU ON HIS WILDEST RIDE YET: A HEADLONG QUEST TO THE DARK HEART OF THE KINGDOM OF THE TROLLS.
I’ve always found Matthew Reilly’s novels to be thrilling and packed with adventure but also life lessons. Whether or not they are meant to be interpreted as such is not important because everyone’s interpretation and experience of a book are different. Troll Mountain was no exception to this. Troll Mountain was heart stopping and a page turner. Although the book is short it’s main characters are well-developed and relatable, especially Raf.
The plot is simple it’s about a boy who is ostracised in his own community who wants to save his family, just with trolls. Simple but the journey is not. Raf is faced not only with physical challenges but also emotional and mental. As a boy who has been outcast in small close-knit community he is not vengeful or bitter. He learns really quickly, or rather knows, that those two emotions will not help him in the future. Instead he focuses on what he knows and does best, inventing. He doesn’t let what others say about him and his inventions stop him from thinking outside of what is considered normal and learning about better ways of doing things. But most importantly he is no hero, Raf is a boy, ordinary and without special powers. What makes him special is his determination to save his sister, his openness to other possibilities, his quick thinking and his eagerness to learn. He may have set out on his mission alone but along the way he met others who became willing to help him and it speaks volumes that he accepts this help or asks for help. Why you ask? Because he is acknowledging that whatever skills he may have, whatever weapons and contraptions he may invent he is not invincible. He is only human and by having others help him he admits to his own weakness and by accepting it becomes stronger in the process.
As I mentioned at the beginning there are plenty of life lessons to be learnt in Matthew Reilly’s books but Troll Mountain probably has the most that I’m aware of.
- To create progress we can’t be afraid of breaking the norm
- To make mistakes is being human
- We cannot judge someone or something else by what others say because while it may be true for the majority there are always the exceptions
- Just because the system works for the majority doesn’t give us the right to ignore the minority
- Knowledge gives us the information to act
- Sometimes the answer is much simpler than we think
- You don’t have to have super powers to be the hero of your own story
While it may have a lot of good points there is a teeny, tiny complaint (or issue) it reads like a Young Adult novel. It isn’t advertised as one but it definitely leans towards a younger audience which is why it can be a little difficult for older readers who looking for complexities to enjoy it. Other than that a wonderful, exciting and fast-paced read!
If it wasn’t obvious already I loved Troll Mountain and I definitely recommend it to people who love to read fantasy adventures. While it may be a short read there is a lot more to it than just trolls and mountains. 😉