“Love Makes Me Rather Terrible . . .”: A Review of Troll Valley by Lars Walker

My primary complaint with Lars Walker is that I have read all of his books.  He set his hook deep with Year of the Warrior.  I have hungered for more ever since.

Lars wrote his first three books (Year of the Warrior, Wolf Time, and Blood and Judgment) for the well-known sci-fi and fantasy publisher Baen Books.  I’m not sure that Baen ever really knew how to market Lars’ work.  Still, he has a growing cult following.  I am convinced there is money to be made in buying the rights to his work from Baen.

He wrote a fourth volume for Nordskog (a sequel to Year of the Warrior called West Oversea).  I heartily recommend them all, though Year is my personal favorite.  I have read from it to stunned silence from underclassmen and professors alike.  The book has impact.  Gene Veith prefers Wolf Time.

Now, Lars has bravely taken the path of writing a book directly for Amazon and the other ebook formats.  Troll Valley is available for a mere $2.99 at Amazon.  I happily loaded it on my kindle and read it like some guilty pleasure which would occasionally turn my emotions inside out.

The story revolves around a young man named Chris Anderson.  He is the grandchild of Norwegian immigrants living in Minnesota in the early 20th century.  There are three outstanding facts about Chris.  He has a deformed arm he bitterly compares to a duck’s wing.  He has an honest-to-goodness fairy godmother (it is she who is made terrible by her love for him).  And when he feels angry, inferior, or threatened, strange things happen.  Though it sounds like it, this book is not for children.  

I am not enough of a student of literature to say what genre this book fits into, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would call it something like Christian magical realism.  Lars has a special gift for writing engrossing stories which also contain many lessons, most of them about the faith.  

I urge you to start reading the books written by this talented and wise man.  Troll Valley at $2.99 is not a bad place to start.

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