Saturday, March 26, 2016

Trylle (The complete trilogy) - review

Shockingly beautiful covers making me reminisce the fairy tales I used to be told.

Trylle has been completely new to me. I never heard of it before I picked this trilogy up in my local library.
I'm already in my 30's but I still enjoy my YA fiction now and then. It's fun to revel in themes that don't get too dark or heavy.
It's a little vacation for the mind.

Trylle begins with Switched, where our main character Wendy is being introduced. We meet her as she's about to turn 6 and her mother is trying to kill her. The next time we meet her she's about to turn 18 and a troublesome teenager. She's not rebellious per se, but trouble seems to run into her.
Finn is another character introduced at the beginning of the novel and you immediately sense that there is more than meets the eye. Luckily for YA novels, they don't tend to make you wait ages to finally leaning into everyone's expectations.
After a series of unexpected events, Finn tells Wendy she's not human, but part of a tribe of trolls, called Trylle. She's supposed to have abilities, which she already showed some of in the form of severe persuasion.
She believes him almost immediately, foregoing the whole process of reflecting the entire situation.
Finn takes Wendy to her real home and her birth mother, who happens to be Queen of the Trylle tribe and expects her to be a perfect princess.
Wendy does fall in love with Finn and he reluctantly gives in to her charms, before this novel ended.

My thoughts after this first installment in the trilogy were very innocent. I didn't think the second would endear me so much, because I was expecting this to be the typical triangle between love, duty and common sense. But the Goodreads high scores were actually better for the second, so I continued.

Torn, the second part, is better to digest than Switched.
The story picks up right after where it left off in Switched. Wendy is back home, having run away and as she gets comfortable, she's being attacked by Vittra, a competing troll tribe.
She's beaten and rendered unconscious to be taken to the King of the Vittra, who also happened to be her father.
As she is contemplating this new information, she gets to know Loki, a Vittra royal charged with guarding her.
Rather quickly she's rescued from Ondarike, the castle of her father and taken back to the palace.
Her duties as princess come more into focus, as is the training of her abilities.
She's also notified of the pending marriage to Tove Kroner, a fellow Trylle who she comes to befriend.
Finn is also still lingering around, causing her to be more melodramatic than need be, but luckily it comes in small doses. It's not like he's constantly there to torment her and consequently me as the reader.
Loki also shows up, trying to persuade her to come with him, but as she feel unexplicably drawn to him, she chooses her duty as Princess before him.

Torn is a struggle between love and duty. Between Finn and Loki. It's a little like coming of age. Wendy wants so many things, very different things and as she grows she realises she can't have one without losing the other.

And that brings us to the latter part of this trilogy.
Ascend is true to the word.
Amanda Hocking as writer has made this universe her own and she has created a very mature and sober character in a world of magic.
Wendy has married to Tove and accepted that she needs to make sacrifices in her life for the greater good.
Her father keeps attacking her soon to be kingdom and she agrees with him to hand him what he wants once she becomes queen.
In their truce, she feverishly tries to find a way to kill him and end their centuries old war.

In the meantime, Loki still plays a big part in her life, as she comes to terms with the feelings she has for him. Even though she goes to visit him more often than need be, she keeps him at bay because of her promise to her mother and her marriage to Tove.
Her troubled relationship with Finn also gets a firm rundown.
Tove himself doesn't love Wendy and as the days after their marriage drag on, they find it difficult to consummate their marriage. Finn tells her eventually that Tove is gay and later on in the novel Tove tells her this himself.
Wendy is still torn between duty and love. She's not in love with Tove, but in love with Loki.
When they reach a destroyed town after an attack of the Vittra, she gives in to the passion she feels for Loki. Her strength down from helping hurt people all day long, in the night she's unable to go against her own longing.

The novel ends with a great fight and as I come to expect in YA novels, all's well ends well.
She and Loki eventually do end up together quite happily.

What I kept thinking while reading was that for a story very much consisting of a fairy tale, it had some very tough themes.
Wendy isn't the blindeyed doe, wanting to be with her first love throughout this series. She fell in love, she was rebuked and she got over it. She found the strength in her heart to admit that while it seemed like nothing would compare to Finn, that she was wrong and eventually she made the very adult decision of moving on.
Other than that, she thrived to do the right thing, not for herself, but for the greater good. While she could've fought the arranged marriage, she found a way to be happy with it and eventually came around very evenly.
For such a magical surrounding, Wendy was a contained, down-to-earth persona and a relief to follow throughout the trilogy.