The Runaway Troll: Reviews


Children with a taste for magic and fantasy with find both – and a dollop of humour – in this second tale of Samuel Blink and his sister, Martha. … This entertaining thriller oozes comedy and suspense in equal measure and builds a dark atmosphere of malevolence that every right-thinking child with devour with nervous glee. Sally Morris, The Daily Mail

Haig describes the Trolls’ habits with such sickening relish that you want to look away. The Daily Telegraph

This book is just as delightful as Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest (Putnam, 2007). It continues the story of Samuel and Martha, along with their Norwegian aunt and uncle and the trolls who live in the neighboring forest. The siblings are starting school, which is not an easy thing when you only speak English. Samuel has enough problems without the arrival of Troll-Son, who is hiding from the Betterer, an adult troll who uses various torture techniques to make the trolls more human. Meanwhile, Martha is becoming friendly with Cornelia, who has motives other than friendship for spending time with her. When the worlds of the trolls and the humans fully connect, there is no guessing what will happen. Enthusiastically portrayed with all of their quirks, the characters are engaging. Fast pacing adds to the readability of the book, and the combination of fantasy and broad humor is very well done. School Library Journal

Well-paced suspense, sympathetic (or satisfyingly wicked) characters and a lovingly described Norwegian setting make this an above-average fantasy. Kirkus Review

The Runaway Troll is a really gripping story that has many twists and turns plus some truly tragic and magic moments. Haig keeps everything zinging along nicely with his wonderful sense of humour and unique quirky style. I would strongly recommend this book to human and troll alike! Fantasy Book Review

. . . thoroughly engaging and readable 

Fast, fun and furious action with a cast of humorous characters and creatures. A runaway hit TBK

SAMUEL BLINK AND THE RUNAWAY TROLL is that unusual specimen in literature — a sequel that is just as good as, if not better than, its predecessor. Having established the mythology of the Forbidden Forest in the first novel (and cleverly summarized it in a “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay for new readers), Haig tightens his focus here, choosing to concentrate on the dynamics of three very different families: Magnus Myklebust’s, Samuel Blink’s and Troll-Son’s. As he explores the different ways family members both hurt and rescue one another, he also examines ideas of heroism, loyalty and revenge. That’s not to say that the book is dark or ponderous. On the contrary, funny asides, witty descriptions and hilarious situations help keep readers laughing right along — even as they have plenty to think about. Norah Piehl,

… balances good old knockabout fun with some deeper notiosn of family love and loss as our young troll learns that grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side. The Stirling Observer

I absolutely loved this book. It was funny and entertaining, as well as having suspense. I enjoyed it so much! I liked how it was written: each character had their thoughts put in some way or another. At first, I thought the book would be more for younger kids, but once I got to reading, I was hooked. The writing was just so easy to get attached to. What made it even better was that I am Norwegian. I thought it was fun to read a book that takes place in Norway. I recommend SAMUEL BLINK AND THE RUNAWAY TROLL to anyone, really. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Like the last book, funny, perceptive and well-written, and again there’s a lovely over-the-top villain. Recommended from senior primary upwards. Storytimebooks

Be warned! Don’t go for a walk in the shadow forest lest you might not return. Poor Samuel Blink must go into the dreaded woods to somehow find his sister and bring her back alive somehow. With fast-flowing action and encounters with fantastical creatures throughout, the author skilfully manages to maintain a strong sense of foreboding and suspense right up until the dramatic conclusion of this creepy tale.

“Throughly engaging and readable” 

“Fast, fun and furious action with a cast of humorous characters and creatures. A runaway hit” TBK 

“It is so good to have a children’s book, full of fun and adventure . . . A well-judged adventure for young readers, told in a proper story-teller’s voice. Hurrah!” Carousel 

“There is adventure, excitement and danger and trolls seem to be having a bit of a literary resurgence at the moment so this will probably be a popular choice for 8-10-year-olds who want a challenging read” The School Librarian