The Runaway Troll continues the story of Samuel Blink, his sister Martha and his Aunt Eda. Uncle Henrik is now safely home after their adventures in Shadow Forest, and a certain Troll-son has decided to pay them a visit, causing untold headaches for everyone. Little do Samuel and his family realise that Troll-son is not the only visitor about to call - they will soon be introduced to the Betterer, the main reason Troll-son has run away from his village of Tollhelm in the first place. To add to these problems Uncle Henrik’s sudden reappearance after 10 years lost in the forest has come to a number of people’s attention (including that of the postman!), not least his nemesis Magnus Myklebust, who employs his devious and downright spoilt daughter Cornelia to befriend Martha and find out exactly what happened to Henrik. Deciding it’s too dangerous for Troll-son to stay the decision is made to escort him home, but not before tragedy strikes!
Told from the perspective of our hero Samuel the story revisits old friends such as the Trolls, Tomtegubbs and of course Samuel’s new family. Samuel and Martha had of course only just met their Uncle at the end of Shadow Forest as he had spent most of the story as Ibsen the Elkhound. However, we find out all the details about Henrik, his Olympic medal and of course why Magnus Myklebust hates him so much. But, much more is at stake than Henrik’s reputation - Myklebust wants to turn Shadow Forest into the World’s first Troll Theme Park! In amongst all this Samuel and Martha are trying to adjust to their new lives without their parents and old friends. There to thwart any kind of happy outcome, if he can help it, is the Betterer; a bitter and twisted Troll who considers himself above everyone else and is a torturer of troll children - he uses incredibly itchy soap and water and six hour maths lessons.
"‘You must not think about going back to the forest. We must forget it efen exists. And if you effer see anything leef the forest, then you must tell me or your Uncle straight away. This is ferry important. You remember what I always say, don’t you?’
Martha and Samuel looked at each other, and recited Aunt Eda’s favourite saying word for word ‘If we don’t effer cause trouble with the forest, the forest won’t effer cause trouble with us.’
Aunt Eda frowned. ‘Why do you say “effer”? I don’t speak like that. I say “effer” not “effer” thank you ferry much.
And Martha nudged Samuel and Samuel laughed, and the laughter was contagious because pretty soon it had spread to Martha and then to Uncle Henrik and eventually even Aunt Eda was laughing as well."
Excerpt from The Runaway Troll
Whilst you probably could read this story without having first read Shadow Forest, for maximum enjoyment you would be best served to read Shadow Forest first. 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!
Review by Amanda White
6 positive reader review(s) for The Runaway Troll
Anonymous from England
I have read the first book and being honest this was the first book that I have actually fully read and was mind blown to me the imagination was sensational and I enjoyed every word of shadow forest I'm hoping to read the second book to get the same amount of thrill I got from the first :)
Anon from UK
Dear Matt Haig. Please can you write another one of these books because they are so funny, gripping and I can't put them down. I first read Shadow Forest when I went on holiday and I spent most of my time reading it rather than taking notice of my holiday!
Joseph from Auckland, New Zealand
I love the book! Oh, and the fake person with the name Julia Gillard from Antartica, I think the opposite of what you have said. I hate everyone who disagrees with me!
Sarah from Robinson Road SW13
I can't wait to read this book because I am reading Shadow Forest.
Evin from Easter Dalry Road
Dear Matt Haigg, I like the first book you published Shadow Forest. My favorite charecter is the tomtygump most of the people in my class love the tomtygump.In our class we have story time and we are nearly about finished Shadow Forest.I think you're really creative and talented and I think all the children out there in the world will just love your books that you publish.
Brooke from 76 Meadway
The book is amazing and I love reading it.
9.8/10 from 7 reviews