This review is part of a blog tour. Thanks so much to the publishers for letting me read it!
I had heard of Amanda Hocking’s Trylle Trilogy but hadn’t read it. It was originally self-published and then she got a book deal, and has been writing ever since.
Now she has started another trilogy in the Trylle universe, called The Omte Origins and The Lost City is the first installment.
The author has noted that you can read The Lost City without having read the original trilogy, but that you might miss some of the references in the story. I can concur with this, as the story was enjoyable and fascinating, even though I had not read the Trylle trilogy. It left me wishing I had, though.
Before I continue, let me explain that the Trylle and Omte are two tribes of trolls, and that there are five altogether. The trolls seem to have originated in Scandinavia and made their way to North America along with the Vikings, so their culture is very Scandinavian with dashes of Native American culture. Since I am totally obsessed with Skyrim, I was, and am, especially excited to delve into the world of these trolls, who secretly live among modern day humans. Some troll tribes, such as the Kamin, have special magic abilities. Other tribes, such as the Omte, have distinctive appearances and incredible strength.
This story is told from the perspective of an Omte orphan named Ulla Tulin, who had been abandoned at an inn as a baby. Once Ulla turns nineteen, she’s ready to find out just exactly who she is, where she’s really from and the identity of the woman that had abandoned her at the inn.
Ulla drives from her small town of Iskyla, Nunavut to the hidden troll city, Merellä, of which is in Oregon, along with one of the daughters of her employers, Hanna (she is their nanny, I guess, but they all seem like family). There is an institute called the Mimirin, where a project called the Inhemsk Project being conducted there, and its purpose is help mixed-race trolls integrate into troll society, to try and save some of the troll tribes from going extinct, and, of course, to preserve their history and culture.
Ulla and Hanna make it to this city and quickly meet a strange trollian girl named Eliana, who has plenty of questions of her own. Eliana and Hanna become fast friends, and a lot of the story involves Ulla doing research as an intern, along with Pan, a fellow intern (I think) who is kind of hot and does as much as he can to help Ulla discover her identity and get settled in the city.
Amanda Hocking’s writing is really good, and the city comes alive as Ulla describes it, including the delicious food that Hanna and Eliana make (I thought it was cool that a tween like Hanna was already so good at cooking…sadly, I’m not as great a cook as my mom, and I really hope to get started someday).
Ulla also helpfully fills us in on every relevant aspect of troll history and customs, so newcomers to the series won’t be too lost.
I kind of liked that most of the troll tribes were kind of dark-skinned and dark-haired, like me, along with the two fair-haired tribes, the Omte and the Skojare. No one tribe is better than the other, which should keep the overzealous SJWs off of the author’s back. The inter-tribal politics are also very fascinating.
This is meant to be a trilogy, exploring the origins and history of the Omte tribe, so it does end in a cliffhanger, and I was surprised at the point in which it ends. I was already really into it and ready for the next chapter when it just ended. Fortunately, we readers won’t have to wait too long for the next installment, as it will be released in August.
In the meantime, my copy came with a history of all five tribes and a helpful glossary, and an excerpt from the next installment. I finished the novel while on a long flight, and it’s a pretty quick and easy read.
It’s also appropriate for the target audience, as it’s pretty innocent and Ulla’s main focus is her internship, taking care of Hanna, Eliana and her roommate Dagny, and, of course, her research into her own origins.
I do highly recommend it, especially if you need a quick modern—day fantasy fix.