This is the kind of book I like best.
Peer has no time to grieve over his father's sudden death. His cruel uncle shows up at the funeral, claims Peer and all his father's property, and drags the boy back to the dismal mill which he shares with Peer's other uncle, his equally nasty twin. Half-starved and forced to do all the work around the place, it doesn't seem it can get any worse for poor Peer.
Then Peer learns his uncles have plans for him. They've bargained with the Troll King to provide a human slave as a wedding present for an important royal match. Peer has to find a way to escape before the midwinter wedding, but where can he go that his uncles won't find him?
Katherine Langrish spins a delicious tale, with trolls and wicked uncles you love to hate, and a clever and kind-hearted hero you love to cheer on. Lush prose paints the Scandinavian setting in perfect detail, with lively descriptions that are a joy to read. The story rolls faster and faster to the climax, with one disaster piling on top of another, until I was just aching for the characters and couldn't see how they could possibly get out. And then it got even worse!
Fans of the folktale will adore this adventure in the lands of the far north. Recommended for ages ten and up.