Wow, there is so much potential here, I was sorry to read such a short work! Scandinavian folklore is so rich, this story could expand into volumes to fully develop and explore not only the creatures but the characters as well. When I visited Norway some years ago, it appeared the country loved its Trolls; figurines, paintings and dolls were everywhere in every shop, it seemed. Ms Davenports’ portrayal of them as dangerous predators was both disturbing and fascinating…suggesting even a bit of government conspiracy and deception at work; and who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory?
The lengthy and musically-related title (“Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg) created an expectation of something more grand, but the story’s short length made it a bit disappointing and hard to ‘get into’ the characters. It made the love scenes less satisfying when they did occur, and no real build-up to them beforehand. That said, the brief scenes between Astri and Kai were camp-stove hot!
Interestingly, in this same small timeframe, Davenport manages to create a colorful cast of supporting characters. The jealous heavy, the unflappable team leader, the spunky comrade-in-arms all beg to be explored further. There is great dialogue between them all – something I love to find in a story. The writing style bordered on brilliant at times, stumbling at others. I look forward to reading this author’s next (and hopefully longer) works!