Book Review: Troll Mountain by Matthew Reilly

Liam Butler

Liam Butler lives in Stoke, the cool part of Nelson. He has been reviewing books, movies and music for a bit of light relief since his student days.

Troll Mountain Matthew Reilly Publication: available now, RRP $24.99,MacMillan

Fables and fantasies have the ability to engage and uplift the reader like few other genres. Their departure from life’s realities allows the reader to suspend judgement, prejudice and bias for just enough time for the very essence of characters and their life’s journey to be fully explored and appreciated. Troll Mountain an enjoyable read as it has enough depth and complexity of story to keep you engaged anticipating for whatever will happen next. Yet has a levity that allows you to relax a bit and become enthralled by the journey and the impact of a good lesson learnt in a very hard way.

Matthew Reilly’s Troll Mountain is about a young hero. Barbaric monsters. An impossible quest. In a remote valley, a tribe of humans is being killed off by a terrible disease. There is a rumour that the trolls of Troll Mountain have a cure for the illness: a miraculous elixir. When Raf's sister gets sick and his tribal leaders refuse to help him, he makes a courageous decision. He sets out on his own for Troll Mountain ... to steal the elixir. The journey to the mountain has begun ...

A note from the author: ‘For me, a good fable should have a positive central theme, something that guides us in our lives. As I see it, the main theme of Troll Mountain is: education should always trump brute force… If you look at our world as you watch the evening news, you will see that, even now in the early 21st century, there are essentially two types of societies: those in which everyone’s talent is harnessed and where physical strength is not the sole determinant of status; and those where guys with guns rule (i.e. military regimes). The greatest leap forward a society can make, in my humble opinion, is when that society’s army pledges to obey its parliament under all circumstances. Societies ruled by thugs and military regimes will, by their very nature, stagnate and eventually die. Guys with guns do not innovate, nor do they inspire any innovation from those they rule over by force. Whereas if we let talented people do their thing – work in politics, science, engineering, or the arts – society will flourish and we will fly to the moon and back.’

About the author: "Born in Sydney in 1974, Matthew Reilly was not always a big fan of reading. It was only after he read To Kill A Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies in Year 10 that he realised reading could transport you to another world. Following this revelation, Matthew soon began creating stories of his own and set about writing his first novel, Contest, at 19 while still at university studying law. Following rejections from all the major publishers, Matthew self-published Contest in 1996, printing 1000 copies. He produced a big-budget-looking novel which he sold into bookshops throughout Sydney, one shop at a time. In January 1997, a Commissioning Editor for Pan Macmillan Australia walked into Angus & Robertson's Pitt Street Mall store and bought a copy of Contest. The editor tracked Matthew down through his contact details in the front of the book. Interestingly, those original self-published editions of Contest have now become much sought after collectors' items. One recently sold on eBay for $1200! Matthew Reilly is now the internationally bestselling author of the Scarecrow novels: Ice Station, Area 7, Scarecrow, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves and the novella Hell Island; the Jack West novels: Seven Ancient Wonders, The Six Sacred Stones, The Five Greatest Warriors; and the standalone novels Contest, Temple, Hover Car Racer,The Tournament, Troll Mountain and The Great Zoo of China. His books are published in over 20 languages with worldwide sales of over 7 million copies. Since Seven Ancient Wonders in 2005, Matthew's novels have been the biggest selling new fiction title released in Australia for that year. Matthew has also written several short stories, including Roger Ascham and the King's Lost Girl, a special free prequel to The Tournament which is available online. Other short stories include Time Tours, The Mine and the hyper-adrenalised romp, Altitude Rush. He owns and drives a DeLorean DMC-12, the car made famous in the Back to the Future movies. He also has a life-sized Han Solo in carbonite hanging on the wall of his office! When not writing or penning a film script, Matthew can be found on the golf course. Matthew Reilly is currently living in Los Angeles."

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