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Dark Angels Paperback – 30 Apr 2009

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Dark Angels + West of the Moon + Troll Blood (Troll Trilogy)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (30 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007214898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007214891
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 465,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Katherine Langrish grew up in Yorkshire, England and has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. She graduated from London University with a degree in English, and worked in an assortment of odd jobs including waitressing, teaching riding, and several years as Information Officer for Lloyd's Register of Ships in London. This last was an entertaining post dealing with an assortment of the ship-crazed public, including a man who claimed he could see shipwrecks with his 'magic eye.'

Married with two daughters, Katherine moved to France with her family and became involved in a storytelling group providing weekly stories, drama and activities for children. And the storytelling continued when the family relocated again, this time to the small town of Corning in New York State.

Returning to England in 1999, Katherine began writing 'Troll Fell', a folklore-based fantasy novel for children set in the Viking age. It was sold at auction to HarperCollins for a six-figure sum and was followed by the sequels, 'Troll Mill' and 'Troll Blood'. The books follow the fortunes of young Peer Ulfsson and his friend Hilde in a richly-imagined Scandinavian world. Katherine says, 'I don't do heroes with swords, rings and other magical gadgets, so my characters have to work out their problems by their own efforts.' The final book in the series takes the pair across the Atlantic in a Viking ship to the coasts of 'Vinland' (Nova Scotia). As part of her research she spent time learning to sail a replica Viking ship on Roskilde fjord, Denmark. Katherine approaches her fantasies as 'history with the beliefs put back in' - incorporating the beliefs of people of the past who took for granted the existence of trolls, ghosts, and other spirits.

Product Description

Review

“Langrish is a first-rate storyteller who deftly weaves into her tales vivid, well-researched domestic detail, real folklore and emotional intelligence.” Amanda Craig, The Times

Praise for Troll Blood:

“The gripping climax mixes humour, adventure and imagination.” Amanda Craig, The Times

"An exciting and rewarding story, enriched by Langrish's wonderfully effective evocation of contemporary folklore… This is a lovely book. Read it. Read all three!" School Librarian

"I love these books. Katherine Langrish is often compared to Alan Garner. She uses the same blend of history, mythology, fantasy and magic to spin a thumpingly good tale that is both realistic and dream-like… The historical details are awesomely researched." The Book Bag

Praise for Troll Mill:

“Despite the high drama of Troll Mill, it is moments of comedy… which will make children rock with delight and long for the further adventures of Peer.” Amanda Craig, The Times

Praise for Troll Fell:

In Troll Fell Katherine Langrish has unearthed a captivating world. Bleak and captivating. Her style is quirky and hypnotic and her characters are instantly recognizable as someone you know, or someone you wish you didn't. Eoin Colfer

"Troll Fell is a joy… a marvellous, magical adventure…” Amanda Craig, The Times

"The style is enthralling, and the adventure persuasive and gripping. A juicy read for children." Independent on Sunday

"From the opening page… Langrish's power to locate her story in the reader's imagination is reminiscent of Alan Garner." Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Katherine Langrish grew up in Yorkshire, studied English at university and has always enjoyed writing and telling stories. Married with two daughters, Katherine lived in France near the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau, where she ran a storytelling group for children. She has also lived in New York State, near the Finger Lakes, said by Native American legends to be the hand-print of the Great Spirit. Katherine currently lives in Oxfordshire and is enjoying her life as a full-time author.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Wilson on 18 May 2009
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best novels for children I've read for a long time. Langrish has created a magical world without a trace of whimsy, an engrossing read whose characters grip you right from the start. The thing is that in the Middle Ages people really saw the world differently, and this is how Langrish's characters experience their lives. I think it's this groundedness that makes the novel so utterly convincing. And there are the wonderful descriptions, so vivid, but utterly economical, they enhance the narrative, never divert attention from it. You can feel the snow, the cold wind, taste the good food.I loved Wolf and Nest, and the strange, dangerous jester, the obsessed, magnificent, yet pathetic Lord Hugo. I just had to keep on reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Savonnerie on 5 July 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a very gripping and well-researched book. The details of medieval life are so well done that you really feel you're there, both in the castle and on the forbidding Devil's Edge. Wolf and Nest, the young hero and heroine come vividly off the page and the supernatural elements blend in with the real-life story in a totally believable way. A good one for both boys and girls...and their parents.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wacom Tablet on 10 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Absolutely brilliant - I couldn't put it down. I was drawn in from the first page! agree with the other reviewers - the way that the medeival setting is written brings it to life, so that it seems to really relate to the modern life in terms of experience, even though there is a strong fantasy element. Makes you realise that although the way we live has changed, people themselves haven't really.
High recommended.
I am now in the process of reading the Troll trilogy - I have read the first one, Troll Fell, and can't wait to start Troll Mill!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. S. K. Mann on 29 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a gripping book, which will suck you in from the start, then Dark Angels is the book for you. The book is quite dark and has a creepy setting, the imagery Katherine uses will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on edge at times.
Dark Angels is a great fantasy novel, a genre I am fussy about. I either like or hate them, this I liked. Set in the time of the Crusades, when people saw things differently. They feared elves and demons; this is what the book is drawn on. These mysterious creatures which are caught somewhere between Heaven and Hell.
The characters are ones you will fall in love with Elfgift the elf child and Wolf, you will empathise and root for them throughout. Not forgetting the heroine of the story Nest, who speaks to the Hearth Hob as natural as we speak to our friends. She was my favourite character, the daughter of a knight, who wanted to do something special with her life.
Katherine's descriptions of the world are so vivid and wonderful you can't help being caught up in them. It is as if you can smell the wood burning stove, taste the food and feel the wind on your face.
The ending was unexpected, but a great way to end it, one I very much enjoyed. A great book for early teen readers upwards and perfect for both boys and girls, with its strong characters of both genders. One I would highly recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. E. A. Humphrey on 11 July 2009
Format: Paperback
From the first page, the author led me,without hesitation, in the eager pursuit of Wolf,as he enters his new life, a life filled with energy,excitement,mystery and magic set in the dark,brooding landscape of Wales.
I found his growing friendship with Nest and her father,Lord Hugo,the most compelling and although it may sound cliche!!, I really couldnt put it down and have re-read it several times.
An outstanding adventure from Katherine Langrish,of the Troll Trilogy.
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By Nick Green on 25 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Katherine Langrish writes a wildly original kind of fantasy - the kind in which you entirely forget that any of it is made up. As in West of the Moon (also known as the Troll trilogy), the world of Dark Angels rests on the simple premise that ancient myths are true. By taking folklore at face value, it conjures a world in which people live side by side with ghosts, elves and hearth-hobs, (almost) without batting an eyelid.

Nor does this author do traditional heroes. Former crusader Sir Hugo, though not nearly as ruthless as the psychotic Harald in Troll Blood, is strongly hinted to be far from the perfect knight, with countless innocent deaths on his conscience. No, the `hero' here is actually Wolf, a 13-year-old boy who's extraordinary by his very ordinariness, and a lack of any obvious `heroic' traits - apart from the one that proves to be all that matters: a good heart.

There's also a terrific heroine in the form of Nest (`Don't call me Lady Agnes'), another wholly realistic teenager trapped in a world that has nothing to offer her. Living in dread of her imminent arranged marriage, she proves that a strong female character doesn't have to be a bow-wielding violent action heroine. In fact my favourite scene in the whole book is where Nest turns on her oppressors with a ferocious blast of medieval feminism that should have everyone, girl or boy, cheering.

The setting is just a dream - sometimes a fevered dream - an astonishingly vivid wild British landscape, in which the sound of a light wind might be the Devil's hunting horn, or a patter of stones the feet of spectral hounds on your scent. But if `Dark Angels' makes the supernatural almost commonplace, then the real mystery and magic comes from very human troubles and questions.
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