Troll tales

Troll tales

Torn is Amanda Hocking’s second book in her Trylle trilogy whose first installment, Switched, catapulted her straight into the league of bestseller writers in the genre of paranormal romance. In Torn, Hocking flexes her literary muscles a little more to dig deeper into the world of trolls that she first created with Switched.

While Switched entertained with a great mix of mystery, fantasy and romance, in Torn, Hocking elaborates on the complexities of Trylle society and its impact on Wendy, their princess.

Switched ended with Wendy and her mansklig Rhys escaping Forening, the Trylle kingdom. But Wendy’s luck soon runs out as Trylle trackers come to fetch her back to Forening in the opening chapters of Torn. Though Wendy foils their plan, she soon realises that she can never run away from who she really is, as Loki and Kyra, members of the rival tribe — Vittra — kidnap her by force and take her to the Vittra palace along with Rhys and her brother Matt.

With Torn, Hocking attempts to justify the meteoric rise to fame that she achieved with Switched. While Switched oozed freshness in terms of characters and their thrilling encounters with each other, Torn deals with the changing dynamics of the relationship between its protagonists, as explosive secrets are revealed and new bonds are formed.

At the Vittra palace, Wendy learns that she shares a deeper bond with the Vittra, as their king, Oren, is actually her father, which makes Wendy equally significant in shaping the destinies of both the Vittra and the kingdom of Forening, which her mother rules.

With Loki’s help, Wendy escapes to Forening where she starts training under Tove, the markis with extraordinary mental powers, to hone her own special gifts that will help her become a worthy queen of the Trylle in the future.

But that future doesn’t seem to be too far away as Wendy had hoped, as her mother Elora’s health, thanks to her over exertion at intuitive drawing, fails, suddenly forcing Wendy to take some quick, but tough, decisions regarding her own life. And this decision will change her world forever. Torn between her own needs for true love and her duty towards her people, Wendy must act like a true future-queen, ready to sacrifice her own happiness for the larger good of her people, exactly like her mother Elora.

Torn presents Hocking’s new protagonist Loki, the devilishly charming Vittra prince. If Switched left female readers swooning over the quietly intense Finn Holmes, in Torn, the baton is passed to Loki, whose magnetic charm threatens to overpower Wendy as she struggles to cope with the impossible love between her and Finn. And for everyone who admired Wendy, the smart princess with a mind of her own, Torn gives more reasons to feel proud of her as she handles the pressures of her personal trauma and duties to her kingdom with great courage and conviction.

While Switched had more edge-of-the-seat moments, Hocking dedicates Torn to deeper exploration of Wendy’s emotional conflicts and her maturation from a heartbroken young girl in love to a responsible and able future leader of her tribe. However, Torn cannot boast of delicious moments of romance that Switched offered so generously, except for one brief but passionate interlude between Wendy and Finn. And the raw magnetism of Loki that draws Wendy to him too is not explored fully, which one suspects the author will make up for in the next installment of the Trylle series.

Torn may not have the adrenaline-rush-inducing action that readers loved in Switched, but it showcases Hocking’s talent for engaging storytelling, thus giving enough reasons for her readers to anticipate Ascend, the final book of the Trylle trilogy.

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