Review: “Troll Valley” by Lars Walker

Troll Valley is an e-book published by Lars Walker and is available through for only $2.99. Simply put, we need many, many more e-books like this one. Walker writes from a distinctly Christian worldview, but is able to avoid so much of the sentimentalist and moralistic errors of the majority of Christian fiction. This is a novel about the law and about grace. This is a novel about forgiveness and justification by faith, and about unmerited favor. That Walker is able to accomplish these things without being preachy and actually telling a compelling story is a testament to his growth as a writer and storyteller.

My first Lars Walker book was his novel Blood and Judgement, based on Hamlet. The premise was great but the overall pacing and writing left something to be desired. Walker has come a long way in his latest effort. I’m surprised that Troll Valley did not receive release in printed format, because it is far and away better than the majority of modern Christian fiction.

The story is about Chris Anderson, son of the wealthiest family in town in the 1910’s and 1920’s Minnesota. Chris has a deformed arm, which causes at turns anger and self-pity. His father wanted to be a simple farmer, but his mother, an early feminist of sorts, pushes him to make money off of his inventions, which he does. The majority of the story revolves around Chris’s relationship with a girl, who he rejects so as not to feel the sting of rejection himself, and Chris’s journey through anger and bitterness to peace. The Lutheran Church plays an important role in all this. But, in case you were worried that the book was straightforward, it also involves a fairy godmother who likes telling stories about people eating each other, lawn gnomes (and not the cute kind), Cowboys and Indians, trolls and the ability to breathe fire. It is realism meets fantasy in the best possible way.

If you like reading novels, it is hard to beat the $2.99 price tag and the read is excellent.

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