The Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking

Summary from Goodreads:

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.

When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story.
She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers—and marry an equally powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits…and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.

With a war looming on the horizon, Wendy's fate seems sealed.But everything she sacrificed might be in vain if she can't save the ones she loves. Her whole life has been leading up to this, and it's all coming to an end.

Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted…in both worlds.

I consider this as the second phase of my paranormal YA exploration.

I feel like I have to issue some sort of warning here that there are quite a few cliches found in this book (think unassuming girl, hot guys, love triangle, forbidden love). Girl (Wendy) feeling she doesn't fit anywhere, is stalked by a mysterious handsome guy (Finn) from whom she discovers she is switched at birth. She then comes with the mysterious handsome guy to her rightful home (Trylle/Troll community) and on top of that she is actually a Princess of the said community/home destined to become Queen. Girl has this strange unexplained attraction to the mysterious handsome guy who turns out to be some sort of royal bodyguard, and any form of romantic relationship with royal guards (what they call trackers in the book) is actually frowned upon in the community and is punishable by banishment. Then comes the 3rd wheel, Loki, an equally gorgeous guy but is more the adventurous and spontaneous type, opposite Finn's responsible and steadfast personality; making Wendy's love life all the more complicated. There is also insta-love here between Loki and Wendy. As Loki mentioned that he felt a "connection" with Wendy even though they hardly know each other. I also did not quite like the frequency of the descriptions of how drop dead gorgeous everyone in this book is. I'm fine with cliches if done to a minimum. But there was just too many of them for my liking. Most especially in the first book.

On to the good. I like that the books used the Troll myth as it's background as opposed to the usual vampire, werewolf, fairies, and angels. Although it has taken the "twilight approach" and glamorized the trolls into gorgeous individuals with supernatural powers, there are those which they call hobgoblins which fit our usual impression of what a troll is. So perhaps a reprieve on that one is in order. Plotwise, I did not quite like the first book because I found it hard to get over the aforementioned cliches. But there was an improvement in Torn and Ascend. I like that there are back stories of the two warring Troll factions (Vittra and Trylle) and their respective leaders (Oren and Elora). There are also character developments that took place which made me now less bothered by the cookie-cutter characterization. Political intrigue started to pop up along the way making things more interesting. There were twists that I did not saw coming. I also liked the short stories found at the end of every book, they were an added bonus.

I can see the appeal of these books. It's a fun read, told in a straightforward manner with references to pop culture (this seems to be the trend in paranormal YA?). Much like watching your favorite teen paranormal series on television. In order to make it work for you, a suspension of critical judgement is in order. In other words, just let go and have fun and I must admit, I certainly did.


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