Title: The Brave Apprentice
Author: P. W. Catanese
Series: Further Tales #2
Patch Ridling is a tailor’s apprentice who lucks into killing an old, sickly troll, and subsequently has to deal with far more fame than he ever imagined. Like the brave little tailor before him, whose exploits of “killing seven with one blow” led him to face off against a giant, Patch finds himself in the middle of an invasion of trolls. Can he find a way to subdue the rest of them? If not, he’s not going to have much of a kingdom to live in anymore . . .
I like these better than the current trend of retelling fairy tales, as they aren’t constrained by their origin stories but rather go beyond them. It’s always interesting to see the stories as part of the history, and how life has gone on from there.
Patch likely has much in common with Will, the man who had been known as the brave little tailor before him. He shares a profession, as well as quick legs and a quick mind. And the trolls are formidable foes, with impenetrable skin, massive size, and bad tempers. The riddle of their weakness might be picked up by an astute reader before Patch figures it out, but the clues are both telling and vague enough to make his struggle to comprehend work well.
And besides, drowning trolls works too.
So this was a short but fun read; not one I’m likely to remember well long-term, but enjoyable as I read through it. There’s a nod to Umber, which amused me (although I believe this book was written first). I rate this book Recommended.