Top critical review
on August 5, 2012
SWITCHED (Trylle Series #1) by Amanda Hocking
SWITCHED is the first novel in Amanda Hocking's Young Adult Trylle series. Originally self-published, the Trylle trilogy has put Amanda Hocking of the best-seller's lists. I am not quite sure of the genre, but I would place it in a combination of fantasy and a little urban fantasy-but very little. Although the heroine is not out to save the world, she must save the Trylle.
17 year old Wendy Everly has always felt unloved and unwanted: that she didn't belong. It doesn't' help that her mother tried to kill her on her 6th birthday or that through most of her early childhood she was told that she was switched at birth and killed her own brother. And with her ability to 'persuade' others, she knew that somehow she was different. But discovering you WERE switched at birth, puts a whole new perspective on her mother's delirium and accusations. Wendy is not human-she is a Trylle.
As a tracker and protector, it is Finn Holmes' duty to find the missing changelings-those children switched at birth with a human infant-a mansklig. And finding Wendy is easy. As the daughter of the Trylle Queen, Wendy must return to Forening and take her position in the hierarchy of the monarchy of the Trolls-yes-the Trylle are a tribe in the supernatural world of Trolls. Not the Brothers' Grimm ugly old troll who lived under the bridge, but a race/a being of beauty gifted with special abilities and powers. But there is another tribe on the hunt for Wendy, and the Vittra did not want Wendy to ascend to the throne-it is her powers that they required.
Meeting her birth mother for the first time, Wendy is shocked to learn Elora is the Queen. Birth order not withstanding, the Queen is distant upon meeting her only child and daughter for the first time in 17 years. I felt no sympathy for a mother whose heart is solid ice. Cold, aloof and very powerful, Elora's goal is to see that her daughter is properly trained in the ways of a princess, and most of those responsibilities fell upon Finn including preparing her for her christening and coming out ceremony. But Wendy's confusion only increases with every question left unanswered. She was expected to be someone other than herself. And the one person she trusted is reluctant to reveal the entire truth.
Along the way, there is a definite connection between Finn and Wendy, but one that could put one or both at risk. As a protector, Finn is entrusted with Wendy's life, but he can never aspire to Wendy's position. And it will become clear that Finn has overstepped his position, when he is expected to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life.
We are introduced to several Trylle as well as a handful of mansklig. Wendy will meet the human with whom she was switched at birth, and make a connection that will get her one step closer to her human family. But during the coming out gala, the mansion is attacked and Wendy once again becomes the target of a warring faction of Trolls. Homesick and missing her brother Matt, Wendy makes the decision, that being human was easier than being the next in line to inherit the mantle of Queen.
SWITCHED is an interesting storyline. I wasn't sure what to expect when I read that the supernatural beings were Trolls. Thankfully Amanda has written the characters with beauty that rivals most fairy tale heroines and heroes. The storyline was predictable when Wendy fell for her captor, and the requisite evil step-mother would put many bad guys to shame. Switched read like a fairy tale from start to finish. A few tears fell when Wendy said goodbye to her human brother Matt-the emotional wreck that I am could not handle his pleading.
The book is the first of three, a quick read, the writing is simple and like many YA novels, the adults are manipulative and evil. A society that switches out humans for their own babies, and expects a king's ransom in return, sounds more like a nightmare than a bedtime story. Perhaps there is a reason the people are Trolls and Wendy calls them grifters. They live off the wealth of the humans they despise.
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