The Kingdom of Trolls

Children - Audiobook
351 Pages
Reviewed on 05/18/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Kingdom of Trolls by author Rae St. Clair Bridgman is the fourth novel in the Middlegate saga. This engaging installment takes middle-grade listeners on a thrilling journey with cousins Sophie and Wil as they navigate unexpected challenges. From the disappearance of a priceless manuscript to Aunt Vi's fortune-telling business facing competition, Sophie and Wil are embroiled in a whirlwind of events. When they accompany Aunt Violet on a prize trip to Iceland, sponsored by Perfect Products, they encounter danger and magic, facing trolls and the ancient secret society, the Serpent's Chain. As they uncover the truth behind the Chain's sinister plans, Sophie and Wil must summon all their courage to confront the forces threatening their lives and unravel the mysteries hidden in the Icelandic landscape.

Author Rae St. Clair Bridgman has crafted another exhilarating adventure filled with mystery, magic, and heart-pounding suspense. Bridgman's vivid storytelling transported me back to a world of atmospheric locations and magical hijinks, and I loved how the feel of each setting matched the various tonal shifts of the storyline. As the cousins faced myriad challenges, there was close attention to detail in their emotional narration and dialogue choices that felt realistic and deeply nuanced, and I found myself completely immersed in their journey from beginning to end.

In terms of its audiobook presentation, the narrative quality, editing, and incidental sounds were all beautifully crisp and clear. The narration by Larissa Thompson adds a huge variety of characters and personalities to the story, utilizing all of Thompson’s skill and nuance to pitch the emotional highs and lows with great intensity. Overall, The Kingdom of Trolls is a captivating tale that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end, and I enjoyed it just as much as the rest of the saga, perhaps even more so.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

The Kingdom of Trolls is part of the MiddleGate Series by Rae St. Clair Bridgman. Sophie and Wil win a trip to Iceland to see the Perfect Products Factory, but they are apprehensive about going. Aunt Violet is excited about the trip, but Sophie and Wil worry after hearing about explorer Vitellus Albumen's experiences. After researching in the library with their friends, Phinneas and Beatriz, some of their fears abate. Before the trip, Wil's friend who works in the library, Mr. Bertram, is put in prison, and their neighbour, Mrs. Oleander, falls ill. The Serpent's Chain relentlessly pursues Wil for his black medallion, and he and Sophie discover there may be a link between it and Iceland. The trip may benefit them in more than one way, as they find something there that may help their neighbor recover.

Rae St. Clair Bridgman's descriptive style leads readers into a mystical world where anything is possible. Her characters are unique, and the story is fascinating. Many times, as I listened, I wanted to book a trip to Iceland to experience some of the same sights and sounds as Sophie and Wil. The author has researched Iceland extensively. I started the series with this book, but it was easy to follow along with the plot as the author supplied enough information to keep up. With missing manuscripts, crystal balls, ghosts you can't see, and the fantastic conclusion, it's easy to see why Bridgman is an award-winning author. Readers who enjoy magical realism and fantasy will like The Kingdom of Trolls.

The book is narrated by Larissa Thompson with original music by Jack Pierce. Thompson uses accents in a different language with a graceful and versatile voice. Slight changes in her inflection signal different characters the reader can easily follow. Thompson's tone keeps readers involved in the engaging story and never rushes through the details, delivering them flawlessly. She brought the story to life with the way she portrayed emotions and kept a consistent rhythm. Thompson's experience in voiceovers and film shines through in her talented performance. The audio was clear, creating a continuous and immersive listening experience.

Jennie More

The Kingdom of Trolls by Rae St. Clair Bridgman is about two cousins, Sophie and Wil, who were born into a family of sorcery and live with their aunts, Rue and Violet. Wil is grieving the death of his grandmother and Sophie of her father, and they believe the Serpent’s Chain to be responsible for these deaths. Their adventure and mission begin when their Aunt Violet receives news from Perfect Products that she and her family have won a trip to Iceland. She entered the competition when she purchased a crystal ball from them for her fortune teller business. Though initially hesitant to visit Iceland, both Sophie and Wil soon warm up to the idea when they learn they could help a family friend, Mr. Bertram, and their neighbor, Mrs. Oleander, if they go on this trip. Now, they must set their trepidation regarding Iceland aside and brace themselves for what awaits them in mystical Iceland with its tricks and trolls. Filled with magic, mystery, and suspense, The Kingdom of Trolls delights and astonishes.

The Kingdom of Trolls by Rae St. Clair Bridgman is an absorbing, adventurous, and intricate story of Wil and Sophie in a world of enchantment. Wil and Sophie are remarkable characters whose strengths and weaknesses are evident in their dialogue, which endeared them to me. Sophie is a creative, confident, courageous, and outspoken girl who never backs down from a challenge. Wil is the intelligent and careful old soul with the perfect sidekick, Sophie. Together, they drive the story forward, and their humorous and engaging dialogue is entertaining. Bridgman did exceptionally well in developing the two main characters. The plot is complex but intriguing. Bridgman has created a brilliant magical plot and alluring characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Larissa Thompson is a talented narrator. Her voice is clear and natural, which allowed me to focus on the story and the characters. She brought the characters and story to life. I could distinctly envision the reactions of everyone as if I were watching a film. She effortlessly depicted Wil's and Sophie’s emotions, leaving no room for confusion about their feelings at each moment. Thompson perfectly complemented Bridgman’s imaginative writing, a brilliant combination of talent that resulted in a fascinating audiobook.