I had a full volume edition of the Trylle trilogy sitting on my TBR shelf for years. A beautiful and thick volume, I really don’t know why it took me so long to dive in. When I finally got to reading the book, I devoured all three installments!
In the trilogy, we follow Wendy Everly. In the first book, Switched, she is seventeen and has a really hard time fitting in at school and with life in general. She’s always been different from other people, never made any friends, had trouble finding her place in the world—because it turns out she’s not from our world.
Wendy’s a Changeling, switched with a human child by the Trylle (a tribe of “trolls” who are more like faeries than trolls we think when we hear the word.) She’s not just any Changeling, though; she’s the daughter of the Trylle queen, Elora, and is one day going to inherit the kingdom.
When she is found by Finn, a tracker sent to bring back Changelings from the human world, she’s taken to the equivalent of a Trylle palace. She is now living a life of luxury, preparing to one day be queen—which means changing her behavior and how she sees the world.
She learns about Trylle history, society, tradition, even their powers. For example, Wendy has the power of persuasion; if she concentrates hard enough, she can make a human do what she wants without saying a word.
Although at times I found it hard to figure out the ages of the characters, I very much enjoyed the story. It had a light, faery-tale feel to it; the writing is not difficult to read, and its pace is ideal. These books are page-turners, but I think Switched was the best; in this book, we are getting to know Wendy and learning about this new world with her.
I found myself drawn to her personal conflict; her “host mother,” the one who was supposed to have raised her, tried to kill her as a child, thinking she was a monster. That woman, Kim, wound up in a mental institution for it, but she knew all along that Wendy wasn’t her child, because when she was pregnant the ultrasounds said her child would be a boy.
Later when Wendy meets her real mother, Elora, she finds a cold and stern woman who seems incapable of affection. Wendy feels alone and unwanted by the most important person in her life, who for most of the first book judges her, making her feel inadequate. She finds company with her new Trylle friends, but misses her “host brother” Matt and her aunt Maggie, the only two people who treated her like family.
I read Switched twice in order to review it properly. The second time I was moved by Wendy’s story just as much as the first. As a whole, the Trylle series will remain one of my favorites; it’s not a heavy read, and it’s one that touches our hearts. We want to see Wendy happy. We sympathize with her, rooting for her to the very end.
Though Switched was my favorite, all the books should be read in order so you can immerse yourself in the world of Forening. It was lovely to experience this faery tale, one vivid and thorough that made me want more the moment I finished.
If you like faery tales, read the Trylle series. It’s a must for anyone who’s interested in folklore, Changelings, trolls, and faeries!