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UK Hardback
Publisher: Bodley Head
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US Hardback
Publisher: Penguin
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The humans

Samuel Blink
A twelve-year-old boy who once had a very normal life, with normal friends, doing normal things. That was before his parents got crushed to death by a falling log. And before he moved to Norway, and before he met a family of trolls, and before he had found out his Uncle Henrik had spent many years as a dog. But now, the day before starting a new school, life is back to being boring again. Until he hears a strange noise coming from under his bed.

Martha Blink
Samuel’s ten-year-old sister. The winner of the World’s Worst Keeper of Secrets Award, if such a prize existed. She loves: making friends, talking about her time in the forest, eating pickles. She hates: thinking about the day her parents died.

Aunt Eda
Sister of Martha and Samuel’s mother, Liv Blink. She’s a bit old-fashioned, and can be a little bit strict. A tall lady, who always wears her hair in a bun, she tends to worry a lot. But if your husband had turned into a dog, then so might you.

Uncle Henrik
Uncle to Samuel and Martha. Husband to Eda. Former ski-jumper, goat-farmer, cheese-maker and dog. A Norwegian Elkhound, to be precise. Now spends most of his time as a kind human uncle, except when he’s having one of his ‘funny turns’.

Cornelia Myklebust
Spoilt brat. Fluent in numerous languages. Owns more ponies than you’ve got fingers. Oh, and if she tries to make friends with you, run away. Fast.

Mr Myklebust
Cornelia’s father. Richest man in Flåm. And the fattest. Has hated Uncle Henrik ever since he . . . No, I won’t tell you that. Not just yet.

Mrs Myklebust
Cornelia’s mother. Former beauty queen. Finds her husband repulsive, but will never leave him. He’s got too much money.

The trolls

A young troll who lives with his family in the village of Trollhelm. He has to share the family’s one eyeball with his parents and sister, which he doesn’t mind. What he does mind is his mother telling him off for everything. Especially when she decides he has to be sent to the Betterer (see below). Secretly, he wishes he was a human, with a proper name, rather like Samuel Blink.

Troll-Son’s mother is a particularly ugly woman, with wild and tatty black hair, a bulbous red nose, hairy nostrils, and five wonky grey teeth. She has been very crotchety since the Troll family lost their eyeball. She spends far too much time clouting Troll-Son around the head and worrying about what the neighbours think to realise that, underneath it all, she is actually quite nice.

One of the friendliest and most humble trolls there is, although if he has a weakness it is that he rarely dares stand up to Troll-Mother. Mind you, if you’d ever had one of her clouts around the head, then neither would you.

Troll-Son’s younger sister. Fast becoming Troll-Mother’s favourite child. Has an annoying habit of repeating her favourite words over and over again. Ignore her. She’s just seeking attention.

The Betterer
The nastiest creature in the whole of troll history. He hates trolls and hates being one, which probably explains why he gains great pleasure from ‘bettering’ troll children. This involves boiling hot sessions in the Dunking Cage, seven-hour maths lessons and numerous other forms of torture. All of which takes place in his home, the Bettering Tower.

Troll-the-Left and Troll-the-Right
Two heads of the same troll, who hate each other’s guts (which, technically speaking, they share). They were recently separated after a rather nasty incident involving a prison guard’s sword which caused Troll-the-Right to lose his head.

Leader of the troll council. Judged to be the wisest troll in Shadow Forest on account of having the longest beard. In truth, he is one of the most stupid there is. And as most trolls believe the moon is a hole cut out in the sky, this is quite some achievement.