Bera the One-Headed Troll
Eric Orchard’s BERA THE ONE-HEADED TROLL introduces readers to an eerie world of hungry wolves, nasty mermaids and powerful witches. Bera is a young troll who lives on a quiet island in this world harvesting pumpkins. She has never left her island --- until a human baby arrives and draws the attention of friend and foe from all around. With a nurturing curiosity, Bera rescues this baby a handful of times while seeking a hero to get the mystery baby home. It may mean certain doom if Bera and her companions cannot keep the baby from the Troll Witch, Cloote and her evil plans.
"The intensity of [Orchard's] storytelling is complimented by [his] whimsical artwork of swamps and forests of this vast realm of trolls."
This folklore story is bizarre and exciting. Orchard keeps us guessing as to why the baby is so desired in the troll realm while giving us a full serving of Norse monsters and magic. Talking animals serve tea, trees get up and walk around and a troll has to protect a human baby who does not fly, talk or eat pumpkins. Bera is an unnaturally calm troll in her high-danger setting and there is a lot of anticipation seeing a baby tossed around like a hot potato by spooky villains. The intensity of the storytelling is complimented by the whimsical artwork of swamps and forests of this vast realm of trolls.
Eric Orchard is known for his beautiful illustrations in works such as MADDY KETTLE. Looking at Orchard’s art in BERA THE ONE-HEADED TROLL is like looking at a vintage picture book with his sepia color washes and crosshatching. At the end of the first volume, readers will undoubtedly get the sense that there are bigger adventures awaiting our heroine. Younger readers who enjoy fantasy or a dark, quirky tale will love this graphic novel.
Reviewed by Julia Luedtke on August 18, 2016