Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The Barrow Troll, by David Drake
The Barrow Troll is a fun and interesting tale. Drake likes to describe the origins of his stories sometimes. In most cases it just points up how far short he is of the classics--it would be better not to know. Most of his work is nice light entertainment, and the backstory is at best unnecessary. But this story is a good one, a fantasy that turns out to be based in reality. Monsters are made from greed, not necessarily magic. His Norseman in this story is much more the villain than usual, and he makes it work pretty well. I like Drake's fantasy stories (see Old Nathan) at least as well as his science fiction work, which is pretty fantastic anyway, and this is a good example--it's the only award he's been nominated for.