Books by Verlyn Flieger

THE STORY OF KULLERVO by J.R.R. Tolkien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 5, 2016

"Tolkien compleatists will want to have this, of course, but serious students of his work and of world folklore will appreciate this more than will general readers."
Hobbitmeister Tolkien's first effort at fantasy, surrounded by scholarly scaffolding. Read full book review >
PIG TALE by Verlyn Flieger
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

Mokie's name means pig girl, and her life is completely wretched except when in the company of the pigs she cares for. She arrived as a babe of unknown parentage and the village of Little Wicken has little use for an infant and treats her like an animal or thing, using her services to tend the pigs when she grows older. Since she knows nothing except being an outcast, Mokie accepts her fate and submits, finding ways to adjust, such as adopting a runt, Apple. As she nears adulthood, her female form dressed in rags and tatters is enticing to the louts of the village and they attack her, helping their leader rape her. Traumatized, Mokie takes Apple and runs away. She finds companions whose voices, introduced in the prologue, let readers know they're from another world. The writing is crisp and clean, unconvoluted yet stately, lending an aura of tradition to the tale of a girl whose sacrifice is required. The juxtaposition of unknown and unrecognized goodness alongside selfishness and evil conveys a philosophical underpinning. Finally, the plot takes over, leaving an unsettled feeling that something is missing. As with most legends, the ending is less than upbeat, yet hints abound that all will not go well. Readers who found Eloise McGraw's Moorchild (1996) riveting are the ideal audience for another tale of a girl who is a complete outsider. An intriguing first novel from an academic who specializes in mythology. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >