A dark, old tale recast in a lighter vein, featuring a young prince, a captive princess, and a troll with a hidden heart.
Setting out to find his six brothers and their brides, who have been turned to stone by an evil troll, Prince Fred gets help along the way from his nervous talking horse and a chance-met elephant, tricks a hungry wolf (rather than give it the horse in trade, as in the original), and enlists a willing princess to lie down with the troll (in pajamas) to winkle out just where the giant has hidden his heart. Said organ turns out to be stashed in a magically sealed jar at the bottom of a filing cabinet guarded by a giant octopus—an ill-considered plan, since octopuses are particularly good at opening jars (this is true). Following a prose opening, Torseter presents the tale in a mix of panels and larger scenes, all drawn as thin-lined cartoons with color highlights. Fred and his clan recall the Moomins; the princesses are all human but too stylized to determine ethnic identity (they are diversely garbed, though); and the troll is a particularly hideous, hulking figure. Come the denouement, off ride Fred and “his” capable but never-named princess to a “more or less” happily-ever-after.
No, the princess doesn’t really get her due—but at least the horse survives. (source note) (Graphic folk tale. 8-11)