Hoping to head off an impending move to the city, Hilda makes peace with her tiny, invisible neighbors.
Recast into prose from Luke Pearson’s Hildafolk comics and scheduled for release in conjunction with an upcoming animated series, this episodic tale records the intrepid, blue-haired young adventurer’s encounters with a troll, a pair of truly “huge-mongous” giants, and a community of thumb-sized elves whose newly elected prime minister is out to evict her and her single mom from their wilderness home as oversized nuisances. Though the faintly Scandinavian setting is contemporary (at one point Hilda’s mother, a graphic designer, drives her into urban Trolberg), Hilda’s quest to negotiate a deal with the elven king and the tests of courage and cleverness she undergoes along the way definitely cast her in the traditional heroic mold. The supporting cast is likewise ostensibly folkloric but dished up with a few twists—the elves, drawn Keebler-style with little pointy hats in Miller’s frequent two-color cartoon drawings, are addicted to forms and paperwork, for instance, and a tiny wooden sprite who pops up occasionally to make rude comments turns out to enjoy books and cool jazz. Multiple near disasters and hairbreadth rescues later, Hilda and her mother have to move anyway after a giant heedlessly steps on their cottage. Still, magical adventures aplenty wait in the city.
Snarky and fun the first time through, and in this form too. (Fantasy. 9-11)