Cover of Troll Bridge by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple

Troll Bridge

with Adam Stemple
Tor 2006

After my son Adam and I wrote Pay the Piper, our first Rock-and-Roll fairy tale, we turned our attention to this book, Troll Bridge. Piper had been set in the Massachusetts area where Adam had grown up, but Bridge is set in Minnesota where he has lived for the past twenty years or so. We were struggling with a plot when Adam mentioned that the Minnesota State Fair Dairy Princesses had their heads carved in butter by a master sculptor–and we suddenly had a major element of the plot which drove much of the rest of the story. He discovered the Fossengrim and did the music moments, having been a professional musician for much of his life. We both know a good deal about folklore.

How do two people–especially a mother and son–write together? With great care and a lot of tough love. He upped the body count considerably, and I wrote almost all of the lyrics and we traded chapters back and forth, revising one another’s work over and over and over again.

What reviewers have said:

  • “Suspense and humor will keep fantasy fans turning the pages in this action-packed feminist take on traditional fairy tales–it’s great fun.”—KLIATT
  • “(T)he authors have converted The Three Billy Goats Gruff into a modern fairy tale that once again has a musical flair. Sixteen-year-old Moira, a harpist, has been named one of the 12 Dairy Princesses in the small town of Vanderby, MN. There is a long-standing tradition of carving the Princesses’ heads out of butter and placing them on the Trollholm Bridge during the state fair. But this year, the tradition isn’t carried out, and the girls are taken into Trollholm, a magical realm filled with man-eating trolls and a talking fox, Fossegrim. At the same time, the popular teen band, the Griffsons, is taking a much-needed break. When the boys discover the Trollholm Bridge, they too are taken into the troll world. The result is a fast-paced adventure story in which Moira and the Griffsons must escape the great troll Aenmarr. They work together with Foss to rescue his magical fiddle, which promises to send them back to their own world. But all is not as it seems, and the story ends with a grand twist that is totally satisfying. The writing is filled with humor and straightforward prose, and the song lyrics are so well written that one can almost hear the music that accompanies them. Add a touch of romance and you have a great, well-rounded book for teens.”—School Library Journal
  • “Drawing elements from “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” the mother and son who produced Pay the Piper (2005) another Rock ‘n’ Roll Fairy Tale, give folklore a modern spin in an entertaining tale in which radio talk-show personalities ponder the fates of the missing teens.”—Booklist