By: Leonie Agnew
Illustrated by: Kieran Rynhart
Genre: YFH - Fantasy & magical realism
Published by: Penguin
Published: 2 Jul 2021
ISBN: 9780143775720


A magical, spine-tingling novel about a girl who wants to escape her memories and a troll who is desperately trying to remember his, from the award-winning author of Conrad Cooper's Last Stand and The Impossible Boy.

A lonely troll and a fierce, spiky girl form an unlikely alliance in Leonie Agnew's extraordinary novel for children aged 9 years and up.

Seth has been trapped behind the iron bars of the public gardens for as long as he can remember. By day he's frozen as a statue of a shepherd boy, but as soon as the sun sets he roams the park, ravenously hungry. He is a troll, and the food he seeks is human memories.

Then he meets Stella. There's something so different about her - Seth doesn't want her memories. He simply wants to talk to her. But there's someone else in the garden who sees Stella as a threat… and a meal.

Captivating, spine-tingling and surprising, this is a novel that holds you spellbound. What is Stella trying to forget? What are the memories that Seth is piecing together? And will he ever escape the lonely garden and start truly living?


Seth is a troll who lives, or is imprisoned, in a steel fenced garden. But when 12-year-old Stella comes looking for her cat and discovers Seth, their need for further interaction keeps bringing them back together.

Seth cannot escape his garden, as trolls cannot touch steel, and he feeds on human memories. Seth turns to stone at daybreak, and only comes alive at nightfall.

Another troll, Celeste, lives in her own section of the garden. Most of what Seth knows and believes, he learnt from her, including the fact that he looks like a boy, but is hundreds of years old.

Stella wants to lose her bad memories, especially those surrounding the death of her father. But when they realise that Stella’s grandfather, who was the groundkeeper of the garden, probably doesn't have dementia - instead, Seth has stolen all of his memories - they both decide they need to try to change things.

Can they repair the damage before Stella herself loses all of her bad memories and turns into a troll?

This is a captivating tale that is filled with hope and inspirational characters, who are looking to change things and know that they must do what is right. It will best be enjoyed by readers in upper primary and lower secondary levels.

Reviewed by Rob