Sophie lives in a most peculiar cottage at the center of the Forgotten Forest, its inside much larger than its outside.
You see, the house must be large, for it holds a great troll as well as a little girl. As one might expect, working for such a creature is rather frightening to a seven-year-old, but the endless expanse of black trees outside is even scarier.
She’s afraid to make even the slightest sound, for the troll abhors loud children. He’s not terribly fond of quiet children either―unless they’re in his stew.
Sophie’s precious light offers comfort in her darkest moments. She can’t remember where it came from, but it’s her only source of hope holding back the gloom that yearns to devour her soul. Trolls are covetous beasts, and when he spots her shiny bauble and steals it, Sophie faces two terrible options: Stay and suffer the wrath of a furious troll, or take her chances in a forest of her deepest fears.
Sophie’s Light by Matthew S. Cox is a novella that on the surface reads like a magical fable, cut from the same cloth as classic tales from The Brothers Grimm, where a young protagonist finds herself in a strange place surrounded by strange characters. Think Hansel and Gretel or Goldilocks and the Three Bears with a whole lot more detail than the short bedtime stories we’re all accustom to. In Sophie’s Light, we have a young girl trapped in a magical house where she is forced into slave labor by a disgusting Troll. The house is surrounded by a dark forest filled with many more creatures, eager to get at the girl if she ever tries to escape. We’re not immediately given any reason for young Sophie’s plight. In fact, Sophie herself doesn’t know why she is there. But, she has a curious light inside a magical gem that beckons to her to escape from her unbearable situation.
I’ve read a few more books by Mr. Cox and I’ve found that he has a knack for writing about young girls trying to survive in unimaginable situations. He is very good at bringing us inside the head of the young hero to watch her deal with the problems in her life. He’s done it again with Sophie’s Light, giving us a story that is full of imagination. The plot is clever and completely original. The only human character is Sophie and she is loveable and relatable. The rest of the characters are magical creatures of all shapes and sizes. Older kids and anyone who likes frightening fairy tales will get a kick out of Sophie’s Light. Watching sweet little Sophie navigate the dangerous creatures was loads of fun and kept me turning the pages. The book also has a great twist ending that ties everything together nicely.