on Jan. 7, 2019 :
Absolutely delightful fantasy tale that I shall enjoy re-reading.It’s a large file >5mb on my e-reader; book is 225 pages with lovely illustrations.
Aylfenhame is a magical realm parallel to the normal world (in this case the town of Tilby in 1811 England). Aubranael’s face is badly disfigured by a dark magic curse. He's been alone and friendless since childhood in a realm that values beauty.
Some brownies and goblins do menial labour for the humans of Tilby and some like Balligumph the troll have a self appointed job. In his case – toll-keeper of the bridge (demanding secrets and gossip as a toll instead of cash).
Miss Sophy Landon is the only child of Tilby’s impoverished parson. She’s kind, clumsy, plain and in her late twenties so she is regarded as being “on the shelf” and unlikely to catch a rich husband. The troll gives her passage to Aylfenhame and there she meets Aubranael.
He's enchanted by her and visits a witch who temporarily grants him a handsome visage. He visits Tilby in the guise of Mr. Stanton, with the help of the mysterious Mr. Green, and uses his new face to try to win Sophy's heart.
The glamour will fade, and what will happen when Sophy realises that the handsome and wealthy Mr. Stanton is an illusion? What price will the witch demand for her spell?
(reviewed 5 years after purchase)