Troll or Derby by Red Tash

Title: Troll or Derby
Author: Red Tash
Source: Heroines with Heart Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review

In Troll Or Derby, fifteen-year-old Roller Deb is singled out by town bullies for both her skates, and for being different. When her popular homecoming queen of a sister is kidnapped by a scuzzy drug dealer, Deb must flee the trailer park in which she’s grown up, and rescue her. Along the way, Deb becomes enmeshed in the magical realm of trolls and fairies, and the blood-thirsty version of roller derby at which these beings excel. But spending too much time among the fairies comes with a price. Will Deb choose to save her sister, with the aid of a mysterious troll? Or will she be lost to the lures of roller derby, and this magical new realm, forever?

Troll or Derby Book CoverThe story begins with a prophecy and a troll’s wish to thwart it. However, some prophecies are bound to come true, even if it takes over a decade to happen.

Each chapter is told from either Deb’s or Harlow’s (the mysterious troll) point of view. It worked for me. Deb has common sense which she usually uses to her advantage. She’s a little off her game when she realizes the rules are different than what she’s used to. Harlow serves as her guide and companion for most of the book.

The fairies in Troll or Derby are not like the fae I’ve read in other young adult-ish novels. It was refreshing. They are henchmen for the current Troll king, mean, bloodthirsty and sometimes high on faeth. That’s right, the fae have their own version of meth in the fae world. And if they aren’t involved with the king, they’re just looking to stay alive.

Tash’s world feels timeless. She makes classic pop culture references which won’t date the story in another few years but helps you connect with Deb and Harlow. Overall it was solid writing and storytelling.


About Red Tash

Red Tash is a journalist-turned-novelist of dark fantasy for readers of all ages. Monsters, SciFi, wizards, trolls, fairies, and roller derby lightly sautéed in a Southern/Midwestern sauce hand-canned from her mama’s recipes await you in her pantry of readerly delights. Y’all come, anytime. Also, visit her at
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