The troll you’d find in old folklore is of a different ilk than those found in contemporary times — the former lurked in a forest, the latter on the Internet. Yet Victor LaValle magically weaves both into his bewitching masterpiece The Changeling (Spiegel & Grau, 448 pp., **** out of four stars).

LaValle has merged horror and social consciousness before — The Ballad of Black Tom used Harlem as a setting for retelling a Lovecraft tale. Like a woke Brothers Grimm, his clever new spin on the ages-old changeling myth is a modern fairy tale for the Trump era, taking on fatherhood, parenting, marriage, immigration, race and terrifying loss.

Apollo Kagwa is a New York City rare bookseller whose father left him and his Ugandan mother mysteriously when he was a…