Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Review: The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

Reading level: Young Adult

Paperback: 480 pages

Publisher: Atheneum (May 23, 2006)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0689867468 
ISBN-13: 978-0689867460

Three time Newbery honor author Nancy Farmer's epic fantasy, The Sea of Trolls, is gigantic in every way. There are big Vikings and bigger trolls. There are big themes--hope, despair, life and death. At a substantial 450+ pages, the sheer size of this hefty tome is impressive. But, like all of Farmer's fine work, the large scale has room for enormous quantities of heart and humor. At the center of this massive adventure is a small Saxon boy named Jack, who's never been much good at anything until the Bard of his medieval village makes him an apprentice. Then, just as Jack is learning to tap into and control his power, he is kidnapped (along with his little sister, Lucy) and taken to the court of King Ivar the Boneless and his half troll queen Frith. When one of Jack's amateur spells causes the evil queen's beautiful hair to fall out, he is forced to undertake a dangerous quest across the Sea of Trolls to make things right, or suffer the consequences--the sacrifice of his beloved sister to Frith's patron goddess, Freya. Along the way Jack faces everything from giant golden troll-bears to man-eating spiders, yet each frightening encounter brings wisdom and understanding to the budding young Bard. No quester who enters these pages with Jack will go away unsatisfied. Farmer's skillful melding of history, mythology, and humor, is reminiscent of both Tamora Pierce and Terry Pratchett's medieval fantasies, and will no doubt be HUGELY enjoyed by fantasy readers of all ages.

 My Thoughts...

An amazing book, Nancy Farmer writes very well. This book is a clean read and will completely just suck you in. It is the first of three books about a boy named Jack. Jack starts out as a regular old farmer's brat but the Bard, an old man living in an old Roman house up the road from the village, starts training Jack to be a Bard too. So Jack learns all sorts of magic and fun things that his father thinks are all very unholy. See, Jack's father, Giles Crookleg, wanted badly to be a monk and do all that stuff that monks do, like penances for instance. Anyway, Jack and his little sister Lucy, a very pretty golden haired girl, are taking food to the bard when a band of Northmen (vikings) come out and snatch them! The vikings include, Olaf One Brow, Sven the Vengeful, Thorgil, Eric Pretty Face, and a whole lot of others. Well after Jack gets snatched, they are almost sold into slavery to the Picts, little blue men with tattoos all over them. Jack saves the day though with his singing and Bard skills, so that the Northmen at least keep them alive. When they get to the Northland they find that Olaf is keeping Thorgil at his house because the tween's family, except the pups of the dog that took her in, are all dead. Yes Thorgil is a girl. So when they all go on a quest to Jotunheim, the land of the trolls, Jack, Thorgil and Olaf all go, but one of them never comes out. The remaining two have to go to the troll Queen and finish the quest before something deadly happens to Lucy. I am not telling you what that is because you have to read the book yourself.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a cute book.