The Sea of Trolls (Sea of Trolls Trilogy Series #1)

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Overview

Jack was eleven when the berserkers loomed out of the fog and nabbed him. "It seems that things are stirring across the water," the Bard had warned. "Ships are being built, swords are being forged."

"Is that bad?" Jack had asked, for his Saxon village had never before seen berserkers.

"Of course. People don't make ships and swords unless they intend to use them."

The year is A.D. 793. In the next months, Jack and his little sister, Lucy, are enslaved by Olaf One-Brow and his ...

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Overview

Jack was eleven when the berserkers loomed out of the fog and nabbed him. "It seems that things are stirring across the water," the Bard had warned. "Ships are being built, swords are being forged."

"Is that bad?" Jack had asked, for his Saxon village had never before seen berserkers.

"Of course. People don't make ships and swords unless they intend to use them."

The year is A.D. 793. In the next months, Jack and his little sister, Lucy, are enslaved by Olaf One-Brow and his fierce young shipmate, Thorgil. With a crow named Bold Heart for mysterious company, they are swept up into an adventure-quest in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings. Other threats include a willful mother dragon, a giant spider, and a troll-bear with a surprising personality -- to say nothing of Ivar the Boneless and his wife, Queen Frith, a shape-shifting half-troll, and several eight-foot-tall, orange-haired, full-time trolls.

But in stories by award-winning Nancy Farmer, appearances to not deceive. She has never told a richer, funnier tale, nor offered more timeless encouragement to young seekers than "Just say no to pillaging."

After Jack becomes apprenticed to a Druid bard, he and his little sister Lucy are captured by Viking Berserkers and taken to the home of King Ivar the Boneless and his half-troll queen, leading Jack to undertake a vital quest to Jotunheim, home of the trolls.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Jack was only 11 when the beserkers burst out of the fog to seize him and his little sister, Lucy. Enslaved by Olaf One-Brow and his fierce young shipmate Thorgil, the youthful siblings are swept in an adventure-quest that combines exhilarating excitement and fun. A major novel from a three-time Newbery Honor author.
Lawrence Downes
The Sea of Trolls conveys, more vividly than any textbook, the vikings' storied fatalism, their devotion to heroic death and to a savage afterlife in Valhalla. Hearing the Northmen talk rapturously about the glories of being slaughtered in battle, the sensitive Jack can't understand it, but the reader will.
— The New York Times
Roger Sutton
Farmer moves far north of her favored hot-weather climes for her latest hero-tale, which takes place along the various coasts of the North Sea in the late eighth century. Drawing upon history, Norse and Celtic myth, and Farmer’s own abundant imagination, the story is long but engrossing, a "cruel tale with a merry heart" about a Saxon boy named Jack and what befell him upon his and his younger sister’s capture by marauding Northmen (and, later, trolls). Readers will spot themes and motifs familiar from Farmer’s previous novels, including seriocomic helper figures, a ferociously loyal sibling pair, and a most adroit fusion of the natural and supernatural worlds. The book is effectively sparing in its use of fantasy elements, but when Farmer pulls out all the stops such as Jack’s encounter with the three Norns - she does so with aplomb and assurance.
November/December 2004 issue of The Horn Book Magazine
Paula Rohrlick
Jack, a Saxon farm boy, feels lucky to be apprenticed to a druid bard who teaches him how to open his mind to the power of the life force and how to draw on it to do magic. Unluckily for Jack, the year is 793 A.D., when the Vikings first begin their raids on the British Isles, and a Viking named Olaf One-Brow, the giant leader of the Queen’s Berserkers, captures Jack and his little sister Lucy. These Northmen take the two off on their ship to their homeland and its rulers, Ivar the Boneless and his terrifying half-troll wife, Frith. At the court, Jack casts a spell that inadvertently causes Frith’s hair to fall out, and to restore it he must go on a dangerous quest to find the magical Mimir’s Well in the far-off land of the trolls and drink the song-mead it contains - with Lucy’s life at stake if he does not succeed.

Accompanied by a clever crow and a ferocious warrior maiden, Jack heads out on this perilous adventure filled with dragons, giant spiders, eight-foot-tall trolls, and other hazards. Farmer, author of the National Book Award winner The House of the Scorpion as well as other notable books for YAs, has outdone herself in this rich and satisfying fantasy based on Norse mythology.

The characters are memorable, her images of nature are lyrical, and legend, history, horror and humor are cleverly intermingled: "Just say no to pillaging," Olaf solemnly advises Jack at one point, while Olaf himself lays waste to everything around him. This is sure to be both popular and prize-winning, and it makes an interesting companion to two other recent YA novels about the Viking raids, Raven of the Waves by Michael Cadnum and The Dark Horse by Marcus Sedgwick. There is a helpful list of the cast of characters at the start, as well as an appendix providing some background on Norse history and legends and a list of sources. Every YA collection should have this.
KLIATT

Amanda Craig

Despite the pot of gold supposedly waiting for every new author who writes a fantasy novel, the classics of children's literature remain pretty much the same. Why bother to read new ones when the old are so good? Yet every so often something comes along which should instantly be added to the list of those books which leave an indelible mark on the imagination.

Nancy Farmer's The Sea of Trolls is such a book. Three times a Newberry Award winner in her native America, she is unheard-of in Britain, despite The House of the Scorpion (the only one to be published here) being quite simply the best clone novel ever written. This one is set in Viking times, and despite its slow-paced first chapter soon develops into a hair-raising, spine-tingling, heart-stopping adventure which really does bear comparison to The Hobbit.

Jack is picked-on by his crippled, fanatically Christian father, irked by his little sister Lucy and oddly in sympathy with his mother. She is a wise woman, and it's thanks to her that Jack has inherited a gift that may just save his own life and that of Lucy. Barely has he begun to be taught magic by a mysterious old Bard washed up on their shores, when both he and Lucy are captured by the Vikings serving the Bard's mortal enemy, the evil half-troll Frith. Taken north from England to what is now Denmark, they are to be thralls or slaves to Olaf One-Brow, the leader, and the sulky shield-maiden, Thorgill. It's only as Jack discovers how to summon up his weather-working powers, rescues a mysterious crow called Bold Heart and learns how to chant songs that they escape being sold off to fearsome tribes. Violent, unpredictable and prone to kill everyone when going berserk, the Vikings are terrifying masters. Worse is to come, however, once they land at Olaf's home. Jack has the gigantic carnivorous troll-pig Golden Bristles to contend with, but Lucy, having lost her mind in the despair of becoming a captive, is to be Queen Frith's next sacrificial victim - unless Jack can cross the Sea of Trolls and regain the queen's beauty from Mimir's Well in Jotunheim, the heart of Troll-land.

Of course, Jack and his companions Olaf and Thorgill succeed, despite a dragon, a ferocious troll-bear and a host of magical creatures. What makes Sea of Trolls so vastly enjoyable is not its plot but the way this classic quest is told, in clear, dramatic prose that surges along like a Viking longship. Farmer has gone back to the same Norse sources that inspired Tolkien, and her characters have complexity and subtlety: you laugh, sympathise and fear for them. Jack's resentful care for his sister, his perpetual uncertainty, his dawning realisation that his father's crushing estimation of him may not be true, and his perception of different religious beliefs are all suffused with wisdom and warmth. The Vikings can be kindly, brave and loyal as well as killers slaughtering entire villages without guilt or regret. The jokes about their crudeness and their gloomy relish for death are hilarious. Comedy and cruelty, tragedy and beauty are interwoven with a feel for landscape to make a completely captivating story. The life of the Norse sea-farers is so detailed that any child who reads this will unconsciously pick up far more about Viking customs, beliefs and language than a hundred school text-books. It's strange that out of the four best new novels for children to be published this year, three should be about this particular period and people, but I have no hesitation in recommending Sea of Trolls as the best children's novel of 2004.
The Times, October 2004

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Starred review. "Out of all the boys in their eighth-century Saxon village, eleven-year-old Jack is chosen by the Bard to become his apprentice. Soon Jack is learning how to call up fog and fire and sense the flow of the life force in the world around him--important skills to possess, it turns out, when he and his six-year-old sister, Lucy, are kidnapped by Viking raiders and swept across the sea to become slaves in the Northland. . . In this substantial and swiftly moving fantasy, Jack's medieval world envelops the reader from the first page, and even secondary characters and villains have sufficient faults, virtues, dreams, and disappointments to make them sympathetic to the reader to some degree. This adroit worldbuilding and dead-on characterization combine with faultless plotting and an irresistible mixture of historical truth and mythological invention to create a tale of high adventure and exploration that reads with unexpected sensitivity, warmth, and humor. Maps, a cast of characters, a series of short explanatory appendices, and a list of sources are included."
Ayesha Court
This National Book Award-winning author departs from science fiction in this heroic tale of Jack, an 11-year-old Anglo-Saxon and bard-in-training who is enslaved by Viking raiders. Farmer brilliantly marries historic details about life in England, Scotland and Scandinavia in A.D. 793 with the magic of runes, trolls and bards. This story will send readers on a quest to read more about this bloody but fascinating era. Ages 10 and up.
Special for USA TODAY
From The Critics
Captured by Vikings, a Saxon boy, Jack, and his sister, Lucy, begin a tumultuous journey that weaves in trolls, dragons, barbarians, and Norse mythology. Farmer's characterizations have such depth that readers grow to love one of the captors, Olaf One-Brow-even though he's a guy who can never resist a good pillage. (But a Viking is a Viking after all, so save this marginally violent tale for older readers.) (Ages 8 to 12)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
In our Best Books citation, PW wrote, "Fans of Viking and adventure tales will sail through this meaty volume to discover the fate of 12-year-old Jack and his sister, kidnapped from their homeland by Olaf One-Brow and his crew." Ages 10-14. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Eleven-year-old Jack is peacefully learning to understand and control the "life force" as apprentice to the Bard in their Saxon community in 793 AD. Then the Bard is attacked by a Nightmare, and Viking berserkers kidnap Jack and his little sister, Lucy. Jack manages to save them from being sold into slavery by revealing his training as a bard, or as the Northmen would say, skald. Olaf One-Brow decides to keep Jack for his own, but Lucy, the thrall of shield maiden Thorgil, is meant as a gift to the half-troll Queen Frith-the same queen who attacked the Bard. But when Jack's magic accidentally offends the queen, he, Olaf, and Thorgil set off on a quest to Mimir's Well in Jotenheim (troll country) to get the remedy. There Jack fights troll-bears, dragons, and visits the Troll Queen before drinking from the well, saving Lucy, and ultimately, returning to his Saxon home. Lighter in tone and subject than The House of the Scorpion (Atheneum/S & S, 2002/VOYA October 2002), this novel is nevertheless deceptively complex. There is enough magic, history, and mythology to keep fantasy lovers enthralled, yet the humor, modern speech (Jack is warned to "just say no to pillaging"), and nonstop adventure will pull in reluctant readers as well-if they are not daunted by the number of pages. All will come to love the distinctive characters-especially the brash, bloodthirsty Northmen-just as Jack does on his quest. VOYA CODES: 4Q 5P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, Simon & Schuster, 480p., Ages 11 to 15.
—Rebecca Hogue Wojahn
KLIATT
Jack, a Saxon farm boy, feels lucky to be apprenticed to a druid bard who teaches him how to open his mind to the power of the life force and how to draw on it to do magic. Unluckily for Jack, the year is 793 A.D., when the Vikings first begin their raids on the British Isles, and a Viking named Olaf One-Brow, the giant leader of the Queen's Berserkers, captures Jack and his little sister Lucy. These Northmen take the two off on their ship to their homeland and its rulers, Ivar the Boneless and his terrifying half-troll wife, Frith. At the court, Jack casts a spell that inadvertently causes Frith's hair to fall out, and to restore it he must go on a dangerous quest to find the magical Mimir's Well in the far-off land of the trolls and drink the song-mead it contains—with Lucy's life at stake if he does not succeed. Accompanied by a clever crow and a ferocious warrior maiden, Jack heads out on this perilous adventure filled with dragons, giant spiders, eight-foot-tall trolls, and other hazards. Farmer, author of the National Book Award winner The House of the Scorpion as well as other notable books for YAs, has outdone herself in this rich and satisfying fantasy based on Norse mythology. The characters are memorable, her images of nature are lyrical, and legend, history, horror and humor are cleverly intermingled: "Just say no to pillaging," Olaf solemnly advises Jack at one point, while Olaf himself lays waste to everything around him. This is sure to be both popular and prize-winning, and it makes an interesting companion to two other recent YA novels about the Viking raids, Raven of the Waves by Michael Cadnum and The Dark Horse by Marcus Sedgwick. There is ahelpful list of the cast of characters at the start, as well as an appendix providing some background on Norse history and legends and a list of sources. Every YA collection should have this. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2004, Simon & Schuster, Atheneum, 480p. maps. bibliog., Ages 12 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
Children's Literature
Eleven-year-old Jack is the Saxon son of a crippled father and is in training to a Bard from who he is learning magic. Enter the "bersekers," a killing-hungry band of Northmen, who pillage his village and capture Jack and his pretty, spoiled young sister, Lucy. Each character and setting is so fully developed that the book is almost cinematic. From the small Saxon village to the glacial palace of the trolls, Farmer uses sensory detail to breathe reality into every segment of this book and each setting flows easily into the next. You believe the Viking ship with its "trackless waste" of "unending water" and leaden sky as well as the idyllic little valley with a chuckling warm stream and ground covered with tiny mountain strawberries. Farmer does just as well with characters. We get to know them gradually through Jack's eyes and their own actions and gradually, each escapes the stereotype Jack—and readers—first assume. Even more impressive is the way Farmer has researched the story, described different cultures and mixed them together into a powerful tale. Norse myth, the story of Grendel, the monastic life, troll and dragon lore, historical persons and events are all woven together into a spectacular story of magical adventure. 2004, Simon and Schuster, Ages 10 up.
—Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Farmer draws upon Scandinavian mythology and medieval history to create an engaging tale. Jack, a bard's apprentice, and his little sister begin a series of harrowing adventures when they are kidnapped from their peaceful Saxon island by Viking "berserkers." Saved from death by his knowledge of magic and poem making, Jack gradually earns the respect, and even the friendship, of his captors. Olaf One-Brow is an especially magnetic character, despite his love of bloodshed, while a prideful young female warrior who initially detests the boy also becomes an ally. The fast-paced tale seeps deeper into magic as Jack must undertake a quest to the far north to drink "song-mead" from Mimir's Well, increase his powers, and ultimately save his sister's life. He faces dragons, trolls, and the mysterious Norns, surviving by a combination of craftiness and luck. Throughout, he ponders the nature of the people and creatures he encounters, even learning to admire the courage and vitality of the berserkers, while remaining appalled by their thirst for blood and a heroic death. Jack's growing maturity and wisdom develop naturally within the novel's flow. Geographical and mythological elements are revealed through conversations, rather than narrative description. Despite the legendary tone of some of the events, there are plenty of lighthearted moments, and the characters never seem stiff or contrived. This exciting and original fantasy will capture the hearts and imaginations of readers.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. Starred Review.
Kirkus Reviews
He left as an apprentice and returned a full-fledged bard, complete with a fire-wizard's staff in hand and a crow perched on his shoulder. Between being kidnapped by Norse berserkers and returning home, Saxon Jack has met Norse Jill, saved sister Lucy from a shape-shifting troll queen, faced a troll-bear, dragons, and giant spiders, and drunk from a magic well. This tale of a Saxon Bilbo Baggins, set in c.e. 793, at the advent of 200 years of Viking raids on the British Isles, weaves a colorful tapestry of bards and raiders, evil queens and plucky heroes, quests and home. Jack is a friendly companion in this exciting story of sacrifices made, lessons learned, and friends lost and found, all told with grace and humor. Allusions to Beowulf, the destruction of the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, and the Norse legend of Jack and Jill offer a rich backdrop for a hugely entertaining story sure to appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings. (appendix, sources) (Fiction. 10-13) Starred Review.
From the Publisher
Richie Partington www.richiespicks.com The Sea of Trolls nearly defies categorization, there are so many sides to it...the latest success in the career of one of the great storytellers of our time.

Scott Meyer Merritt Bookstore (Millbrook, NY) ...What Nancy Farmer does best — show us that appearances do deceive. Or as the publishers say "She has never told a richer, funnier tale, nor offered more timeless encouragement to young seekers than 'Just say no to pillaging'."

Mary Brown Books, Bytes, and Beyond (Glen Rock, NJ) A new Nancy Farmer novel is always cause for celebrating because you know it will be something incredibly inventive and wholly absorbing. Nancy Farmer spins such complete stories that we don't need a sequel or even a prequel — we just need another Nancy Farmer novel!

Rene Kirkpatrick All for Kids Books & Music (Seattle, WA) ...A fast-paced, very funny, adventure story, perfect for both boys and girls.

Susan Hirschman former longtime publisher of Greenwillow Books I think The Sea of Trolls is magnificent. Absolutely the best I've read. I read it in a gulp and was crushed when I had finished it. I wasn't ready to give up any of the characters. It is truly splendid.

Sarah Todd Hannah Schwartz's Children's Book World (Haverford, PA) Bringing her wit, high style, and flair for dramatic storytelling to The Sea of Trolls, Farmer makes Norse mythology and Saxon history both intriguing and enthralling. Dragons and trolls, wise women and bards, runes and lunatics...these are the makings of this great tale, and one deserving of fame.

Kathy Larkin Children In Paradise (Chicago, IL) The Norse stories are so full of buckle and swash, I am glad that the door to the land of the North has been opened again. Farmer's tale has dragons, swords, and brave hearts, what else does one need for a great read?

Zach (11 years old) Sea of Trolls is one of the best books ever. It's sorta like Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings and they both meet Eragon. It rocks. It's a puzzling mystery but at the same time a comedy with tons of pusle pounding, adrenilene racing, page flipping things going on. It's awesome that Nancy Farmer can get you so excited about what you think is going to happen next, and then bam she swerves and has something completely unexpected happen that's even better than what you even hoped would happen. When will the next one be ready?

Walker (8 years old) Every night I wanted my Mom or Dad to read more. It was really exciting. It had Vikings, dragons, spiders, a boy who has lots of adventures, a magical land, a Queen who has her hair fall off and a crow. It made me laugh too.

Jamie (9 years old) This is the next Harry Potter and I loved it. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689867460
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/23/2006
  • Series: Sea of Trolls Trilogy Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 74,094
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 11.04 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Farmer

Nancy Farmer has written three Newbery Honor books: The Ear, the Eye and the Arm; A Girl Named Disaster; and The House of the Scorpion, which, in 2002, also won the National Book Award and the Printz Honor. Other books include The Lord of Opium, The Sea of Trolls, The Land of the Silver Apples, The Islands of the Blessed, Do You Know Me, The Warm Place, and three picture books for young children. She grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border and now lives with her family in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona.

Biography

Born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in a quirky hotel on the outskirts of Mexico, Farmer's unconventional upbringing around such types as rodeo wranglers and circus travelers all but guaranteed the unique and colorful life that was to follow.

After receiving her B.A. degree from Oregon's Reed College 1963, Farmer enlisted in the Peace Corps in India where she served from 1963 to 1965. From 1969 to 1971, she found herself immersed in the study of chemistry at Merritt College in Oakland, California and later at the University of California at Berkeley from 1969 to 1971. However, her wanderlust eventually took her to Africa, where she labored as a lab technician in Zimbabwe from 1975 to 1978. There, she met Harold, her husband-to-be, who was an English teacher at the University; after a weeklong courtship, they were engaged. Happily married ever since, they have a son, Daniel.

On how she decided to become a writer, Farmer explained in an interview with the Educational Paperback Association, "When Daniel was four, while I was reading a novel, the feeling came over me that I could create the same kind of thing. I sat down almost in a trance and produced a short story. It wasn't good, but it was fun. I was forty years old." She continues, "Since that time I have been absolutely possessed with the desire to write. I can't explain it, only that everything up to then was a preparation for my real vocation."

Her first book, Do You Know Me?, an adventure for young people set in Zimbabwe, was soon to follow this epiphany. The book was well-received by kids and critics alike, and Publishers Weekly praised Farmer for providing "a most interesting window on a culture seldom seen in children's books."

Her follow-up, The Ear, the Eye and the Arm, was named an Newbery Award Honor Book in 1995, and also honored as a Notable Book and a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association, and an Honor Book by the Golden Kite Awards, awarded by the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators. Most recently, The House of the Scorpion won the 2002 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Good To Know

A former chemistry teacher, one of Farmer's first jobs was as an insect pathology technician. Said farmer in an interview with the Educational Paperback Association, "I had never taken entomology. All I knew was that bugs had more legs than cows, but my boss wanted someone who wouldn't talk back to him."

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    1. Hometown:
      Menlo Park, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      Phoenix, Arizona
    1. Education:
      B.A., Reed College, 1963

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Three: The Shadow Across The Water

"No...no..."

Jack sat up abruptly. The wind was howling outside. The house held the deep chill that seeped into it before dawn.

"No...I won't do it...it's evil..."

Jack threw back the covers and stumbled to the other end of the house. The Bard's bed was shaking. He saw the old man thrust up his hand as though warding something off. "Sir! Sir! Wake up! Everything's all right." He caught the Bard's hand.

"You won't bend me to your will! I defy you, foul troll!"

Something — some terrible force — flung the boy back. His head banged against the stone, and his ears rang as though a blacksmith were pounding on an anvil. He tasted blood.

"Oh, my stars, child! I didn't know it was you."

Jack tried to speak, choked on blood, and coughed instead.

"You're alive, thank Freya! Stay here. I'll build up the fire and make you a healing drink."

The ringing in Jack's ears died down, but he felt violently sick to his stomach. He heard the Bard move around, and presently, the hearth burst into light. In a very short time he was handed a cup of hot liquid. It hurt his mouth and he recoiled.

"You bit through your lip, child. It isn't as bad as it looks. The drink will make it better."

Jack managed to swallow, and the sickness went away. He found himself trembling. Perhaps he'd been trembling all along. He couldn't remember. "Is that — is that how — you destroy your enemies?" he stammered.

The Bard sat back. "One of the ways," he said.

"So that was...magic."

"Some call it so," said the Bard.

"Will you teach me how to do it?"

"By Thor's bushy beard! I almost killed you, and the first thing you want to know is how to do it."

"W-Well, sir, I am your a-apprentice."

"And a right cheeky one too. Most boys would have run home to their mothers after what you just experienced. Still, curiosity is a great thing. We two might just get along."

Jack felt a kind of warm sleepiness pass over him. The pain was still there, but it seemed unimportant. "What happened to you, sir?"

"That was a Nightmare, lad. Pray you never meet one."

"You mean, a bad dream?"

"I mean a Nightmare. It's far worse."

Jack wanted to ask more, but he was too comfortable. He yawned broadly, stretched out on the floor, and fell asleep.

When he awoke, he was lying outside on a bed of heather. He struggled to get up. "Rest a while, lad," said the Bard. He was sitting on a stool next to the door. His white beard and cloak shone against the weathered house. "Ah, sunlight," the old man said with a contented sigh. "It heals the terrors of the night."

"The Nightmare?" Jack said. His mouth hurt, and his speech was oddly slurred.

"Among other things," said the Bard. Jack felt his lip and found, to his horror, that it was as swollen as a mushroom after rain. "You wouldn't make a bad-looking troll at the moment," the old man remarked.

Jack remembered the words the Bard had cried out in his sleep. "Have you truly seen one, sir?"

"Oh, yes. Dozens. Most are quite pleasant, although they take getting used to. The ones you have to watch out for are the half-trolls. There's no describing how nasty they can be. Or deceitful. They're shape-shifters, and when they appear human, they're so beautiful that you can't think of a single sensible thing around them."

"Did one of them send the Nightmare?" said Jack.

"One of them rode it. Look, my boy, I was trying to protect you from certain things until you were older. But I may not have the time. Lately, I've felt a darkness over the sea. She's searching for me, you see. I can hide from her in the daytime. At night my guard is down, and she knows it."

"You could move in with the chief, sir. He could protect you," said Jack. He was beginning to get alarmed. This wasn't a saga or an amusing song. This was real.

The old man shook his head. "Your chief is a brave man, but he isn't up to handling trolls. She is hunting for me, and if she has found out where I am, her servants may already be on the way. I've been careless. I should have remembered that nowhere in the nine worlds is safe for me as long as she is abroad. I may even have to let her take me. Better that than let her destroy your village."

"But can't you flee?"

"Jotuns follow a trail like a hound. Her servants will come here first. If they don't find me, they'll kill all of you."

"Jotuns?" Jack said faintly.

"It's what the trolls call themselves. They can creep inside your mind and know what you're thinking. They know when and where you're going to strike before you do it. Only a very special kind of warrior can overcome them."

"We have to do something." Jack knew his voice sounded shrill, but he couldn't help it.

"We will," the Bard said firmly. "I'm on the alert now. I won't let her catch me off guard again. I should have been teaching you all these weeks, but the peacefulness of this place lulled me...."

The Bard fell silent, and Jack saw him looking out to sea. He looked too, but he saw only cloudless sky and gray-green waves bending toward shore. If there was darkness out there, he couldn't see it.

"You can go home for the next three days," said the Bard. "I'll be walking in the forest. Oh, and I wouldn't mention any of this to your family." He reached for his black staff. "We don't want to alarm them until it's necessary. Jotuns can follow a trail of fear as easily as foxes sniff out a henhouse."

"I spend half my time chasing those scurvy boys," said Father, slurping a bowl of Mother's rich cockle soup. Jack had provided the cockles from sea cliffs near the Bard's house. "They slide away like eels when there's real work to be done."

"Oh, aye. They're a useless lot," agreed Mother. She steadied Lucy's hands on her mug.

Jack didn't think the farm was suffering. The fences looked sturdy; the field was covered with oats and barley. Mustard, lavender, and coriander bloomed in the kitchen garden, and the apple trees were covered with tiny green fruit.

It was so beautiful, it made his throat ache. He'd never appreciated the little farm until now. And he saw his father in a new light. He realized that Giles Crookleg's complaints meant no more than the muttering of crows in a tree. It was a habit crows fell into when things weren't going their way. Father, too, grumbled by way of easing the disappointments in his life. What mattered was how Father went on in spite of his unhappiness, to create this beautiful place. Jack saw how lovingly the house was made, how carefully provisions were laid up so that Mother, Lucy, and himself could survive.

It could all be swept away in an instant. No one had any idea of the menace lurking over the sea.

"Jack's crying," said Lucy.

"I am not," Jack said indignantly. He turned his head away to hide the tears that had wandered down his cheek. He'd felt oddly shaken since the Bard had thrown him down. He seemed to cry more easily.

"Leave him alone, dearest," came Mother's soft voice. "His mouth is very sore."

"The Bard thrashed him," said Father.

"It was an accident," Jack said.

"Oh, aye. You may tell us that, but I know a thrashing when I see one."

Jack didn't say anything. If it pleased Father to think he'd been punished, why spoil things? And this, too, was new. Before, Jack would have argued passionately. Now he saw the lines of pain in his father's face, his hunched shoulders and scarred hands. The boy had a glimmer of another image, of his father as a child before the accident.

Jack felt like crying again. These new feelings were very odd and worrying.

Mother bent over Lucy's fair head. "You must finish your soup," she whispered.

"I don't like the bottom part. It's sandy," said Lucy.

"Washing cockles takes away the taste," said Mother, but she finished the dregs herself and gave Lucy an oatcake.

"Thrashing is good for boys," Giles Crookleg said. "Why, I was smacked six ways to Sunday by my father, and it made me the man I am today."

Then, because it was Sunday, Father told them a story about the holy saints. Father couldn't read, nor could anyone in the village except the Bard. To Giles Crookleg, writing was a kind of magic. When the Bard marked letters on a scrap of parchment, Father always crossed himself to avert a spell.

But he had memorized dozens of stories from the monks of the Holy Isle. Tonight's tale was of Saint Lawrence, martyred by pagans. "He was roasted over a slow fire," said Father to Lucy's horrified gasp. "They stuck garlic cloves between his toes and basted him all over like a chicken. When he was about to die and be taken into Heaven, Saint Lawrence said, 'I think I'm done. You may eat me when you will.' The pagans were so impressed, they fell on their knees and begged to become Christians."

Trolls eat people, thought Jack. They would come over the sea and stick garlic cloves between everyone's toes. He put his head down and thought about green hills and puffy clouds instead. He must not be afraid. Jotuns followed fear like a trail.

Later Lucy wanted to hear her own story of how she had lived in a palace.

"This will come to grief," said Mother. "She can't tell the difference between fact and fancy."

Father ignored her. Jack knew he looked forward to the tales as much as Lucy did. The boy understood — how had he changed so much in a few weeks? — that these, too, were a comfort to his father. Giles Crookleg might grumble like a crow, but he lost himself like a bird in the clouds of his own imaginings. He no longer had to set foot on the earth or know that he was doomed to creep upon it.

"Once upon a time," said Father, "the queen dropped a honey cake on the ground."

"My other mother," prompted Lucy.

Mother sniffed. She had long since stopped explaining that Lucy couldn't have two sets of parents.

"It put down roots and grew," said Father.

"Until it was as tall as the oak by the blacksmith's shed," Lucy said.

"Every branch was covered with honey cakes. Invisible servants flew through the air to fetch them."

"Invisible servants! I'd like that," said Mother.

"You had a little dog with a green collar with silver bells sewn on it. You could hear it running through the house."

"Castle," Lucy corrected.

"Yes, of course. Castle. And it could talk. It told you everything that went on in the kingdom, but alas, it was very naughty. The dog ran away, and the nurse ran after it."

"With me in her arms," said Lucy.

"Yes. She got lost in the woods. She sat down to weep and tear her hair."

"She laid me under a rosebush first," said Lucy.

"A bear came out of the woods and gobbled her up, but he didn't find you, dearest."

"And that was how I got lost," crowed Lucy, not at all concerned about the fate of the nurse.

Jack fell asleep listening to the north wind fussing with the thatch over his head.

Copyright © 2004 by Nancy Farmer

Dear Reader,

If I were to write an editor's letter about Nancy Farmer's new novel, The Sea of Trolls, I would draw your attention to the following:

  1. The book is funny,
  2. You care about the characters, young (all) and old (mostly — and those you don't care for are wonderfully repellent),
  3. The seamless but intricate use of the grand themes from Norse mythology,
  4. The brilliance of the nature writing,
  5. The strength and complexity of the female characters,
  6. The tenderness and valor of the males,
  7. You will delight in the final two chapters, full of surprises, just when you though the story was over,
  8. The recipe for graffisk, a fish delicacy not for delicate stomachs, but sure to delight kids with a taste for the gross.

Not that Nancy Farmer needs me to speak for her or her memorable cast of questers, trolls, dragons, rogues, spiders, praise-singers, villainesses, and extremely large cars. As in her other books, she works miracles of suspense and depths of feeling, all in the service of a rich, encircling story. I'm not sure how she does it, but I surely am grateful!

Richard Jackson, editor

Read More Show Less

Introduction

A GUIDE FOR READING GROUPS

THE SEA OF TROLLS

By Nancy Farmer

ABOUT THE BOOK

In A.D. 793, eleven-year-old Jack leaves his family farm to become an apprentice to the Bard, a druid from Ireland, who is assigned to his Saxon village. At first, he is unsure of his duties, and is puzzled when the Bard experiences a nightmare that Jack later learns foreshadows a rollicking and dangerous adventure-quest with the Northmen, led by Ivar the Boneless. Jack and his little sister, Lucy, are snatched by the berserkers and enslaved by Olaf One-Brow and his shipmate, Thorgil. Accompanied by a crow called Bold Heart, the two children encounter a sea of characters: humans and animals, trolls and half-trolls. There are surprises around every corner, and just when doom seems imminent, there is a bit of humor to lighten the suspense. Steeped in Norse mythology and Saxon history, The story brings Jack and Lucy full circle, but with a surprise ending.

PRE-READING ACTIVITY

Ask students to research the unique elements in Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology and share their findings in class. What are the significant differences? List the most common figures and distinctive characteristics of the Norse myths. Tell students to keep these in mind as they read The Sea of Trolls.

DISCUSSION

• Good vs. evil is a common theme in fantasy novels. Discuss the good and evil forces in The Sea of Trolls.

• Describe Jack's family. Contrast Jack's relationship with his mother to his relationship with his father. Lucy, Jack's younger sister, appears to be very spoiled. Why does Jack's father allow her to live in a fantasy world? Howdoes her fantasy world protect her when she encounters Queen Frith?

• Giles Crookleg is very religious. How does he convey his religion to his children? Discuss how his religion is in conflict with his wife's practice of magic. Jack learns from his mother how to talk to bees and how to soothe frightened animals with song. What type of magic does he learn from the Bard? What does the Bard mean when he tells Jack "Real magic is dangerous"?

• The Bard, a druid from Ireland, is also known as Dragon Tongue. How does he acquire this name? What is the role of the Bard to the village people? Describe Jack's relationship with the Bard. Why does the Bard choose Jack to be his apprentice? Why doesn't Giles Crookleg want his son to go with the Bard? What is Jack's mother's opinion of the Bard? Discuss what Jack learns during his apprenticeship.

• The Bard advises Jack, "You should look intelligent even when you aren't." How does this advice serve Jack as he travels on his quest?

• Explain the Bard's nightmares. How do his nightmares foreshadow Jack's journey and encounter with the evil forces?

• How does the Bard protect the village people from the Jotuns? The Bard tells Jack, "Only a very special kind of warrior can overcome them." Describe the qualities of this kind of warrior. How does listening to the Bard's stories about the Jotuns help Jack see his father differently?

• Why does the Bard give Jack the rune of protection? How does the Bard's gift leave him vulnerable to the evil forces? At one point, Jack almost gives the rune to Lucy. Explain why he changes his mind. Why does Jack give the rune to Thorgil?

• The Bard tells Jack, "You see, lad, most people live like birds in a cage. It makes them feel safe. The world's a frightening place, full of glory and wonder and danger." Describe the "glory, wonder and danger" that Jack and Lucy face. What do they learn about the world by the end of the novel? How does the Bard's statement to Jack apply to the world we live in, and the way we live our lives?

• The Bard teaches Jack about fear, pain, power, magic, and anger. How does the Bard's warning of Ivar the Boneless and Queen Frith leave Jack "dizzy with fear"? At what point does Jack experience the most pain and anger? How does his magic make him feel powerful? What important lesson does he learn about power?

• Discuss the significance of Mimir's Well.

RESEARCH & ACTIVITIES

• Giles Crookleg can't read, but he has memorized stories from the monks of the Holy Isle. Write and illustrate a story that Giles might have told his children.

• When Olaf relates Thorgil's story, Jack thinks that it would make a good poem. Write the poem, and give it a happier ending to please Jack.

• Jack's mother fears that Lucy can't tell the difference between fact and fantasy. Research the Vikings. Write a factual and a fanciful story about the Vikings. Share the stories in class. Which type of story creates the most interest?

• There are good physical descriptions of the characters, both human and animal. Make an illustrated chart of the novel's characters.

• Identify the most humorous scenes in the book. In small groups, select a scene to perform as a one-act play. Create appropriate costumes.

• Four of the days of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) are named for Scandinavian gods. Research these days of the week and find out which gods the names represent. Pick one of these days and write or retell the myth that explains the name.

• The birth of Norse mythology was pre-Christianity. Research the story of the Norse creation and write a short paper that draws a parallel between this story and the creation story taught in your religion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nancy Farmer has written three Newbery Honor Books: The Eye, the Ear, and the Arm; A Girl Named Disaster; and The House of the Scorpion, which also won the 2002 National Book Award. Her other books include her most recent novel The Sea of Trolls, Do You Know Me, The Warm Place, and three picture books for young children. She lives with her family in Menlo Park, California.

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Prepared by Pat Scales, Director of Library Services, SC Governor¹s School for Arts and Humanities, Greenville.

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Nancy Farmer

How did you decide on the topic for The Sea of Trolls?

NF: The idea for the book actually came from the nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill". I wrote part of the novel fifteen years ago, when I still lived in Africa. It was never finished. The original had a bad-tempered cat called Grendelyn who fell into Mimir's Well while trying to catch fish.

Both you and J. R. R. Tolkien have drawn inspiration from Norse mythology. What about Norse folklore makes it such a rich source text?

NF: I didn't realize, until I started studying it, how important it was to American culture. Think of movies like Sergeant York or High Noon. Think of To Kill a Mockingbird or One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. These are all stories about solitary heroes who would rather die than give up their ideals or individualism. The heroes come straight out of Beowulf.

Have you always been interested in Norse mythology?

NF: No. As a child I was immersed in Greek mythology so deeply I would dream about the Greek gods. In comparison, the Norse religion seemed crude. It wasn't until I was an adult that I discovered what a rich, complicated culture the Norsemen had.

Schools today focus on ancient Greek mythology as an introduction to Western civilization. What do you think we can learn from ancient Norse mythology?

NF: I have nothing against studying the Greeks. They created logical reasoning. But some of our most important ideas come from elsewhere. The Celts gave us a love of nature and a feeling that we are part of it. The Norsemen gave us a sense of individuality, a love of freedom, and a respect for courage and loyalty.

What classic texts can you recommend to learn more about Norse mythology?

NF: Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire's Norse Gods and Giants is a good place to start. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H. R. Ellis Davidson is more difficult, but worth it. Look up The Prose Edda or The Elder Edda in the library. Edda is Icelandic for "epic poem."

How long did you research the historical aspects of The Sea of Trolls?

NF: For the entire year and a half it took me to write it.

What made you decide to have the Bard take the form of a crow?

NF: I originally wanted to use a raven because it was the sacred bird of Odin, but a raven was much too heavy for a twelve-year-old to carry on his shoulder.

Jack comes from a Christian family, and throughout the book as he is becoming a bard, he seems to maintain a belief in the Christian god and the Isle of the Blessed. How does Jack reconcile his Christian upbringing with the fantastic things he's seen and done on his adventure?

NF: Jack lived at a time when the Celtic and Norse religions were giving way to Christianity. Christianity absorbed these other cultures and kept many of their ideas. Early saints talked to animals, fought dragons, and called up fog. Saint Patrick shape-shifted himself and his friends into a herd of deer, to escape danger. Christians renamed pagan holidays and still celebrate them. The fertility festival of the goddess Oestra was changed into Easter. Yule was changed into Christmas and so forth.

What similarities, if any, might you draw between The House of the Scorpion and The Sea of Trolls?

NF: Offhand, I can't think of any similarities.

Is the diagram of High Heaven that's illustrated at the front of the book based on folklore, or is it completely original?

NF: The tree Yggdrassil, with its branches reaching to the nine worlds, is from Norse mythology, and the drawing is derived from the D'Aulaires' book. Some parts of the Norse religion seem to echo Christianity, and it's difficult to tell whether they're a more recent addition.

What would you like young readers to learn from Jack?

NF: I'd rather they made up their own minds about Jack.

How did you discover the recipe for graffisk?

NF: Ah, graffisk! It's based on gravlax, a good old Swedish dish that means, literally, "grave salmon." The Icelanders used to pig out on hákarl, or rotten Greenland shark. My favorite in this category is oogruk (seal) flippers from my Eskimo cookbook. Wrap the oogruk flippers in blubber for two weeks until the fur falls off. Then cut into small pieces and eat.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

A GUIDE FOR READING GROUPS

THE SEA OF TROLLS

By Nancy Farmer

ABOUT THE BOOK

In A.D. 793, eleven-year-old Jack leaves his family farm to become an apprentice to the Bard, a druid from Ireland, who is assigned to his Saxon village. At first, he is unsure of his duties, and is puzzled when the Bard experiences a nightmare that Jack later learns foreshadows a rollicking and dangerous adventure-quest with the Northmen, led by Ivar the Boneless. Jack and his little sister, Lucy, are snatched by the berserkers and enslaved by Olaf One-Brow and his shipmate, Thorgil. Accompanied by a crow called Bold Heart, the two children encounter a sea of characters: humans and animals, trolls and half-trolls. There are surprises around every corner, and just when doom seems imminent, there is a bit of humor to lighten the suspense. Steeped in Norse mythology and Saxon history, The story brings Jack and Lucy full circle, but with a surprise ending.

PRE-READING ACTIVITY

Ask students to research the unique elements in Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology and share their findings in class. What are the significant differences? List the most common figures and distinctive characteristics of the Norse myths. Tell students to keep these in mind as they read The Sea of Trolls.

DISCUSSION

• Good vs. evil is a common theme in fantasy novels. Discuss the good and evil forces in The Sea of Trolls.

• Describe Jack's family. Contrast Jack's relationship with his mother to his relationship with his father. Lucy, Jack's younger sister, appears to be very spoiled. Why does Jack's father allow her to live in a fantasy world? How does her fantasy world protect her when she encounters Queen Frith?

• Giles Crookleg is very religious. How does he convey his religion to his children? Discuss how his religion is in conflict with his wife's practice of magic. Jack learns from his mother how to talk to bees and how to soothe frightened animals with song. What type of magic does he learn from the Bard? What does the Bard mean when he tells Jack "Real magic is dangerous"?

• The Bard, a druid from Ireland, is also known as Dragon Tongue. How does he acquire this name? What is the role of the Bard to the village people? Describe Jack's relationship with the Bard. Why does the Bard choose Jack to be his apprentice? Why doesn't Giles Crookleg want his son to go with the Bard? What is Jack's mother's opinion of the Bard? Discuss what Jack learns during his apprenticeship.

• The Bard advises Jack, "You should look intelligent even when you aren't." How does this advice serve Jack as he travels on his quest?

• Explain the Bard's nightmares. How do his nightmares foreshadow Jack's journey and encounter with the evil forces?

• How does the Bard protect the village people from the Jotuns? The Bard tells Jack, "Only a very special kind of warrior can overcome them." Describe the qualities of this kind of warrior. How does listening to the Bard's stories about the Jotuns help Jack see his father differently?

• Why does the Bard give Jack the rune of protection? How does the Bard's gift leave him vulnerable to the evil forces? At one point, Jack almost gives the rune to Lucy. Explain why he changes his mind. Why does Jack give the rune to Thorgil?

• The Bard tells Jack, "You see, lad, most people live like birds in a cage. It makes them feel safe. The world's a frightening place, full of glory and wonder and danger." Describe the "glory, wonder and danger" that Jack and Lucy face. What do they learn about the world by the end of the novel? How does the Bard's statement to Jack apply to the world we live in, and the way we live our lives?

• The Bard teaches Jack about fear, pain, power, magic, and anger. How does the Bard's warning of Ivar the Boneless and Queen Frith leave Jack "dizzy with fear"? At what point does Jack experience the most pain and anger? How does his magic make him feel powerful? What important lesson does he learn about power?

• Discuss the significance of Mimir's Well.

RESEARCH & ACTIVITIES

• Giles Crookleg can't read, but he has memorized stories from the monks of the Holy Isle. Write and illustrate a story that Giles might have told his children.

• When Olaf relates Thorgil's story, Jack thinks that it would make a good poem. Write the poem, and give it a happier ending to please Jack.

• Jack's mother fears that Lucy can't tell the difference between fact and fantasy. Research the Vikings. Write a factual and a fanciful story about the Vikings. Share the stories in class. Which type of story creates the most interest?

• There are good physical descriptions of the characters, both human and animal. Make an illustrated chart of the novel's characters.

• Identify the most humorous scenes in the book. In small groups, select a scene to perform as a one-act play. Create appropriate costumes.

• Four of the days of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) are named for Scandinavian gods. Research these days of the week and find out which gods the names represent. Pick one of these days and write or retell the myth that explains the name.

• The birth of Norse mythology was pre-Christianity. Research the story of the Norse creation and write a short paper that draws a parallel between this story and the creation story taught in your religion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nancy Farmer has written three Newbery Honor Books: The Eye, the Ear, and the Arm; A Girl Named Disaster; and The House of the Scorpion, which also won the 2002 National Book Award. Her other books include her most recent novel The Sea of Trolls, Do You Know Me, The Warm Place, and three picture books for young children. She lives with her family in Menlo Park, California.

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Prepared by Pat Scales, Director of Library Services, SC Governor's School for Arts and Humanities, Greenville.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 121 )
Rating Distribution

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(83)

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(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 122 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 11, 2009

    The Sea of Trolls: The ride of your life!!!!!!!!!

    This story is set up in an Anglo Saxon Village. The main character, is a boy named jack along with his sister Lucy and his parents. Jack had no special traits until he became the bards apprentice. He started to understand the world and was forced to use the force around him. Magic and powers enhance the adventures of the book. The village gets raided by the Vikings or berserkers and Jack and Lucy get captured, and thats where it all begins. The leader of the berserkers Olaf- One Brow is very manipulative and is one of the most important characters in the story. It is a story of adventure. The descriptions of the settings are vibrant and colorful. Nancy Farmer has a slow pace in the first chapters but goes much faster after. You get some history mixed with a lot of fantasy.

    As the story continues, you get to go through many challenging events, many of them life or death. The flow of this book is easy and comfortable. If you get any vocabulery word you don't understand it will probably see it is a word from way back history in the times of the vikings. Many 10 year olds can fly through this book even though it is about 500 pages long. This book joins the theme of friendship and courage. Friendship in a way because Jack notices that the enemy's are not as bad as he thought. You will find it interesting to read about trolls and dragons. It takes you back to Norse mythology.

    Nancy Farmer opens a world of imagination and of missions that have to be accomplished. I recommend it to any reader out there with an imagination. It combines past traditions with a magical touch. You will also see some religion (christianity) here, mostly for hope. The Sea of Trolls is worth reading and will take you through a mystical journey of magic and belief.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2011

    check out this boook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Book title and author: THE SEA OF TROLLS, Nancy farmer
    Title of review: THE SEA OF TROLLS
    Number of stars (1 to 5):10
    Do you like books? How about barbarians? Magic, magicians? Well the book for you is THE SEA OF TROLLS!!! This is a grate book about mythical beings, Norns, trolls (duh), barbarians, dragons and more.
    The best author of all time is Nancy Famer. She is so descriptive with detail it is crazy. You are their watching it happen if you read one of her books. The characters of the story are Jack, Olaf, Thorgil, Jacks sister Lucy, and more people. This book is fiction the best type of books because any thing can happen and the reader won¿t know it. This is a kind of fantasy, action, epic, funny, sad, type of stories all combined.This story takes place during the Black Death era you know like knights and other stuff like that. So that¿s what I meant by barbarians and magicians. Castles, kings, queens, and horses the olden days. That¿s what I like old time books and swords.
    This story takes place during the Black Death era you know like knights and other stuff like that. So that¿s what I meant by barbarians and magicians. Castles, kings, queens, and horses the olden days. That¿s what I like old time books and swords.
    This story revolves around one person, Jack he is a hard working boy who just doesn¿t want any thing special but to go to the land of silver apples and be with histories heroes and the great people. One day Jack and Lucy his sister are walking down the street when a fog comes in then they get lost hiding because they hear voices of people that they know don¿t live there
    This is a great book I think you will all like it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2011

    Need-to-read

    The only way you can find the biggest amount of joy in this book like I did, is if you are interested in Norse Mythology. This book is wonderful, with some very unexpected twists. I would recommend this to anyone interested in Mythology. This is a need-to-read for everyone going into middle school, it just is that age range. Please read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2009

    Great Book!

    I personally enjoyed this book from beginning to end. It kept me interested and I really got into the story. I liked the characters and their personalities. The plot was well put together and interesting. I recamend this book to anyone interested in fantacy and adventure stories

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2008

    You Will Not Want to put it Down!

    The first word that comes to mind when I think of this book is enchanting. Througout the well thought out plot lies a cast of creative characters, suspense, excitment and thrill. You will not be able to put this book down once you begin. Nancy Farmer is an excellent authour who words everything perfectly and keeps the readers attached. A good author can make a person feel any way, and that is exactly what Nancy Farmer did with 'The Sea of Trolls'. Bravo Nancy Farmer, BRavo. I look forward to more books by you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    !!!!READ THIS!!!!

    ¿Just say no to pillaging!¿ And trolls. And giant fire-breathing dragons that want to kill you. In Nancy Farmer¿s book, The Sea of Trolls, Jack is a farmer boy in a village. He has a normal life. He works on his dad¿s farm all day. One day, he is bringing food to the Bard'wizard'. The Bard invites him to lunch in the afternoon. When Jack shows up, he is proposed an apprenticeship to the Bard! Jack accepts. During his first few days at there, he has some fun experiences with the Bard. They cook food, tell stories, and the Bard nearly killed Jack while he was using magic,by mistake, of course'. Now you might think that Jack wouldn¿t like the last thing a lot, but he is thrilled by the thought that he will be able to do that level of magic one day. About a year later, half-men/half-wolf people come and steal Jack and his sister. Now he must go on an adventure to another world to get back home. When I read this book, I almost never put down until I was finished. It completely captivated me. The book was full with cliffhangers from the first page to the last page. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good fiction book or a book with a very good storyline. If you liked this book you might also like the sequel to the book, The Land of The Silver Apples. The third book, The Islands of the Blessed, is scheduled for a 2009 release.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    ultimate fantasy

    I recommend this book to many people because it¿s a fantasy/medieval novel. It has trolls, people, ogres, and other fantasy creatures. There are swords, bows, and daggers. The characters are back in the day when there was no electricity or running water it¿s probably around the Roman times. It¿s a very interesting book because it creates great suspense. It¿s a long book, but it¿s so interesting, by the time you finish it, you wish it wasn¿t over you just want it to go on forever and ever.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    AMAZING!

    Loved every moment of it. This book has a well developed plot and charecters you start to love. It also has a good message balanced with fantasy and adventure which is very hard to find in books these days. Our generation isn't into reading and when I reccomended this to one of my friends that would only read comics, he finished it in 2 DAYS! If we could get more books like this, insteand of teachers yelling, "Put away that phone!" They will be saying,"Can you put down your book?" What could be better than that?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2013

    Um... amazing!!!!

    Is alittle gory at some parts but i looooooooved it read it!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    Terminator

    Scans the room

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    5th grde kid who loved it!

    GREAT BOOK! I recommend this book for all kids in my grade!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Trolls

    Sea of troll faces trolololloll

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    Grat Good book

    This is awesome!!! Omg!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    Wonderful

    This is an amazing book. It was very enjoyable. I finished this book in one day and I recomend it to anyone who likes fanasy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    FANTASY

    Lalalalalalala

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Amazing book!

    Having read this book in 6th grade i never understood it fully. The book was forced on me by my inglish teacher. Now when i look back at it i am amazed this book has to be my favorite of all time! When i read it again i could not put it down. Im so excited for the next book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    GREAT BOOK

    This was a n amazing book!!!!! I would recommend it to people who like fantasy adventures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Quite the Adventure!

    Nancy Farmer does a great job putting together an adventure story with true facts. I enjoyed this book a lot. I think it's best for preteen ages, simply because of the level of reading difficulty and content. It's a great read and I look forward to reading the other books of the trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    AMAZING!

    This book is really good. In the beginning it was a little slow but ut quickly picked up the pace. Soon i was unable to put it down. This book had some very ammotional parts but for the most part it was really good. This book would be good for tweens or young audlts because younger kids would quickly get bored by it. If you are looking for a thrilling book you should most defenitly get this book.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Awesome book!

    Great book for anyone who likes fantasy adventures! ILOVED it!

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