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. Award-winner Nancy Farmer has never told a richer, funnier tale, nor offered more timeless encouragement to young seekers than "Just say no to pillaging
About the Author
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 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.
Hometown:Menlo Park, California
Date of Birth:July 9, 1941
Place of Birth:Phoenix, Arizona
Education:B.A., Reed College, 1963
Read an Excerpt
The Sea of Trolls
By Nancy Farmer
Atheneum/Richard Jackson BooksCopyright © 2004 Nancy Farmer
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe 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.
Excerpted from The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer Copyright © 2004 by Nancy Farmer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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.
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
Not an adult book. Written at an 8 year old level. Little to no exposition, terrible character development and even worse dialogue. Even for its length the story is terribly rushed and makes no sense in places. If this were advertised as a children's book, I wouldn't be so harsh on it, but it's not. Nancy Farmer wants to run with the big dogs of SF/Fantasy, I'll call it as I see it. This book is barely one step above complete sh*t.
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.
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
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.
¿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.
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.
An action packed book filled with surprises. An imaginable fantasy land. A thrilling book with twists and turns of magic and betrayal.Shows you that a normal person can become someone that matters to everyone.This book was amazing. filled with magic and power. An imaginative novel. Powerful. It puts you into an amzing fantasy world filled with creatures and trolls, allies and enemies.Keevin L.
Nancy Farmer is a wonderful story teller. Every book she writes is supremely researched and this is no exception. Set in the mid-700s AD, the story follows the thrilling adventures of Jack from his humble beginnings as a "common farm brat" through his apprenticeship to a Bard, then his abduction by beserker Norsemen, and his quest to the hall's of the Ice Queen for passage to Memeer's well so that he can save his sister, Lucy's life.Highly recommended!
Oh, a rollicking good tale! Such fun. An adventure in high order -- and with trolls. What more could you ask for? Okay, in a few places the dialogue sounds jarringly modern, and it's all pretty predictable, but who cares. Every once in a while I just have to cleanse my palate from all the heady literary books in which I'm usually nose deep and a book like this is just the ticket. YA books, when they're well written as this one is, marry humor and subtle morality with breath-taking plotting. I enjoy it utterly, and do so utterly guilt-free!
This book is riviting with details of epic adventure and folklore.You feel as though you are in a adventure from the start!
An adventure involving boats, water, animals, mythical creatures, a bird, and finding your way back home. This story is wrapped in Norse mythology. Jack, a bard¿s apprentice, and his spoiled, younger sister Lucy are captured by berserkers, a band of barbaric Viking warriors, and taken away on their boat. The story evolves into a magical quest to Jotunheim, home to trolls, before Jack can win their way back to their Saxon village home. Jack gradually discovers his strength and power though at first ¿He couldn¿t think of a thing to do, other than stay alive for Lucy¿s sake. She had no idea of their extreme danger. To her, this was merely an uncomfortable adventure.¿(page 97) The book would not be as good were the violence in the book not relieved by the counterpoint of kindness, ¿Don¿t be angry, the Bard said. ¿Most people live inside a cage of their own expectations. It makes them feel safe. The world¿s a frightening place full of glory and wonder and, as we¿ve both discovered danger¿No kindness is ever wasted, nor can we ever tell how much good may come of it.¿¿(page 449) This is the truth of fairy tales and a beautiful thread that runs through this story.Bring in a model or picture of a Viking ship. Draw a picture of Yggdrassil, the tree of life, showing the various realms in Norse mythology. Repeat the nursery rhyme of Jack and Jill went up the hill, and tell about how most nursery rhymes very often describe an historical event. In Yggdrassil there is a well, and in ¿The Sea of Trolls¿ Jack must fetch water from this well before he can save his sister Lucy and get back to his home.
A fantasy set in the time of Beowulf, in which Jack, a Saxon boy who is training to be a bard (a magician), is carried off by the invading Northmen. Jack must go on a quest to the land of the trolls, where he encounters dragons, giant spiders and more, in order to save his sister Lucy. No wonder Farmer is an award winner. Her books are well-researched, engaging and original (although she does relate the Beowulf story and other elements of fantasy writing). I think she is my favorite children's author. I loved The House of the Scorpion as well. I can't recommend her books highly enough.
The story begins with a young boy named Jack who leaves home to study magic with the local bard (a type of wizard). Soon after, the bard¿s magic warns him of an impending attack by Vikings. While warning his family of the attack, Jack and his younger sister are kidnapped by the berserk invaders. Forced into slavery upon the Viking ship, the two siblings must survive their captures brutality, attacks by dragons, encounters with trolls, and the most evil Queen in the land to make it back home. At nearly 500 pages, this book would appear to be quite the undertaking for its target audience, 10 to 13 year olds. But with an eclectic cast of intriguing characters and a wonderful mix of legend, historical fiction, and adventure the novel never slows down and the book is difficult to set down. It is no wonder that the author, Nancy Farmer, has received multiple Newbery honors. Her attention to detail and her historical accuracy create a story that is captivating and exciting throughout. Recommended Reads: I think this would appeal to young adults who like mythical series such as Eragon by Paolini, Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, The Lightning Thief by Riordan, and The Ranger¿s Apprentice by Flanagan.
This is an amazing historical fantasy about a boy named Jack who is captured and enslaved by viking berserkers. I'm no expert on this time period or culture, but as far as I can tell, Farmer slips a lot of historical and mythical details naturally into the story, as well as some magic and of course, trolls!
Richie's Picks: THE SEA OF TROLLS by Nancy Farmer"He dragged Jack to the campfire and selected a knife for him to carry. 'This is for your protection. You're not to join in the fight,' Olaf said. " 'Don't worry,' said Jack. " 'I know how exciting pillaging is,' the giant said fondly, ruffling Jack's hair. It felt like a blow. 'No matter how much you're tempted, just say no.' " 'Just say no to pillaging. You got it.' " Despite reading some of her consistently award-winning tales, many of you may not be aware of how funny Nancy Farmer can be. But for those who have gotten to spend any time around her it's no surprise to encounter all sorts of terrific humor in her fabulous, fantastical new adventure, THE SEA OF TROLLS. And for anyone who has read Gordon Korman's SON OF THE MOB, with all of Vince's so-called "uncles" bearing wacky names, you'll understand why that book comes to mind as Nancy Farmer introduces us to the likes of Ivar the Boneless, Einar the Ear-Hoarder, Pig Face, Dirty Pants, Eric Pretty-Face, Eric the Rash, and Magnus the Mauler. Eleven-year-old Jack, who had been happily apprenticing with The Bard, and Jack's five-year-old sister, Lucy, are captured and enslaved by the Northmen and head off in their custody to destinations unknown. The Holy Isle that Jack sees through the haze is Lindisfarne. The Holy Isle's destruction in A.D. 793, which marked the onset of two hundred years of Viking raids on Great Britain, provides readers with a historic reference point for this year's great epic adventure story. Farmer packs THE SEA OF TROLLS' 450 pages full of humor, history, mythology, and adventure. This is a deceptively complex story, beyond the mere fact that readers encounter Vikings, trolls, dragons, Beowulf, big-mouth fathers, and all sorts of other good stuff in the same book. What readers (and Jack) are left to sort out at the end of the odyssey are their feelings about the berserkers--those Northmen invaders with whom Lucy and Jack spend all of that time. On one hand, the siblings and the berserkers have all become so close to each other as they share stories, meals, and life and death struggles of immense proportion. Through those experiences, and despite their beliefs and customs being so different from his own, Jack has repeatedly seen and felt their humanity. As readers, we come to know and love the violent and smelly Olaf and Thorgil, and their wild and wacky comrades. On the other hand, even as Jack has to steel himself for having to say good-bye to them, he has to recognize (as we also have to) that the berserkers' intent--indeed their need, if their civilization is to survive--is to return to Jack's Britain again and again, robbing and pillaging and enslaving and murdering and partaking in those other activities that my eighth grade science teacher would repeatedly tell us about. "That's why you're genetically all a little bit of everything!" insisted old Mr. Max Krenis in his white lab coat and spectacles. So how do we as readers feel about the berserkers' need to invade in order to survive? How would we feel if we were Jack? How does "Love thine enemies" relate to the story? How does the Stockholm Syndrome fit in? How will readers relate all this to our being at war right now, and to the widespread suspicion of all people from that part of the world? But there's still more to THE SEA OF TROLLS. In fact, there is a whole 'nother story before Olaf One-Brow and his homies even show up in Britain the first time. The tale begins with Jack and Lucy, their family, and the Bard. Jack's a bright kid with an overbearing father who dotes on little Lucy. The Bard is a mysterious old guy who showed up a couple of years earlier, moved into the ancient Roman house overlooking the sea, and is provided for by the community. One day when Jack is delivering provisions to the Bard, he invites Jack back for lunch. The relationship that develops between Jack and the Bard is so heartwarming that I'd be happy to just keep goin
Nancy Farmer has taken actual historical incidents circa the years 635 to 700 and woven them into a fantasy that might have been imagined by the early Vikings. It is quite an interesting book idea, however, lacks a "golden thread" that pulls me into devoted reading. This is definitely not one of those, "I couldn't stop reading it" books. The story takes a long time to develop. I'm not even quite sure I could find a plot in the beginning, however, many small plots develop throughout the story managing to carry my interest to the end of the book. Many details are re-visited and answer lingering questions at the end. As a plus, Farmer has quite a way of developing scenery and characters (and, oh, there are sooo many of both). Farmer also has a way of using language familiar to today's teens to draw them in. I would recommend this to my average middle-schooler book clubs where discussion/question/answers abound. I would reserve it for more advanced middle-school readers looking for "something new".
Nancy Farmer's books are widely varied and always exciting. I got so engaged in this book that it's lead me to an entire exploration of my Norse heritage. We're even going on an exploration of the Viking sites in North America. The book tells the story of Jack and his little sister who are captured by Viking Berserkers and taken by ship to their home. The boy must undertake a quest through the land of trolls to save his sister.
Paul Cameron The Sea of Trolls 21 March 2018 IR book review The story, The Sea of Trolls in my best opinion is a book that I suggest to anyone who is reading a book and is just planning on waiting for things to gradually happen. The Sea of Trolls was very enjoyable once you really stopped and understood what you were reading. Throughout the book I found it boring because of the fact of how the introduction of everything and everyone was basically the same, but once the climax happened where Jack went on a big adventure to get his sister the story grabbed a little bit more of my attention and it started to get interesting. Jack wasn’t as fun as most readers probably wanted him to be, by that I mean that he really set the tone for the book and he started the book off very uninteresting which gave this whole book this book kind of impression. My favorite character in this book is Thorgil, since she is half Saxon and half Northmen it is very dangerous for her to be around Jack. From the beginning of the book as a reader I quickly came to the realization that Thorgil strongly dislikes Jack, but towards the end of the book is where has become more tolerant and actually starts to care about Jack is where I really noticed how nice she could be. Also, I favor this character because she prefers not to wear women clothing at any time. This 11 year old crew member has got to be the most determined and brave character in the book. “Death must be fought with life, and that means courage and that means joy.” This quote comes across very significant to me because it shows just what they are doing and how you have to control situations where you are sacrificing someone or something.
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?
Is alittle gory at some parts but i looooooooved it read it!!!!!!!
Scans the room
GREAT BOOK! I recommend this book for all kids in my grade!