Multiple Newbery Honor winner Nancy Farmer is best known for her dark, dystopian fiction geared to teens and young adults, but she’s also the author of the Sea of Trolls fantasy series for tweens that blends Norse, Christian, Pagan and other ancient mythologies.
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 that follows in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings.
Other threats include a willful mother Dragon, a giant spider, and a troll-boar 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-winner Nancy Farmer, appearances do deceive. She has never told a richer, funnier tale, nor offered more timeless encouragement to young seekers than “Just say no to pillaging.”
THE CHILDREN FROM THE SEA OF TROLLS BRAVE THEIR WORST NIGHTMARES — UNDERGROUND.
Jack is amazed to have caused an earthquake. He is thirteen, after all, and only a bard-in-training. But his sister, Lucy, has been stolen by the Lady of the Lake; stolen a second time in her young life, as he learns to his terror.
Caught between belief in the old gods and Christianity (790 AD, Britain), Jack calls upon his ash wood staff to subdue a passel of unruly monks, and, for his daring, ends up in a knucker hole.
It is unforgettable — for the boy and for readers — as are the magical reappearance of the berserker Thorgil from a burial by moss; new characters Pega, a slave girl from Jack’s village, and the eager-to-marry-her Bugaboo (a hobgoblin king); kelpies; yarthkins; and elves (not the enchanted sprites one would expect but the fallen angels of legend).
Rarely does a sequel enlarge so brilliantly the world of the first story. Look for the conclusion in The Islands of the Blessed in 2009.
The conclusion to Newbery Honor author Nancy Farmer’s captivating Sea of Trolls trilogy.
The crowning volume of the trilogy that began with The Sea of Trolls and continued with The Land of Silver Apples opens with a vicious tornado. (Odin on a Wild Hunt, as the young berserker Thorgil sees it.) The fields of Jack’s home village are devastated, the winter ahead looks bleak, and a monster—a draugr—has invaded the forest outside of town.
But in the hands of bestselling author Nancy Farmer, the direst of prospects becomes any reader’s reward. Soon, Jack, Thorgil, and the Bard are off on a quest to right the wrong of a death caused by Father Severus. Their destination is Notland, realm of the fin folk, though they will face plenty of challenges and enemies before get they get there.
Impeccably researched and blending the lore of Christian, Pagan, and Norse traditions, this expertly woven tale is beguilingly suspenseful and, ultimately, a testament to love.