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The Sea of Trolls Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 1, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 254 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. In Farmer's latest, a battle-ax-size fantasy-adventure, rampaging Northmen (the polite term for Vikings) pass through a Saxon village and enslave two of its residents: an 11-year-old apprentice mage and his 5-year-old sister. When Jack offends the Northmen's touchy queen, she threatens to kill his sister unless he reverses a misfired spell--a task that requires a journey deep into icy troll country. The subsequent bouts with troll-bears, giant spiders, and dragons are thrilling, and boys in particular will delight in Farmer's portrayal of the initially terrifying Northmen as tellers of fart jokes and singers of rowdy songs. Lighthearted moments notwithstanding, Jack's archetypal quest is a dense one, heavily draped in Norse mythology, Old English lore, and ponderings about the differences between Christian and pagan cosmologies. In addition, many readers may find it difficult to accept Jack's deepening affection for his frequently barbaric kidnappers, not to mention the oft-repeated message, "All beautiful things attract destruction"--a worldview that comes to Jack straight from the bloody saga of Beowulf. Readers captivated by slash-'em-up Viking culture will happily plunge into this celebrated author's sixth novel, but many members of Farmer's traditional audience will emerge from the experience feeling alternately dazzled and dazed. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Illustrated edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 459 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0689867441
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0689867446
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 10 - 13 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 670L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 5 - 8
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.69 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 254 ratings

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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. Other books include The Lord of Opium (sequel to The House of the Scorpion) Do You Know Me: Tapiwa's Uncle, The Warm Place, the Trolls trilogy, three picture books for young children and an adult novel, A New Year's Tale. Nancy Farmer grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border and lives with her family in Arizona.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
254 global ratings

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J'net Stapleton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
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