The Islands of the Blessed: Book summary and reviews of The Islands of the Blessed by Nancy Farmer

The Islands of the Blessed

By Nancy Farmer

The Islands of the Blessed
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2009,
    496 pages.
    Age range: Children


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Book Summary

Foolish boy, whispers the cobwebby voice of the hogboon. You force me to slay you.

But Jack and Thorgil between them possess the rune of protection, and they overpower the soulless spirit who is so intent on murder and marriage, respectively. They've survived worse.

The crowning volume of the trilogy that started with The Sea of Trolls and The Land of the Silver Apples begins with a tornado (Odin on a Wild Hunt, as the young berserker Thorgil sees it). The fields of Jack's village have been devastated, the winter ahead looks bleak, and a monster — a draugr — invades the forest outside of town. What's a hogboon in comparison?

In the hands of bestselling Nancy Farmer, the direst prospects are all part of the fun as Jack, Thorgil, and the Bard set off on a quest to right the wrong of a death caused by Father Severus. Destination: Notland, realm of the fin folk, and unfortunately for the adventurers Not Always There.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A] long, beautifully written tale, expertly weaving together several story lines and informing readers new to the series of crucial plot points from the previous volumes. Even the appendix is fun. Ages 10-14." - Kirkus Reviews

"While the meditative pace this story’s complexity calls for replaces the narrative drive of the earlier books, it brings other pleasures and creates a satisfying close for the series—if indeed this is the end. Ages 10–14." - Publishers Weekly

"Farmer excels at the details that bring a magical world to life, from food to smells to travel inconveniences, and her merfolk are inhuman and powerful. Readers who appreciate strong fantasy with mythic roots will find this an intriguing read." - School library Journal

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Author Information

Nancy Farmer Author Biography

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 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 Menlo Park, California.

Bibliography (to June 2008)

Novels and picture books

  • The Mirror [novella] (1987)
  • Do You Know Me (1993)
  • The Ear, the Eye and the Arm (1994)
  • Runnery Granary [picture book] (1996)
  • A Girl Named Disaster (1996)
  • Casey Jones' Fireman [picture book] (1999)
  • The House of the Scorpion (2002)
  • The Sea of Trolls (2004)
  • Clever Ali [picture book (2006)
  • The Land of the Silver Apples [...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Nancy Farmer's Website

Name Pronunciation
Nancy Farmer: Nansee FAHR-muhr

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  • The Sea of Trolls jacket

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