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
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."
Lawrence Downes - The New York Times
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
Ayesha Court - Special for USA Today
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.
Roger Sutton - The Horn Book Magazine
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).... 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.
Starred review. Plotting and incidental players such as dragons and giant spiders in Jotunheim
take precedence over character development here. But if the relationships are
not as fully fleshed out as in Farmer's previous books, fans of Viking and
adventure tales will still be up late nights to discover Jack's fate. Ages
Paula Rohrlick - KLIATT
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.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Starred review....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.
Rebecca Hogue Wojahn - VOYA
Lighter in tone and subject
than The House of the Scorpion,
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. Ages 11 to 15.
Steven Englefried - School Library Journal
Starred Review. Gr 5-9-Farmer draws upon Scandinavian mythology and medieval history to create
an engaging tale.....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.
Starred Review. 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)
Amanda Craig - The Times (UK)
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....
I have no
hesitation in recommending Sea of Trolls as the best children's novel of 2004.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by makayla james great book This book was riveting.
Rated of 5
by Book Freak Finding your self I enjoyed this book very much. For me, this book was about learning about the characters self. Jill learned that living honorably is as good as dieing honorably. I also thought Jill's poem was hilarious. Jack in this story gets more confident with... Read More
Rated of 5
by Louise The Sea Of Trolls I like this book because it is full of adventure, old time legends and magic. I cannot wait until I get my hands on the rest, just like always. I love her books.
Rated of 5
by Caleb Sea of Trolls This book is a good book to read. It keeps you on the edge until you finish. it is an interesting story because the main character always is traveling . I would recommend this book to older people who are good readers.
Rated of 5
by Colby Taylor Sea of Trolls This is an excellent book and have you guessing to the end. I love this book.
Rated of 5
by Robert Awesome I love the way the author used many different characters in a heart beating way. I love this book!
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was originally compiled on the orders of King Alfred the Great in
approximately A.D. 890. It was subsequently maintained
and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the
middle of the 12th Century. If you have any interest in British history it's
worth skimming the version at Project Guttenberg (which is
compiled from about 8 distinct versions of the Chronicle), if only to read the entries for such well
known dates as 1066.
Some people believe that the nursery rhyme, 'Jack and Jill
went up the hill to fetch a pail of water....' comes from a
Norse legend about two boys (Hjuki and Bill) who were sent by
their father to collect song-mead from Mimir's Well. On their
way back, with a full bucket of mead, they were carried off by
the moon god.
As an interesting aside, you may remember a few weeks ago that...
Young Twig has always longed to soar above the forest canopy and explore the sky. Now a crew member on a sky pirate ship his dream seems fulfilled, but the sky city they're headed for is at the point of disaster. Is it Twig's destiny to save it? Ages 10+.
These are 2 of the 7 readalike suggestions for The Sea of Trolls. Members have full access to all readalikes. If you are a member, please login. To find out more about membership, click here.
Research shows that 90% of Americans value public libraries(Dec 11 2013) According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, about 90% of Americans aged 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an...