The Sea of Trolls (Sea of Trolls, #1)
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The Sea of Trolls (Sea of Trolls #1)

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  9,025 ratings  ·  732 reviews
Jack was 11 when berserkers loomed out of the fog and nabbed him. Now in 793 AD, Jack and his little sister Lucy are enslaved by Olaf One-Brow, and his fierce young shipmate Thorgil. Alongside the crow "Bold Heart", they learn to "Just say no to pillaging."
Paperback, 459 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 28th 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Michael Fierce
Feb 19, 2013 Michael Fierce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hobbit fans, fans of Nordic Scandinavian fantasy
  description
After Jack becomes apprenticed to a Druid bard, he and his little sister Lucy are captured by Viking Berserkers and taken to the home of King Ivar the Boneless and his half-troll queen, leading Jack to undertake a vital quest to Jotunheim, home of the trolls.

This book has everything I enjoy in a story. Charm, wit, cool scary creatures, and likeable characters you can connect with.

It's a children's book. A children's book that is also for adults.

It has a background and history that ties itself...more
Kim
Really I would give this book 3 1/2 stars. I liked it.

In my daughter's review, she said this book was "gruesome" so I felt compelled to read it to find out what that meant to her. I would not use that same word to describe it. It is a story set in Viking times, and a historical event was used as background to this story - when Lindisfarne, AKA the Holy Isle was destroyed by Vikings in 793 AD. Although this is a story about Vikings, that is only one aspect of it. And for this story to be believab...more
Monica!
Friends, you have to hand it to Nancy Farmer.

Some authors might be all, “Holy shit, I have enough plot here in this one novel to fill a couple dozen books. So I’ll write a couple dozen books, reap the financial rewards, retire early and live like a king in Patagonia!!”

Not our Nancy.

She takes that dozen-novels-worth-of-plot and is like, “Screw it,” and publishes it as one huge epic fantasy adventure, which still manages to be part one of three.

So what we have here is your typical boy meets Bard...more
Hazel Lee
I loved reading this book - epic adventure, full of all the traditional elements of a good fantasy: trolls, dragons, warriors, bards, and magic. But the adventure is made better by the complexity of the characters. There are no clear-cut lines between good and evil in this book - only characters that are very human in their imperfection. I think this book does a good job of pushing young readers to think about cultural relativism - or at least introduce them to the concept.

I was annoyed by the...more
Amy Neftzger
Jack is a young bard in training when he is kidnapped along with his sister and taken by a group of Beserkers and brought to their icy northern land. The book chronicles Jack's capture and adventures as he embarks upon a quest to win back his freedom and save his sister from the temperamental half troll queen Frith. The book creatively adapts Norse mythology into a engaging adventure story that demonstrates the clash of two cultures and how the children learn to work things out to accomplish the...more
Mike
The basis for the Celtic mythological worldview is that there is a separate world from ours, parallel and magical, that can be reached through certain states of mind, interactions with magical creatures, or portals. And the basic hero myth of all cultures starts with a mundane reality (almost always with a farm boy), a journey to a strange new land, magical talismans, and the return home.

This book takes the hero myth and the parallel world myth, blends it together with a veneer of historical fa...more
Mark Adderley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brandon
I purchased this book a while ago for two reasons: the cover and the setting. If that were the only reasons for buying this book, then you will be a happy camper. If you believe the story should whisk you away like the cover and setting should, then you will be kind of…meh, as I was.

Let’s break it down shall we?

WINS

Setting - The world was beautiful. It was full of life and color and smells. I truly enjoyed being in the world that was set up. I feel like the author did the Norse mythology justic...more
Cheryl in CC NV
I just found out this is first of a trilogy. Well I sure hope it doesn't end in a cliffhanger. I like getting introduced to worlds and characters, not going on adventure after adventure with them.

Finished. Gosh this is not my type of book at all, but it was just so good I'm glad I read it. Kudos to Farmer. Ironically, my 14 yo son, who has enjoyed two other books by Farmer and who loves adventure (for example Percy Jackson) did not even finish this. The characters here I thought were extra-rich,...more
Emily Michelle
I thought I would adore this series. I love historical fiction; I love middle grade/YA books; I love Norse mythology; I love books about the British Isles and about folklore, so I doubly love books about British folklore. And this series had it all. I thought that this one would be one of those series that I would check out from the library and love so much that I'd run to the bookstore and buy my own copies. And then I read the trilogy and it was . . . nice. It was fun. But it wasn't great.

Each...more
Pamela ☼everythings cheesy☼ Tee
Hmmm. This is one of those books where you should ignore the star ratings and find a reviewer with similar tastes to try and determine if you should give it a try. Which is to say that while I only gave "Sea of Trolls" 3-Stars that I can see why other people, especially younger readers, would love it. The story is interesting and there's lots of adventure. Plus the writing is decent... so what's not love, right?

Well, I found a couple of things that detracted from the reading experience. The firs...more
Uci
3,5 bintang.

Sebagai newbie di dunia novel fantasi, saya dengan noraknya terheran-heran menemukan tokoh-tokoh yang sama di beberapa novel berbeda. Valkyrie, disir, beowulf, pohon yggdrasil kembali saya jumpai di sini, tapi dengan perspektif berbeda tentunya.

Walaupun sempat kaget dengan kebrutalan beberapa adegan dalam buku ini, tapi sesaat kemudian saya sudah menikmati petualangan Jack yang luar biasa. Diculik bangsa Viking (Northmen), bertemu naga dan troll, melawan ratu jahat Frith dan laba-la...more
Jimmy
This gripping book by Nancy Farmer is about a boy who is a little farmer brat that is given the chance of a lifetime and takes advantage of it. Jack is taught to be a bard by Dragon Tongue and is and taken on life threatening adventures.

The bard of their town named Dragon Tongue is an all powerful wizard who takes Jack under his wing and teaches him the ways of a bard. When the Northman King finds out about Dragon Tongues’ existence he sends a nightmare to take the bards’ wits. The northmen co...more
Kate Olesin
I don't think I would have ever picked this book up - simply because of its title. I know that's a little shallow, but to me trolls spell BIG, UGLY, and HAIRY. Ugh. Although they are all of these things in Farmer's Sea of Trolls, the story beautifully weaves Nordic mythology with fictionalized history in this tale of adventure. It takes place in Anglo-Saxon Europe, where the Vikings (known in the book only as really large Northmen with a thirst for booty and plunder topped with wild red hair) ar...more
melissa1lbr
Things I Liked:
What a fun story! I wish I'd read this one sooner. The mythology is absolutely fabulous. I adored learning more about Norse and Scandinavian mythos, particularly the gods and the trolls. The story is interesting and unique and it evoked the great quests so common in high fantasy. But what I really loved was the historical element as well. This is set in the dark ages of England and Scandinavia and that setting is written so thoroughly that you can't help but fall into it! The boo...more
Tony
Nancy Farmer- The Sea of Trolls (Atheneum Books 2004) 4.5 Stars

When berserkers strike Jack’s village, he suddenly finds himself protecting his sister as they are taken across the sea. Olaf One-Brow is now their master and will take them on adventures around the world. Bold Heart, a mysterious crow has tagged along for the ride, as Jack’s friend. Together this crew will embrace adventure and fight the many dangers hidden in the far corners of the globe.

A slower start to this book, but something a...more
Laina
May I just say that I ♥ Nancy Farmer? She is possibly my very favorite author. I love the pictures she paints with such simple, exquisite strokes. I love her characters who seem so innocent and unsure, yet they are immensely brave. I love the friends she creates, and the feeling of reality that soaks through her stories, even if they are about trolls and vikings and giant owls. This book especially was just a joy. I absolutely loved Jack, the young bard apprentice who has to find himself on an e...more
Dori
Aug 15, 2011 Dori rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: older children/ YA
Recommended to Dori by: Middle school Librarian
I read the Sea of Trolls for the first time in grade six, soo probably 2005/2006. I came across it by way of my school librarian to whom I had been complaining that I had been having trouble finding YA novels that appealed to me after falling in love with adult writers (my teachers very much disapproved of my choice of novels for silent reading, what they had against people like Brenda joyce and Dean Kootnz is beyond me, I guess they never read good horror or historical romance.) My librarian ga...more
Readingtween
An amazing book, Nancy Farmer writes very well. This book is a clean read and will completely just suck you in. It is the first of three books about a boy named Jack. Jack starts out as a regular old farmer's brat but the Bard, an old man living in an old Roman house up the road from the village, starts training Jack to be a Bard too. So Jack learns all sorts of magic and fun things that his father thinks are all very unholy. See, Jack's father, Giles Crookleg, wanted badly to be a monk and do a...more
Evan Hays
The best children's/young adult book I have read since the Graveyard Book. Highly recommend this one. The author, who actually has a science background, really did her historical research for this one. The backdrop is northeastern England (probably somewhere around what today would be Newcastle) around the year 800 AD. This is Saxon England, England greatly influenced by Celtic Christianity, England that still holds onto many of its pre-Christian ideas and mythology, and England on the verge of...more
Erin
"Jack was eleven whn 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 biult,swords are being forged."

Jack lives in the saxon village and has nver herd of these midevil creatures called the berserkers who now the bard predicts that they soon will take over the small seaside village which makes up Jacks life. He has never seen an other place in his life and is about to go on an adventure that he will neve...more
Rburenstein
The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer is an intense, interesting, suspenseful fantasy book based around an 11-year-old boy named Jack, and his little sister Lucy. The book takes place in 793 A.D. of a fantasy world. This world is separated into 3 regions, each containing different occupants. One is an icy region containing the Ice trolls called Jotunheim, one containing the berserkers, and one containing humans. Jack and Lucy are kids in a family of four, living on a seaside town. Jack spends a lot...more
Maren
Jack and Lucy live in the the 8th century in England. Jack finds it hard to live up to his father's expectations, but loves spending time with the Bard, who quickly makes him his apprentice. After being with the bard only a few months, the Vikings of the north come and raid Jack's town, capturing Lucy and Jack. Lucy is spared because of her beautiful golden hair, and Jack is spared because he is a bard, or skald.They become the owners of Olaf One-Brow, the leader of the Vikings, and Thorgil a yo...more
Kelley Ceccato
This is a rollicking adventure, a feast if you like Norse mythology. I have to admit I was thoroughly entertained by this book, even as I spent a good bit of it grinding my teeth. I would recommend this to any young boy who loves fantasy and adventure -- but I would hesitate before suggesting it to any girl who loves same.

The book's main flaw, and it's a big one (for me, anyway), is that its female characters are uniformly repellent. Of all of them, only the very minor characters of Heide and (p...more
Matthew H.
Nov 20, 2008 Matthew H. rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trickey
Nancy Farmer comes through again! A winner of a number of awards including multiple Newbery Medals, her stories have captivated me ever since I read The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm in middle school, which I'd picked from a list of Newbery winners.

The Sea of Trolls is in a completely different style than the other two books I've read by Farmer, and this is something I really like about her. When you pick of a book of hers, you know its not going to be same story, different characters or even the s...more
Elizabeth McDonald
Jun 20, 2009 Elizabeth McDonald rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Zach
I picked this up on audiobook after reading Zach's review, and I must say that I enjoyed it as much as I think I would have if I had found it when I was ten - which is to say, very much. It's on my imaginary list of "books that would be good to read aloud to my hypothetical offspring".

I am enchanted by Nancy Farmer's settings. Having previously tackled Zimbabwe in 2194, she now tries her hand at Saxon England and Scandinavia ca. 793. She mixes genuine history, authentic historical fiction, mytho...more
Janessa
I loved this book the first time I read it, years ago, and loved it even more reading it the second time with my fifth grader. The setting is beautifully realized - the primitive northern villages of the Vikings, the early Anglo-Saxon settlements, and the icy mountains of Jotunheim. The cast of characters is diverse, vivid, heroic, humorous, and frightening. Jack's quest to free his younger sister, Lucy, from the Troll Queen after Lucy is captured by Vikings is compelling and completely engaged...more
Julie P
I wish I could give this book 4 1/2 stars, because it deserves it. The Sea of Trolls is about a young boy whose village is attacked by beserkers, and he and his young sister are captured. Fortunately he has been training with a bard/skald for the past year, so he is able to earn a place with the Northmen and not be killed. While there, he is sent on a quest which if he returns from successfully, he will save his sister's life. This book began so simply, and the story stayed simple, but it hooked...more
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Nancy Farmer's The Sea of Trolls - fantastic! 6 45 Dec 27, 2013 06:35PM  
The Sea of Trolls 12 49 Dec 23, 2011 06:53PM  
Endicott Mythic F...: The Sea of Trolls (Sea of Trolls, #1) - Discussion 4 10 Mar 28, 2011 10:23AM  
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Nancy was born in 1941 in Phoenix and grew up in a hotel on the Arizona-Mexico border where she worked the switchboard at the age of nine. She also found time to hang out in the old state prison and the hobo jungle along the banks of the Colorado River. She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, earning her BA in 1963. Instead of taking a regular job, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to...more
More about Nancy Farmer...
The House of the Scorpion (Matteo Alacran, #1) The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm The Land of the Silver Apples (Sea of Trolls, #2) A Girl Named Disaster The Islands of the Blessed (Sea of Trolls, #3)

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“But I also know that to ignore joy while it lasts, in favor of lamenting one's fate, is a great crime.” 12 likes
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