Maren's Reviews > The Sea of Trolls

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
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Apr 02, 12

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bookshelves: fantasy-sci-fi, young-adult-fiction

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 young, hot-blooded berserker. While singing Olaf's praise song to King Ivan the Boneless and his half-troll wife, Queen Frith, he inadvertantly makes Queen Firth's hair fall off. This maddens Frith, as well as Jack's rescue of the troll-pig, Golden Bristles who is to be sacrificed to the godess Freya. She threatens to sacfrice Lucy instead, but tells Jack that Lucy will be spared if he can make her hair grow back within two weeks. To do this, Olaf One-brow, Thorgil, Jack, and other characters head out on a journey to Mimir's well, which will enable Jack to perform the magic to restore Queen Frith's hair. To do this, they must journey to Jotunheim, where Olaf dies defeating a troll bear, Thorgil's mouth is tainted with dragon blood, and many other things occur that change both Jack and Thorgil.

I had tried to read this book a couple of years ago, but couldn't get all the way through it. At first, you think it is your typical "Saxon get captured by Viking and somehow escapes" book. However, Nancy Farmer gets the reader to fall in love with Olaf and even Thorgil. Mixed with the history of Christianity, Norse myth and the druid religion,are humorous characters and lines, including the call to "Just say no to pillaging." I think this book is good for an older middleschool/juinor high school audience, and could be easily used in a history/language arts class, as well as english or reading.
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