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The Sea of Trolls (Sea of Trolls #1)

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  12,944 Ratings  ·  956 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

(showing 1-30)
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Michael Fierce
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Mar 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 11-and-up, fantasy
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
Amy Neftzger
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Emily Michelle
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mark Adderley
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hazel Lee
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hazel by: Chase.curriculum
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
B.C.
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Chris
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I admit it, I gushed throughout nearly this entire book. I listened to it, and the narration was superb, and I think that played a large part in my enthusiasm for it. Nonetheless, I do think the writing is high quality. Simple, direct, concise, and spellbinding.

Jack and his sister, Lucy, are forced on an adventure with lovable, loathsome wild men from the North. They romp and role with a girl who wins belching contests and wants to die fighting as soon as possible. They cower before half-trolls
...more
Mike
May 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Ai Miller
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was super super fun! The writing managed to make it really believable that we were seeing the world through a child's eyes (well, an 11-year-old) and it was still really an intriguing, wonderful book. It also felt very self-contained, though I am intending to go off and read the other two. It was clear that Nancy Farmer did a lot of research, but not in an info-dump way that makes it clear that's what she was doing. The book was exciting and an easy read--I finished it in about two day ...more
Yami
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember finding this one in a pile of old books in the used-book market, I held in my hand thought about it, left it behind me, returned back and got it , that was nearly 2-3 years ago,,,

and only now I got the chance to read it, to be honest the cover art was not encouraging me enough, the novel looked old , but there is time for every thing, and so i started it.

In the beginning the pages and the story felt uncertain, the way the story been told was weird ,I didn't know how the rest of the pa
...more
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ 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
Kate Hale
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Karen A.
Jul 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: junior-fiction
I love Nancy Farmer's guts. She tackles new genres like she has nothing to loose and always comes up with excellent work. The Sea of Trolls has a great young protagonist in Jack who is loaned to the local Bard by his poor farmer father. From the Bard he begins to learn magic but just barely and not enough to save his village from being pillaged by the Vikings. He and his sister are taken captive. Beginning an exciting and perilous journey back to the land of the Vikings. Lots of Nordic mythology ...more
Uci
May 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kaethe
I'm enjoying this quite a bit, during my doctor's office waits. I recommended it to the Possum, too.

***

The conjunctivitis sure slowed my reading down. Oh, but this was fun. All the pleasure of Norse mythology, but zippier than Tolkein. Great characters, particularly the way Jack never feels like he'll get the Norsemen.

As a special added bonus, I understand Odd and the Frost Giants rather better now, too.
Vera
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
It took me a year to finish it because I started reading it to my daughter first and then we kind of got stuck and I put it aside.
But the book is great, amazing characters and mythology and history woven together.
Paige :)
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, I don't know where to start with this book. It's by far one of my favorite fantasy novels of all time, and I can think of at least three hundred reasons why it should be considered a classic piece of YA literature. Instead, I'll give you five.

1) Mythology References: In some books, mythology is clumsily thrown onto the main plot with the intention of creating depth and interest. What it really does is confuse the reader and make the novel feel more like a history book. Not cool.

Nanc
...more
Rosario Beltran
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was so cool! There was a lot of magic and a lot of creepy stuff going on and all of that made me interested in more books just like this one. It took me for ever to get to finish this book. I had to read this at night but it's worth it. In the end when Jack was home, I loved the ending of the book. It is a nice way to end the story.
Mina
Feb 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
dnf for now. It's not catching my interest and there are so many other books that I could be reading and loving right now. But let me know if I should keep reading, I did like what I read.
Caleb Barber
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was a wonderful adventure with magic and action and lore. People who like the world of the Lord of the rings will love this book series, it is full of very similar things. The story is easy to follow but still very unique and complex.
Rburenstein
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Doriana
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: older children/ YA
Recommended to Doriana 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
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
Erin
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
"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
Readingtween
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Laina
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Trickey
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Sea of Trolls (3 books)
  • The Land of the Silver Apples (Sea of Trolls, #2)
  • The Islands of the Blessed (Sea of Trolls, #3)

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“Look around you...Feel the wind, smell the air. Listen to the birds and watch the sky. Tell me what's happening in the wide world.” 22 likes
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