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The Islands of the Blessed

(Sea of Trolls #3)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  3,113 ratings  ·  199 reviews
It begins with a vicious tornado. (Odin on a Wild Hunt, as the young berserker Thorgil sees it.) The fields of Jack s home village are devastated, the winter ahead looks bleak, and a monster a draugr has invaded the forest outside of town.

Soon, Jack, Thorgil, and the Bard are off to right the wrong of a death caused by Father Severus. Their destination is Notland, realm o
Hardcover, 479 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (first published October 1st 2009)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  3,113 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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Monica Edinger
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was such a satisfying read, very much along the lines of the previous two books. Our hero Jack grows, but not completely. And, oh, Thorgil --- what a wonderful character she is. For those unfamiliar with the series, she is a Viking shield maiden and Jack is a Saxon apprentice bard. And like the previous two books there is plenty of adventure, history, and thought there. Oh, and wit --- I just love Farmer's dry humor which is throughout. While this is billed as the end of the trilogy, I can ...more
Jun 23, 2010 rated it liked it
This is the third (and, I think, final) installation in the Sea of Trolls series. Although I loved the setting, Britain in about 700-800, and focus on the interweaving of the old Druidic religion, Christianity and Norse/Viking religion and the characters which were well drawn, unique and interesting, the end of the book was unsatisfying. The book as a whole was well written and I would recommend it, after reading Sea of Trolls and Land of the Silver Apples. My criticism of this book is the same ...more
A great conclusion to the series, the characters have grown and developed and the ending was a bit of a surprise, which is always positive. It feels sort of weird to part with these characters, especially Thorgil, I liked her journey and development...the mythology is woven into the story in a really interesting way as well. All in all, a great series.
Nov 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
Basic plot: Jack, Thorgil, and the Bard are another adventure. This time they seek a way to quiet a mermaid's ghost before she takes a murderous revenge for her unjust death.

Finished the third part of the Jack saga. Having read The Land of the Silver Apples I knew that there was going to be a third book. There had been too many loose ends in Silver Apples.

The reason for the one star review is because this final chapter of the story is not the story I wanted to read. I had picked it up hoping th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Island of the Blessed is the third book of the trilogy, The Sea of Trolls. Nancy Farmer continues to use Norse Mythology through out the story, with references to the gods such as Odin, Thor, and many others. She combined mythology with adventure and humor, making it a fun and interesting book to read. I enjoyed reading this book, but the end gave a feeling of a continuation to the story, even though this book ended the series. It left me wanting more, which made me upset, because it was the ...more
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the combination and interaction of the Norse, Druid, Saxon and Christian elements and the subtle plea for tolerance of other religions. I enjoyed the characters of Jack, Thorgil, and the Bard. The ending as others have said seemed quite abrupt and rushed. The Norse Gods were a riot and even if it made Thorgil terribly unhappy, I rather enjoyed the feminist note there. It probably wasn't likely historically but I am glad Thorgil decided she didn't want the role she would get in Valhalla ...more
Amy Neftzger
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This series is a very enjoyable ride through Norse and Celtic mythology. The Islands of the Blessed is the final book in the trilogy that brings this fun series to a close. Through the books we get to watch Jack and Thorgil as they encounter many troubles and adventures. One of the things I really enjoyed about these books is watching the culture clash of the Northmen and Saxons. What is seen as a vice in one culture is hailed as a virtue in another. The books show how each perspective is valuab ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Review of the Audiobook

Published by Simon and Schuster Auidio in 2009.
Duration: 13 hours, 30 minutes
Read by Gerard Doyle

Jack, the apprentice Bard from late 8th century Saxon England and his difficult friend Thorgil, the Viking girl, continue their adventures in the conclusion to their trilogy (although there is an opening for the series to continue...).

As with the other books in this series, Jack and Thorgil come into contact with a host of fairy tale creatures such as Mermen and Mermaids, Ho
Evan Hays
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
A solid end to an excellent trilogy. I am trying to work my way around a lot of the children's/young adult fiction that is out there today and somewhat current. Neil Gaiman has been my favorite find, but Nancy Farmer is my second favorite. These stories are strong on history, character, and cosmology. They are not quite as strong on description of setting, but this is a small quibble. Probably the first of the trilogy is the best, but both of the final two are almost as strong.

One of the themes
May 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-eval-book
Nancy Farmer does it again. Island of the Blessed does not disappoint, it is filled with action, adventure, and a rip-roaring pace. This book is the conclusion to the Sea of Trolls trilogy. Jack and the Bard are back and Jack has been gaining more experience telling stories and using magic. A draugr, a village devastated by a tornado, and a hogboon are some of the trials Jack must overcome in this volume. Thorgil, the Northland berserker, his sometimes exasperating companion in adventure, accomp ...more
Jan 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Like the other two in the series, I was kept riveted. It took me a while to read because of my busy life... it was read almost completely between classes, but it very near killed me there at the end. I love Jack... I love Thorgil... and I love the Bard. However, I started to feel that perhaps this book was a little... elementary for me. I felt like some depth was lost in the plot. I very nearly got annoyed with the way the characters had this checklist, and the book w ...more
Kevin Dang
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wanted to read the finale of the Sea of Trolls? The genre of this book is fantasy. I liked reading and experiencing this book but I would not consider this the best I have read.
The story takes place in Ireland and the time is not specified but it is before modern times. The story follows a boy named jack, a bard, and a girl named Thorgil. The plot is not steady as it changes throughout the book. Although the main objective was to stop a wandering spirit and lay her to rest. The co
Nina ✿ Looseleaf Reviews ✿
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I enjoyed it, but I didn't fall in love with it.

The plot is just what you'd expect after the first two novels. Jack and Thorgil resume their adventures with the Northmen and tie up conflicts left from "Land of the Silver Apples." Meanwhile, a new plot arises of a mermaid's angry spirit who is wreaking havoc on Jack's village. With the Bard's help, the two have to take on a creature far more powerful than themselves.

The plot was fast-paced enough to be interesting.
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Sep 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
The pacing isn't fast, but it is just right. The actions aren't created to merely thrill the readers, but they are thrilling and serve as bench marks of the characters' growth -- everything moves their understanding of the world along. I so appreciate Farmer's ability to create highly imaginative and imaginable (for a not very visual reader) landscapes. It is wonderful to encounter fresh new details of your staple fantasy elements, such as the power of the bell Fair Lamenting and how it is truly ...more
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
The last book in the trilogy is a very good conclusion to the adventure that began with the Nordic invasion of England
and capture of a brother and sister , circa 800 AD. Nancy Farmer mixes history, fictional young characters and magic in an exciting and convincing way. I especially credit her for revealing the
transition from the Saxons and Picts traditional religions to Christianity and reminding the reader that
the overlap continues to the present day in some of our holiday practices.
There is
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"The Islands of the blessed" is the third book in the trilogy.It's about a boy named Jack who's a apprentice bard, his mentor, a bard called Dragon Tongue, and a girl called Thorgil. After a tornado destroys most of the food in his village and a undead spirit kills some of the livestock in search of revenge Jack, the bard and Thorgil travel to a nearby town in search of a cure for the undead spirit and food for the villagers.Their journey will lead them to many places, some deadly some not.
I pic
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Jack's village is being threatened by a mysterious monster, the spirit of a dead mermaid who fell in love with a cruel monk, and besides that, Thorgil is finding it ever more difficult to conceal her Viking heritage from the suspicious villagers. It is definitely time for Jack and Thorgil to journey out on their last adventure in this final book in The Sea of Trolls Trilogy. Guided by the bard, they once again encounter a wide variety of myths and monsters, even visiting Olaf One-Brow in Valhall ...more
Kathryn McCary
When Farmer published Land of the Silver Apples I was apprehensive that she was turning Sea of Trolls into a series; but I found myself cheering when I say The Islands of the Blessed, so go figure.

It's good. Not quite as good as Trolls, which was soul-satisfying. But a nice piece of building on what went before, with a continuing exploration of belief systems and the points of view they engender. And. . .yup. There's clearly gonna be another in the series. I think I can deal with it. Maybe.
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was good, the first book in the series was great. There was not enough development in the characters for my tastes. Too much responsibility was given to two young children that acted like children. The final line of the book was just bad, there was no need to go there. Thorgil had not been called Jill by him through the whole book so why start then. The adventure was interesting and kids who loved the first book should enjoy this one.
Satisfying conclusion to Farmer's trilogy. I was glad to see that the characters matured over time --especially Thorgill who I could not stand in Sea of Trolls. I also appreciate that these books can be enjoyed on different levels. I especially appreciate how Farmer weaves European mythology throughout the story. As a teacher, I can use her as an example of how research, done well, can enhance a narrative. Her sources provide a wellspring of NF text sets as well. ...more
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When a mysterious creature appears in Jacks village he sets out on an adventure with two other people to save his village.

I gave this story five stars because it was well written and about mythology. It made me want to keep reading until I finished. It describes the many different stories of mythology including Yggdrasil. great book that never gets boring I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy or mythology.
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Upper Elementary/Middle School
Nancy Farmer concludes the trilogy that began with Sea of Trolls with this final adventure for Jack, the Bard and Thorgil. To me, this final book returned to some of the magic of the first in the series- in the best of senses. Celtic and Norse lore and mythology unite in a fantasy adventure with an appealing cast of characters and a strong plot.
Feb 22, 2010 rated it liked it
This met the standard of The Land of the Silver Apples, but not the higher standard of The Sea of Trolls. It was a satisfying adventure story that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to people between, say, eight and fourteen, but I wouldn't recommend it to adults unless they'd enjoyed the previous books. ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This was my least favorite book of the Sea of Trolls series.
Eureka Adang
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
For some reason, I don’t have as much to say about this one as the others, even though I liked it quite a lot. The plot was very stretched out and involved the characters traveling around a lot until the final five chapters or so. It was never tedious, but there weren’t as many notable events in this book as in the other two.

The plot is started and moved forward by the actions of the asshole monk Father Severus, whom we met in the second book. Fortunately, he’s not actually in this book very muc
Amelia Jones
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review is covering all three books in the series. I want to start by saying I don't usually read fantasy, so this series was an exception. I am very glad I made that exception! The plots lines in this series are incredibly intricate. The creatures, people, and places are all original and not like most of the cliche fantasy lands a lot of books have. In a way it ended up feeling extremely realistic. I think part of this is the normal, human conflictions the main characters have to face throu ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore this series and wish there were more Jack and Jill and Bard many subsequent books. Completely immersive world, and highly believable characters of all types. Superb writing and plotting. The ability to re-read and enjoy these books even more is enormous. I have lost track of how many times I read the three books in this trilogy. Highly recommended for all ages.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
While there were some good and enjoyable things about this book (for example, the story of the mermaid and the visit to the fin folk at Notland), I felt this book was the weakest of the Sea of Trolls trilogy, both in terms of its strung-together plot and the many flaws the three books suffer from. These flaws were present in the first book, though I felt them to be minor then. In the second and third books, they're more problematic because they're more central to the books' stories and themes.

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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

Other books in the series

Sea of Trolls (3 books)
  • The Sea of Trolls (Sea of Trolls, #1)
  • The Land of the Silver Apples (Sea of Trolls, #2)

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