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.
Original publication date
Jack is apprentice to the village Bard when his village is pillaged by berserkers. Jack and his young sister are kidnapped and taken to Iceland; Jack as personal bard to Olaf One Brow and his sister as a gift to the half-troll Queen. Berserkers turn out to be real people with families and the Queen is much more dangerous than Jack had imagined. Lots or adventures in lands populated by wonderful and dangerous animals and plants.
This is a keeper.
You feel as though you are in a adventure from the start!
At nearly 500 pages, this book would appear to be quite the undertaking for its target audience, 10 to 13 year olds. But with an eclectic cast of intriguing characters and a wonderful mix of legend, historical fiction, and adventure the novel never slows down and the book is difficult to set down. It is no wonder that the author, Nancy Farmer, has received multiple Newbery honors. Her attention to detail and her historical accuracy create a story that is captivating and exciting throughout.
I think this would appeal to young adults who like mythical series such as Eragon by Paolini, Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, The Lightning Thief by Riordan, and The Ranger’s Apprentice by Flanagan.
The book would not be as good were the violence in the book not relieved by the counterpoint of kindness, “Don’t be angry, the Bard said. “Most people live inside a cage of their own expectations. It makes them feel safe. The world’s a frightening place full of glory and wonder and, as we’ve both discovered danger…No kindness is ever wasted, nor can we ever tell how much good may come of it.””(page 449) This is the truth of fairy tales and a beautiful thread that runs through this story.
Bring in a model or picture of a Viking ship. Draw a picture of Yggdrassil, the tree of life, showing the various realms in Norse mythology. Repeat the nursery rhyme of Jack and Jill went up the hill, and tell about how most nursery rhymes very often describe an historical event. In Yggdrassil there is a well, and in “The Sea of Trolls” Jack must fetch water from this well before he can save his sister Lucy and get back to his home.
Like The Hobbit, this is an adventure story for young readers based on Norse mythology.
I liked the way Farmer wove in Norse myths and legends as well as historical detail. None of that ever overpowered the sheer storytelling, either.
I really liked this book. It has so much adventure and action in it. I liked how Jack learned new things and had a crow with him. It was very thrilling reading the book. I liked the way that they would react to situations if there were ever any. Thorgil, the shipmate of Olaf, was just a jerk. I didn't like the way they just lived with each other.
As Jack and his companions, Olaf One-Brow, the young shield maiden, Thorgil, and a crow called Boldheart, travel deeper and deeper into Jotunheim, the homeland of the Tolls, the magic gets stronger and the creatures more strange and powerful. They eventually arrive at Ice Mountain, home to the Troll Queen Glamdis and she agrees to help him even though she is the mother of the evil queen.
This was a wonderful tale based on Scandinavian legends. The author obviously researched Nordic mythology and came up with this story peopled by trolls, dragons, giant spiders and Vikings. Although aimed at children, this is a book for anyone who enjoys good fantasy, complex characters and exciting adventures. At it’s heart, this is an epic fantasy and the author often uses humor to advance the plot, this worked very well and kept the book light, fresh and fun. The Sea of Trolls was a thoroughly enjoyable book, and although it is complete in itself, this is the first of a trilogy that I am excited to continue on with.
Jack is an ordinary boy selected by the old Bard to be his assistant. As time goes on, Jack becomes a sort of apprentice, learning the magic of serving the life force. But one night the Nightmare passes over the Bard's home and reduces the Bard to babbling and grunting. In trying to protect the Bard, Jack and his little sister Lucy are kidnapped by Olaf and his fellow Beserkers. The captives are witness to slave trading, beserker raids and other atrocities before landing on Olaf's home island. Olaf is honored with a dinner in his village. Jack's skills as a skald come to troll-queen Frith's attention and he is asked to sing a tribute to her. His song causes something terrible to happen to Frith's beauty and he is ordered to find the cure or Lucy will die.