The Land of the Silver Apples (2) (The Sea of Trolls Trilogy)

by Nancy Farmer

Paperback, 2015

Call number




Gallery / Saga Press (2015), Edition: Reissue, 528 pages


After escaping from the Sea of Trolls, the apprentice bard Jack plunges into a new series of adventures, traveling underground to Elfland and uncovering the truth about his little sister Lucy.

User reviews

LibraryThing member fyrefly98
Summary: After Jack returned from his adventures with the Northmen in The Sea of Trolls, life seemed to go back to normal... for a while. But ordinary village life isn't particularly satisfying for a young apprentice bard who has faced down trolls and dragons. Jack's little sister Lucy is behaving
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even worse than usual, but when she is kidnapped, Jack - along with a freed slave named Pega - must journey to Elfland and face creatures and dangers he's never dreamed of if he wants to restore his family.

Review: While I really enjoy the world that Nancy Farmer has created in these books, I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did The Sea of Trolls. It was still a fun adventure and historical fantasy, still well-written, still uses mythology in interesting ways, and still doesn't talk down to its intended audience or oversimplify complex issues. I particularly like how willing Farmer is to even-handedly deal with religious pluralism - pagan, Norse, Christian - without getting preachy. However, I felt like there was just *too much* going on in this book to make it a winner - it started to sprawl, and it got a little hard to track all of the pieces at the same time, and remember why I was supposed to care about each. Maybe with one fewer magical creature, one fewer adventure, one fewer plot thread, one fewer pairing with hints of romance, one fewer goal to the quest, and about five or ten fewer tertiary characters, it would have been much tighter and flowed much better. It was still a fun and enjoyable listen, and kids in the target demographic (maybe 10-14?) may have less of a problem with all of the disparate pieces than I did, but I feel like it needed some trimming to pare it down to just the really great parts. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Worth reading if you want to spend more time with Farmer's characters and in her world, but it's more scattered and thus not quite as good as the first book.
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LibraryThing member juniperSun
An adventure story set somewhere in Great Britain during the "Dark Ages", after the Romans had left but the monasteries and government had not yet centralized their power. Hobgoblins, elves, and scary beings to appease, along with the Old Gods of power. Wise women and bards are the knowledge
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carriers, along with a few good monks.
Although I hadn't read the previous book, there were enough unobtrusive references to past adventure to let me know I could find more story if I wanted.
Some pagan traditions are included, and Saxon chants, to counterbalance the christianity. The adventure begins when Jack's sister, Lucy, insists on wearing a metal necklace during the New fire ceremony. This causes a shift in the earth's balance, a bad humor takes hold of the family, until the bard learns that Lucy is really a changeling. Jack, Lucy, and their father set off to restore balance & find the exchanged child while the mother stays home to tend bees, garden, & sheep.
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LibraryThing member DBettenson
I quite enjoyed “The Land of the Silver Apples” by Nancy Farmer. Published in 2007, as a sequel to “The Sea of Trolls”, this book can just as easily be read on its’ own.

The Land Of the Silver Apples tells the tale of a journey of Jack, Pega and others to the netherlands of earth - to the
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land of elves and hobgoblins and other creatures of the land. In a bid to rescue Jack’s little sister from the creatures who had stolen her long ago, the party of travellers experience many adventures amongst their trials and tribulations.

A joy to read, Nancy Farmer’s The Land of the Silver Apples can be enjoyed by readers of any age.

D Bettenson, member of, Librarything,com, and the Penguin book club.
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LibraryThing member goth_marionette
I loved this book and I finished it in one day. I had read the first book some time ago however the author pulled me right back into the story. This is the second book following the adventures of Jack, a boy how was kidnapped by Vikings in The Sea of Trolls. Having returned home things are still
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not quiet and Jack goes on another adventure and learns about growing up and the responsibilities that go along with it. The characters are well developed and believable. You want to know what happens to Jack and his friends and the story keeps you turning the pages. This is one of my "Just one more page" books.
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LibraryThing member The_Hibernator
Jack, the Bard’s apprentice, sets off on a rescue quest when his sister Lucy is kidnapped by Elves. His companions are an unreliable slave/rightful-heir-to-the-throne and a recently freed girl-slave who worships the ground Jack walks on. They meet many magical creatures, re-discover some old
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friends, and have lots of exciting adventures along the way. I thought this was an excellent sequel to Sea of Trolls. It expanded the mythology of the land while developing the characters already introduced in the first book. I really appreciated the way Farmer handled the three religions that were represented by her characters in this 790AD Britain-based world. She showed the power and beauty of the Pagans as well as the Christians and subtly made the point that they all got their believers where they needed to go—but she did this without forcing the point or lecturing, which is the sign of excellent story-telling! My only quibble about this book is that most of the major plot threads were completed by page 400, leaving 100 pages for the final (and least pressing) plot thread. This is why the book got 4 instead of 5 stars.
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LibraryThing member MaowangVater
Something goes dreadfully wrong at the ceremony to kindle the need-fire. And that leads to a pilgrimage to St. Filian's Well by the Bard, Jack, the newly emancipated slave Pegga, and Jack’s father and sister Lucy. But at St. Filian's Jack unwittingly sets off an earthquake and Lucy runs off with
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an elf, so what started as a pilgrimage turns into an underground rescue mission to Elfland.

As she did with Norse mythology in The Sea of Trolls, Farmer now mines Celtic and Germanic mythology and folklore in its sequel. Her mixture of characters, Pagan and Christian, Saxon and Viking, human and non-human, provide humorous counterpoint to each other on the way to and from Elfland as they battle monsters and spells with the aid of (mostly) friendly hobgoblins and in spite of the beautiful but callous elves.
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LibraryThing member satyridae
I really liked this sequel to The Sea of Trolls. There were a couple of credulity-straining moments, but they were pretty minor when considered against the well-researched, compellingly told story. I especially enjoyed the Norse/Christian byplay- there were times I guffawed at the monks.
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Excellently written, highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member anderlawlor
Young bard Jack is back, with Thorgil the shield-maiden, and new companions including Pega, a freed slave. This time there's elves, hobgoblins, scary monks and okay monks, Picts, and kelpies. For reals, people! If you like your YA fantasy full of earth-loving anti-slavery young people who eshew
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traditional gender roles and are critical of Christian religion without being dismissive of actual Christian thought, maybe you'll like this as much as I did.
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LibraryThing member swampygirl
As a sequel, I felt that the book was somewhat forced, and I would have liked some more resolution as far as Thorgil and Jack (since they were key characters in both books).
As a story unto itself I thought that Farmer proved very intriguing and creative, as usual, and it kept me pretty well hooked
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until the end; the plot moved along very well.
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LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
The Land of Silver Apples by Nancy Farmer is the second volume in her Sea of Trolls Trilogy. I was totally enchanted by the first book, but this one didn’t quite cast the same spell upon me. I found it overly long and it wasn’t able to hold my interest. I also missed those rough and tumble
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Viking characters. I also found the Nordic mythology much more interesting than the Celtic myths that were explored in this book.

In this outing Jack’s spoiled and unlikeable younger sister is spirited away by elves and Jack, after his magic goes astray and he accidently causes an earthquake, is sent to both recover his sister and find the water that drained away during the quake. His companions are a slave called Brutus, a disfigured girl called Pega, and Thorgil, the shield maiden. Along the way they fall in with hobgoblins, whose king decides he has fallen in love with Pega, and meet both a priest and a half-elven princess that play an important role in the story.

The story of Jack’s sister has been resolved and I am glad to see the end of the unlikeable Lucy as a main character. The last book will probably deal with both Torgil and Pega, and hopefully see Jack become the bard that he is training to be.
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LibraryThing member mkunruh
The boys would give it 3 to 3.5 stars. I just felt it was largely a re-hash of the first book. Nonetheless, the boys enjoyed it, and as my youngest said "any book with Thorgil in it is a good book."
LibraryThing member amandabock
I was very excited when I saw this on the bookstore shelves, because I really enjoyed the first one, and I'm a huge admirer of Nancy Farmer in general.

I enjoyed the adventure, and certainly the kids who liked [book: Sea of Trolls] will love this one, too. However, I was disappointed in the
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mythology and folklore allusions in this one. Perhaps it's just that the world of hobgoblins and elves is more well-trodden than the realms of Nordic mythology that Farmer introduced us to in the first book. The story is good, even great (and addresses some of my earlier issues with the character of Lucy), but the novel lacks the depth and innovation of Sea of Trolls.

All of that being said, I will be eager to see what happens to Pega and Thorgil next, which, I now see from the flap copy, we will learn be able from The Islands of the Blesseds in 2009. Why does it seem so arrogant and pushy to have the publication date for the final book so soon? It feels like they're flaunting it in my face, "Ha, ha, the final book is done, but we're going to make you wait two years before we let you see it!"

Sheesh. Think of the effect on a fifth grader. Are they still going to be interested when they're in the seventh grade?
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