^BOOK ⇷ The Sea of Trolls ⇤ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

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 fact and setting, and does it all one better by adding a second layer of leave taking and home coming We begin in a version of Middle Ages England that is hovering between Christianity and druidism We then move into the strange and slightly magical world of a pseudo Norse culture, steeped in Germanic mythology and oral poetry Finally we step into the fully magical realm of Jotenheim, a kind of Skull Island where everything is larger than life There follow two homecomings What a trip, and what excellent story telling The author manages to retell most of the good stories out of Norse mythology throughout the book Like the other book by Nancy Farmer that I ve read, The House of the Scorpion, the author is able to create situations of real horror and the feeling of danger Her writing is some of the most immediate and evocative that I ve read in authors for teens young adults I read the audio version of this book, and the narrator was terrific. This is a fast moving and intelligent novel for children Jack and his sister Lucy get kidnapped by Vikings during the historic raid on Lindisfarne in 793 Arriving in Norway, Jack finds that he has to undertake a quest to find Mimir s Well in order to save his sister from the half troll queen, Frith.One negative aspect of this novel is the rather spare style, which doesn t enable you to really get into the story well Things happen blindingly fast It isn t difficult to follow I just like to absorb myself a little thoroughly, that s all And Farmer keeps dropping modernisms into her prose Just say no to pillaging, for example This one s very witty, of course, but they mount up, and are a bit distracting.But there are many positive aspects There s a lot of very accurate Scandinavian mythology in the book the tales of Odin, Loki, Mimir s Well, etc., are all accurately portrayed And that s hardly surprising, since the bibliography Farmer provides at the end is enough for a graduate course Also, the characters are very appealing Jack is a likable hero I m not sure that Jack is a historically accurate name, but that s nitpicking Thorgil, the boy who turns out to be a girl berserker, is also strangely appealing But towering over them both is Olaf One Brow, the Viking leader who remains a powerful presence and extremely likable, even while he s uncompromisingly violent in nature.And that s yet another strength of the book There s no simple answer to the problems Farmer sets up The characters at the end don t just agree to stop fighting one another The Jotuns trolls become very appealing in the middle section of the book, but they don t agree to stop eating people when Jack leaves their kingdoms And it s very clear at the end of the book that the Vikings are going to continue raiding England, as they did historically for another two hundred years Olaf One Brow retains his violent tendencies, even in his most attractive moments.A rich and complex book, very entertaining, and well worth spending the time on. 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 their goals The I read this book the less I was able to put it down. 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 book in the series has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses In this first book, the plot was a bit rambling the actual conflict, the part that you would focus on if you were explaining to someone what the book was about, isn t even mentioned until halfway through the book Rambling epic journeys work, but only when we always know the end goal The writing style was a bit uneven generally it was what you d expect for an 8th century epic journey, but occasionally a very modern sounding line or word would pop up and sound thoroughly anachronistic for example, the characters all use what are supposed to sound like period curses By Thor s hammer but at one point a character s curse is edited out with a string of like in an old cartoon It s an attempt at a joke but it feels out of place The use of the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill, though Farmer does have a historical basis for its conclusion, is thoroughly jarring.The characterization in Sea of Trolls is hit and miss as well Jack is fairly likable he feels realistic and you believe in his motivations, even if he spends a great deal of time waiting for things to happen to him The Bard would be the coolest teacher ever Many of the less important Vikings are entertaining, and the Viking named Rune is quite sympathetic and interesting But secondary protagonist Thorgil is so ill tempered for so long, with absolutely no signs of humanity, that when the author wants you to start feeling bad for her, it s hard to actually dredge up any sympathy And her turn to friendliness is quite sudden and unfounded I found certain other characters, such as Jack s father and sister, almost unbearably irritating.And the Vikings in general posed a problem for the author Jack spends most of the book in their company, and he has exciting adventures and becomes a better bard for it, so you become attached to those characters and their world The fact remains, though, that they re murderers and thieves and slave traders, and the reader, like Jack, can t really decide whether or not we re supposed to like them And maybe that was Farmer s point that the lines between good and evil are blurred in real life, and that in a world as harsh as the Northmen s, where pillaging is the only way to survive, someone can be kind and funny and a devoted family man but also a cold blooded killer but it never feels like that s what she s trying to get at It just feels muddled, like Farmer could never make up her mind about Vikings either.For all that, though, there are a great number of excellent aspects of this book Most of these have to do with the huge amount of research Farmer must have done The best historical fiction books, in my opinion, pack in period detail but do it so deftly that by the time you re done, you re well informed on the time period but you don t feel like you sat through a history lesson Sea of Trolls excels at this Saxon England and Viking Norway are both recreated with astonishing detail that manages to avoid bogging down the story History classes teach you the dates and the events, but the book takes you into people s homes, into the everyday lives of farmers and sailors and Vikings and kings No less detailed is the description of the culture and the mythology The book falters slightly where Farmer tries to reconcile all different religions and create a world where all belief systems are equally true, because it just doesn t work that well in her narrative, but other than that the mythology is fascinating The beliefs of early Christians and Irish bards and Vikings are all described in detail, with bits of myths and legends woven in Beowulf, especially, plays a huge part in the story The focus, at least in this first book, is on Norse beliefs, and it s an excellent primer on Norse gods and the deeply Viking belief in fate and in the importance of achieving fame and dying heroically That amount of historic and folkloric detail pushes this book up to four stars for me. 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 WINSSetting 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 justice in this story Races I use Races for lack of a better term There are clear separations between the Anglo Saxons and the Northman and the Jotuns They were rich with separate myths and world views This was well executed and added to the success of the setting.Unintentional Magic I use this for lack of better term as well I am obviously short on terms, so if anyone knows some, please let me know What I mean by unintentional magic is, for example, a character accidently got dragon s blood in her mouth and could then speak and understand birds It is not something you would seek out, it is just a cause and effect situation I think this is another addition to the setting and world building Anyone else noticing the trend Supporting Cast The supporting characters are what add life to the book The Northman are good Vikings The family members were rich and I understood why everyone did what they did The characters around the protagonist are very rich.LOSESIntentional Magic The main character has some supernatural experience that awakens his ability to perform magic The author then attempts to establish the magic system while explaining what happened to the character This was poorly executed The magic always made the character cry I felt like he all of a sudden became bi polar He was a snotty kid one moment then crying at the beauty of the world the next Secondly, the magic system was very vague and the consequences were not measurable Accessing the magic was very similar to EON in which the process was repeated every time , but with much less success.Main Characters I struggled with hating the main character for two reasons First, I could not find anything to like about it Second, he was acted bi polar There is also a side kick that is annoying through 80 90% of the book I read this book for everything other than the characters.Length This book was overly long I understand that it is a series and maybe it needed those pages to set up the world but this was a quest book, and there was a lot of stuff that did not pertain to the quest.Writing Style For such a beautiful setting, the author moved through the book at a medium pace Character development, dialogue and pace are all lacking in this book If the author could have put some flare into those, this could have been a really good book I think the character development and pace are what hold this book back from being better than it is.It s a solid 3 stars, but no It should be, though. 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 fact that Lucy still remains a brat to the bitter end The scene where Jack gives her the necklace from Thorgil made me want to reach into the pages and give that girl a good slap You d think that the ordeal she went through would have changed her somewhat I wasn t quite sure what the author s purpose was in leaving her as a spoiled and selfish child On the other hand, I suppose she is still quite young 6.Anyway, some Chase notes I would recommend this book be bumped up to E710 The language is deceptively simple but there is a lot that goes on too much for our E610 kids to keep track of Another solution would be to reduce the amount of reading per week, but then we d be doing this book for two months. 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 who are beautiful on the outside and despicable on the inside They talk with crows, ride troll boars, sing to bees, and learn all sorts of lessons along the way that I think are worth learning for people like me and you, too Nancy Farmer is a new author crush for me and it s time to move to book number two I don t mind reading children s books when it feels this good And it does Let s just sit here and watch the end of summer So they did. Time for even escapist fiction For this we re back in the early Dark Age Middle Earth, Beowulf, Berserkers etc Will get into it tonight.So far, so good, but the adventurin hasn t really started yet The oh so typical mentor teacher wizard student thing is happening, of course, and reminds one of The Wizard of Earthsea, and many others.Moving along now in this entertaining book Jack s quest will end soon and the book with it The book SERIES, however will go onward Whether or not I read any is a question It s fun, but not nearly as addictive as Harry Potter or TLOTR This book is not for little kids it s pretty darned violent.Finished a few nights ago with this generally satisfying and entertaining tale Yet another mythic leaning take on the early days of the Vikings The modern sounding dialogue seemed a bit over done at times, but I understand why the author employed it Easier for younger readers to get into the story, I suppose I d probably read another one if it happened to fall my way, but I won t go looking for any.3.5 rounds down to 3 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 believable and for the reader to feel the proper amount of fear and dislike for the Vikings as the main character Jack does, the Vikings need to do Viking things like pillaging and plundering These acts are not overdone, in fact, they are equal to or less than other books like Enna Burning.One other thing about this book to be aware of is the mixing of religions The main character, Jack, was raised Christian, but it is the fearful form of Christianity where the monks teach that everyone is sinful, etc Jack s mentor believes in something called the Life Force , and the Vikings, of course, believe in all the Norse gods and Yggdrasil which is the same thing as the Life Force only in the form of a tree Jack finds himself believing in all three This did not bother me as a devout Christian , nor did the negative view of Christianity as it is historically accurate But I thought I would mention it I think it is a great topic of discussion for children. ^BOOK ☟ The Sea of Trolls ↶ The Year Is AD Jack And His Sister Have Been Kidnapped By Vikings And Taken To The Court Of Ivar The Boneless And His Terrifying Half Troll Wife But Things Get Even Worse When Jack Finds Himself On A Dangerous Quest To Find The Magical Mimir S Well In A Far Off Land, With His Sister S Life Forfeit If He FailsOther Threats Include A Willful Mother Dragon, A Giant Spider, And A Troll Boar With A Surprising Personality To Say Nothing Of Ivar The Boneless And His Wife, Queen Frith, A Shape Shifting Half Troll, And Several Eight Foot Tall, Orange Haired, Full Time Trolls But In Stories By Award Winner Nancy Farmer, Appearances Do Deceive She Has Never Told A Richer, Funnier Tale, Nor Offered Timeless Encouragement To Young Seekers Than Just Say No To Pillaging