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2 Burnside Children's Middle Readers- General

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Other titles in the Sea of Trolls Trilogy series:

The Sea of Trolls

by

The Sea of Trolls Cover

 

 

Author Q & A

Q: How did you decide on the topic for The Sea of Trolls?
A: The idea for the book actually came from the nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill." I wrote part of the novel fifteen years ago, when I still lived in Africa. It was never finished. The original had a bad-tempered cat called Grendelyn who fell into Mimir's Well while trying to catch fish.

Q: Both you and J. R. R. Tolkien have drawn inspiration from Norse mythology. What about Norse folklore makes it such a rich source text?
A: I didn't realize, until I started studying it, how important it was to American culture. Think of movies like Sergeant York or High Noon. Think of To Kill a Mockingbird or One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. These are all stories about solitary heroes who would rather die than give up their ideals or individualism. The heroes come straight out of Beowulf.

Q: Have you always been interested in Norse mythology?
A: No. As a child I was immersed in Greek mythology so deeply I would dream about the Greek gods. In comparison, the Norse religion seemed crude. It wasn't until I was an adult that I discovered what a rich, complicated culture the Norsemen had.

Q: Schools today focus on ancient Greek mythology as an introduction to Western civilization. What do you think we can learn from ancient Norse mythology?
A: I have nothing against studying the Greeks. They created logical reasoning. But some of our most important ideas come from elsewhere. The Celts gave us a love of nature and a feeling that we are part of it. The Norsemen gave us a sense of individuality, a love of freedom, and a respect for courage and loyalty.

Q: What classic texts can you recommend to learn more about Norse mythology?
A: Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire's Norse Gods and Giants is a good place to start. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H. R. Ellis Davidson is more difficult, but worth it. Look up The Prose Edda or The Elder Edda in the library. Edda is Icelandic for "epic poem."

Q: How long did you research the historical aspects of The Sea of Trolls?
A: For the entire year and a half it took me to write it.

Q: What made you decide to have the Bard take the form of a crow?
A: I originally wanted to use a raven because it was the sacred bird of Odin, but a raven was much too heavy for a twelve-year-old to carry on his shoulder.

Q: Jack comes from a Christian family, and throughout the book as he is becoming a bard, he seems to maintain a belief in the Christian god and the Isle of the Blessed. How does Jack reconcile his Christian upbringing with the fantastic things he's seen and done on his adventure?
A: Jack lived at a time when the Celtic and Norse religions were giving way to Christianity. Christianity absorbed these other cultures and kept many of their ideas. Early saints talked to animals, fought dragons, and called up fog. Saint Patrick shape-shifted himself and his friends into a herd of deer, to escape danger. Christians renamed pagan holidays and still celebrate them. The fertility festival of the goddess Oestra was changed into Easter. Yule was changed into Christmas and so forth.

Q: What similarities, if any, might you draw between The House of the Scorpion and The Sea of Trolls?
A: Offhand, I can't think of any similarities.

Q: Is the diagram of High Heaven that's illustrated at the front of the book based on folklore, or is it completely original?
A: The tree Yggdrassil, with its branches reaching to the nine worlds, is from Norse mythology, and the drawing is derived from the D'Aulaires' book. Some parts of the Norse religion seem to echo Christianity, and it's difficult to tell whether they're a more recent addition.

Q: What would you like young readers to learn from Jack?
A: I'd rather they made up their own minds about Jack.

Q: How did you discover the recipe for graffisk?
A: Ah, graffisk! It's based on gravlax, a good old Swedish dish that means, literally, "grave salmon." The Icelanders used to pig out on hákarl, or rotten Greenland shark. My favorite in this category is oogruk (seal) flippers from my Eskimo cookbook. Wrap the oogruk flippers in blubber for two weeks until the fur falls off. Then cut into small pieces and eat.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780689867446
Author:
Farmer, Nancy
Publisher:
Atheneum Books
Author:
Nancy Farmer
Author:
Paver, Michelle
Author:
O'Brien, Tim
Location:
New York
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Fantasy
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Literature - Classics
Subject:
Brothers and sisters
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - History
Subject:
Horror & Ghost Stories
Subject:
Historical - Medieval
Subject:
Trolls
Subject:
Druids and druidism
Subject:
Vikings
Subject:
Legends, Myths, & Fables - Norse
Subject:
Saxons
Subject:
Mythology, norse
Subject:
Bards and bardism
Subject:
Action & Adventure - General
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables/Norse
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series:
Gods and Warriors
Publication Date:
September 2004
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 5 up to 8
Language:
English
Illustrations:
f-c jkt (w-special treatment); 2 b-w map
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 27.055 oz
Age Level:
10-13

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General

The Sea of Trolls Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Atheneum Books - English 9780689867446 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

From the author of The House of the Scorpion comes a thrilling adventure-quest involving Vikings, a mother Dragon, giant spiders, and a shape-shifting half-troll named Ivar the Boneless.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Readers will want to sail through these nearly 500 pages to find out what happens to young Jack and his sister, Lucy, kidnapped from their homeland by a Viking crew led by Olaf One-Brow. The two then travel across the sea where Ivar the Boneless, king of the Northmen, reigns with his half-troll wife, Queen Frith. The Bard, who fled from Queen Frith and has taken refuge on the boy's small island ('Nowhere in the nine worlds is safe for me as long as she is abroad,' the Bard explains) takes in 12-year-old Jack as an apprentice. The old man manages to teach Jack some magic and some of the complex history of the Northmen and their enemies, the Jotuns or trolls, before Olaf and his men invade. The book brims with delectable details. Ivar the Boneless, for instance, 'wears a cloak made from the beards of his defeated enemies' and Queen Frith's beauty dissolves when Jack begins to sing a tribute to her ('Her features rippled and twisted like the beasts carved on the walls'). Her rage at reverting back to her troll-like appearance prompts Jack's quest to seek Mimir's Well, in the heart of Jotunheim (troll country) in order to reverse the spell and save his sister, whom Queen Frith threatens to sacrifice if her beauty is not restored. Plotting and incidental players such as dragons and giant spiders in Jotunheim take precedence over character development here. But if the relationships are not as fully fleshed out as in Farmer's previous books, fans of Viking and adventure tales will still be up late nights to discover Jack's fate. Ages 10-13." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[S]hould instantly be added to the list of those books which leave an indelible mark on the imagination....[A] hair-raising, spine-tingling, heart-stopping adventure which really does bear comparison to The Hobbit....[T]he best children's novel of 2004."
"Review" by , "Allusions to Beowulf, the destruction of the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, and the Norse legend of Jack and Jill offer a rich backdrop for a hugely entertaining story sure to appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings."
"Review" by , "Farmer brilliantly marries historic details about life in England, Scotland and Scandinavia in A.D. 793 with the magic of runes, trolls and bards. This story will send readers on a quest to read more about this bloody but fascinating era."
"Review" by , "[A]n engaging tale....[T]here are plenty of lighthearted moments, and the characters never seem stiff or contrived. This exciting and original fantasy will capture the hearts and imaginations of readers."
"Synopsis" by , The three-time Newbery Honor-winning author and National Book Award recipient pens a new adventure set in A.D. 793 in the land of the Vikings, where two children are soon swept up in a quest on which they encounter a dragon, a giant spider, and trolls.
"Synopsis" by , 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.
"Synopsis" by ,
Fans of epic adventure will love the life-or-death stakes in the third Gods and Warriors book

The eruption of the volcano has shrouded the sun in ash, and the harsh winter is never-ending. With no trace of his lost sister to be found, Hylas takes ship for Keftiu, to find Pirra and free her from captivity.

But the Crows are also coming to Keftiu, led by the power-hungry Telamon. And Telamon knows what Hylas doesnt: that in the chaos of the volcanic eruption, Pirra took the Crows prophesized dagger. Aided by Havoc, the lion cub, and Echo, a falcon of the Goddess, Hylas and Pirra will face the Crows once again, in a terrifying epic battle to save the land—or destroy it.

Readers of Rick Riordan, T.A. Barron, and John Flanagan will love this exciting Bronze Age series.

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