Synopses & Reviews
Halli Sveinsson has grown up in the House of Svein, listening to the legends of the heroes as all his forefathers did. His is a peaceful society where the violence of the past has been outlawed and disputes are settled by the Council. But young Halli has never quite seemed to fit in with the others. For starters, he was not at all handsome or tall, like his attractive blond siblings. He's stumpy and swarthy, with a quick mind and aptitude for getting in trouble. Bored with the everyday chores and sheep herding, he can't help himself from playing practical jokes on everyone, from Eyjolf the old servant, to his brother and sister. But when he plays a trick on Ragnor of the House of Hakonsson, he goes too far, setting in motion a chain of events that will forever alter his destiny. Because of it, Halli will have to leave home and go on a hero's quest. Along the way, he will encounter highway robbers, terrifying monsters, and a girl who may finally be his match. In the end, he will discover the truth about the legends, his family, and himself. Jonathan Stroud's new novel is a hero's saga and coming-of-age--as well as a surprising look at what bravery really means.
"Witty and cinematic storytelling propels Stroud's engrossing novel, set in a medieval world that recalls Norse epics no gods, but plenty of heroes to go around. Twelve Houses control sections of a valley. Halli Sveinsson at 15, the youngest child of the rulers of the House of Svein goes against tradition when he sets out to avenge the death of his murdered uncle, and his actions result in warfare among Houses for the first time in generations. Halli, 'a cumbersome stump of a boy,' is a quick-witted, appealing underdog and troublemaker ('Leif needs no sabotage from me,' he quips. 'If he manages two sentences without tripping over his trailing knuckles he will have exceeded my expectations'). Smart, funny dialogue and prose, revealing passages about the exploits of the hero Svein, bouts of action and a touch of romance briskly move the story along. Offering more than just a grand adventure (which the tale certainly is), Stroud (the Bartimaeus Trilogy) explores the consequences behind legend-worthy acts of glory and the power and peril of blind faith and hero-worship. Ages 10 up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From the "New York Times"-bestselling author of the Bartimaeus Trilogy comes an epic new adventure--a hero's saga as well as a surprising look at what bravery really means.
Halli Sveinsson is stumpy and swarthy, with a quick mind and an aptitude for getting in trouble. Bored with everyday chores and shepherding, he enjoys playing practical jokes. When he plays a trick on Ragnar of the House of Hakonsson, he sets in motion a chain of events that will forever alter his destiny. He is forced to leave home and go on a hero's quest complete with highway robbers, terrifying monsters, and a girl who may be as fearless as he is. Along the way he will discover the truth about the legends, his family, and himself.
About the Author
Jonathan Stroud (www.jonathanstroud.com) is the author of the New York Times best-selling Bartimaeus Trilogy, as well as The Leap, The Last Siege, and Buried Fire. He lives in England.