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The Sea of Trolls (2004) is the first volume of a fantasy trilogy by three-time Newbery Honor winning author Nancy Farmer. The second part is The Land of the Silver Apples (2007), and the final volume, The Islands of the Blessed, was published in 2009.

Plot summary

The Sea of Trolls is set in A.D. 793 in Anglo-Saxon England, Scandinavia, and the mythical realm of Jotunheim. The book has impressed critics with its seamless blend of history and fantasy, its warmth, suspense and humor, and the clarity of its prose.

The story begins when Jack, who is a courageous young Saxon boy, is accepted as the village bard's apprentice. Jack loves learning from the bard who teaches him to see, hear, and sense the world around him better. Jack's happiness does not last long, however. Vikings, led by a berserker named Olaf One-Brow, invade his village and enslave him and his younger four-year-old sister Lucy.

On board the Viking ship Jack meets, and ultimately, befriends Thorgil, a young berserker. The Northmen intend to sell Jack and Lucy at market to people called "Picts", but the two thralls (slaves) are spared because Lucy was so adorable, Jack because of his singing abilities as a bard. Olaf decides to keep Jack as his personal skald (Viking term for bard) and Thorgil decides to give Lucy as a present to King Ivar the Boneless and his half-troll wife, Queen Frith, as she believes that the Queen will then allow her to become a berserker.

When they arrive at the court nothing goes as planned. Jack is sentenced to menial labor as a thrall, and has an encounter with the deadly troll-pig, Golden Bristles, who is to be sacrificed to the goddess, Freya, by being placed in a wooden cart and left to sink in a bog. After singing Olaf One-Brow's praise-song for the Northman's homecoming, Jack inadvertently makes Queen Frith lose her hair while singing a praise-song for her. The Queen Frith threatens to sacrifice Lucy to the goddess Freya instead, because Jack set Golden Bristles free from the cart. However, she allows Jack a chance to save her if he can make her hair grow back. Jack goes with Olaf and Thorgil to Jotunheim, land of the Trolls, to seek the mythic Mimir's Well, a well with magical water (song mead) which gives the drinker knowledge, at the roots of the world tree Yggdrasil. Olaf One-Brow is killed by a "trollbear," a gigantic bear native to Jotunheim. Jack and Thorgil are captured by a dragon, but Bold Heart the crow tricks the dragon out of its nest, and also tricks the only male dragon to kill all its sisters. Thorgil slays the baby male dragon but gets some blood on her tongue, allowing her to speak with birds. On the way Jack also meets the queen of the Jotuns (Trolls), as he needs the queen's consent to continue seeking Mimir's Well. He finds the tree Yggdrasil and Mimir's Well. Both he and Thorgil drink from the well, and Jack saves some for Rune, a skald who teaches Jack poetry. Jack and Lucy finally go home again, with lots of treasure from the northmen.

On this quest Jack and Thorgil encounter many dangers, learn to make sacrifices for the sake of others and eventually succeed in saving Lucy.

Refers To:

~ Jotuns ~ pantheon of Norse gods ~ Norns ~ Mímir's Well ~ Yggdrasil ~ Beowulf ~ Ivar the Boneless ~ Druids ~And the nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill".ca:El mar dels trolls nl:Leerling van de kraai pl:Morze Trolli

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