Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Seat of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

This was a reread, in preparation for the second, The Land of the Silver Apples. I remembered that I liked it, but I couldn't remember anything about the plot. Indeed, I felt as though I was reading it for the first time.

There are so many wonderful things about this book. I absolutely love the Nordic mythology that is woven into it and that one reference that is there the whole time, but you don't see until it jumps out and hits you in the face. The characters are wonderful, the adventure is exciting, the whole book is rich with literary references. This is why I love Nancy Farmer.

Jack, an apprentice bard, finds himself on a hero's quest when he and his little sister, Lucy, are captured by raiding Vikings and enslaved. His journey takes him through the Viking's country and Jotunheim (the land of Trolls) to the lifeblood of the earth itself.

My only issue is in the character of Lucy. She is repeatedly referred to as a baby, and most of the time, I would say she is believably between two and four years old. However, there is one instance, when she and Jack have first been captured, that she explains her emotional and psychological state in sophisticated terms that would have been more appropriate coming from Heide, the wise woman, than a very young child. The scene is glaring in a story that is so marvelously subtle, and consequently makes me scrutinize each scene with Lucy in order to figure out just how old she is supposed to be.

I hope that in The Land of the Silver Apples, we see more of Heide, the Troll Queen, and, of course, Thorgil.

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