The Sea of Trolls (#1)

Next: The Land of Silver Apples

Jack was eleven when the berserkers loomed out of the fog and nabbed him. “It seems that things are stirring across the water,” the Bard had warned. “Ships are being built, swords are being forged.” 

“Is that bad?” Jack had asked, for his Saxon village had never before seen berserkers. 

“Of course. People don’t make ships and swords unless they intend to use them.” 

The year is A.D. 793. In the next months, Jack and his little sister, Lucy, are enslaved by Olaf One-Brow and his fierce young shipmate, Thorgil. With a crow named Bold Heart for mysterious company, they are swept up into an adventure-quest that follows in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings.

Other 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 more timeless encouragement to young seekers than “Just say no to pillaging.”


“THE SEA OF TROLLS blends ancient history and Norse epics with recognizable bits of Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings [...] Her characters—even the mythical and animal ones—ache with longing and are overcome by bitterness and spite. Thus does Farmer shatter the museum glass of history and make her characters live and breathe. [...] THE SEA OF TROLLS conveys, more vividly than any textbook, the Vikings’ storied fatalism, their devotion to heroic death and to a savage afterlife in Valhalla. Hearing the Northmen talk rapturously about the glories of being slaughtered in battle, the sensitive Jack can’t understand it, but the reader will.”

The New York Times

“Brilliantly marries historic details about life in […] A.D. 793 with the magic of runes, trolls and bards.”

USA Today

“Should 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.”

The Times

“A hugely entertaining story sure to appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“Engrossing […] a most adroit fusion of the natural and supernatural worlds”

Horn Book, Starred Review

“Readers will want to sail through these nearly 500 pages to find out what happens to […] Jack and his sister.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Envelops the reader […] a tale of high adventure and exploration that reads with unexpected sensitivity, warmth, and humor.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Awards & Accolades


ALA: “Best Book for Young Adults”


ALA: “Notable Children's Books”


Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice


Horn Book Fanfare Award


PEN USA Literary Award Finalist


Washington Post: “Best Books of the Year”


School Library Journal: “Best Books of the Year”


Publishers Weekly: “Best Books of the Year”


Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Finalist