Parent reviews for The Sea of Trolls

Common Sense says

Exciting fantasy-adventure based on Norse myths.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 13 reviews
Written byAnonymous June 12, 2017

Viking adventure with good discussion points

I read this book when it was first published and loved it! Now my son is almost 6 and has been begging for me to start Harry Potter, but I'm not quite ready to begin that series with him (he'll want all of them, and he's definitely not ready for the later books). So, as a bridge, I picked this book up and started reading it to him about a week ago. It was a slow start, one chapter a night, interspersed with explanations about the setting and the time period. Now that the true adventure has started, he's been requesting 2 or more chapters each night, and sometimes extra chapters in the middle of the day.

So, my kid is 5 going on 6, but I would *not* read this to just any 6 year old. It's definitely not a book to read to younger kids if you're not prepared to talk about the realities of the time period (Viking raids, pagans and the shift to Christianity, Norse religion, slavery, magic, and the general brutalities of medieval life). It's a good story to challenge kids' concepts of good and evil - the main character, Jack, is taken by Vikings and at first is horrified by their culture, but is later able to see it from their point of view. Even though Jack doesn't always agree or understand why the Vikings behave the way they do, he is able to be compassionate about some aspects of their culture. This is a message I definitley want my kid to pick up on. Not all of the characters make good role models (some of them are Berserkers, after all), but many of the characters challenge pre-formed expectations and some of them adapt and grow in positive ways. My son is already pretending to be Jack finding the Life Force, the same way he pretends to be a Jedi using The Force whenever he listens to my old Star Wars audiobooks.

With regards to the violence present in the story, my son is actually somewhat sensitive and doesn't like surprises (he has Asperger's), and while he likes all the information he's getting from the story (and the extra talks about vocabulary or story elements), he stops me periodically to remind me to read ahead to let him know if someone is going to die (and people do die in this book). Because I've read it before, I pause before any particularly gruesome or intense parts to prep him and give him the choice to skip that part, then we always discuss the why of the storyline after those parts. He's very excited for me to get the audiobook after we finish reading the book together! And I'm excited because I think this will jumpstart his interest in learning more mythology and tip him towards choosing more fairy tale and fantasy books :)

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byGoldenLion February 4, 2011

This is one of my favorite books and I love it

This book is really good. It is educational because it has a lot of Norse myths in it. I've read all three book the land of silver apples and the isles of the blessed are numbers two and three. Me and my friends love this book I highly recommend it. It is suspenseful and action packed and sad at one part. It is one of my top three favorite books. I've read it like 12 times and never get bored of it. My 8 year old sister read it and she loves it.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byMom of tweens October 6, 2010

Great book for a 4th grader!

Sea of Trolls is a very well written book incorporating history and Norse myths. Nancy Farmer has a natural ability to draw the reader in like a story teller of old. She is also able to bring forth complex issues modern people face today.....the ability to see that there is no such thing as pure good or pure evil but many shades of gray. It is easy to forget we are all products of our circumstances/experiences and should really try not to judge people by our first impressions but take the time to understand what has made them into the person we see today.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byAuntie Sarah August 25, 2010

Review: THE SEA of TROLLS by Nancy Farmer -- not for the faint of heart.

AuntieSarah.com YR/YA Rating: 7.5
Sheer adventure, rotten mayhem and Viking voyages -- not to mention giant Ice Trolls -- await anyone brave enough to tread the passages of THE SEA of TROLLS by Nancy Farmer. This is a page-turner of the first order, but not for the faint of heart. In these pages, all is lost. And more is gained. (Read full review on AuntieSarah.com)

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 15-year-old Written byhomeschoolmomofzach May 23, 2010

great for non-reading boy, high interest, gruesom enough, 11 and up

This fantasy is a wonderful introduction into viking mythology. My son (now 15) first listened to this book at about age 11. He was not a reader at that time. About 1 year later, it was the first 'big' book he read, then he proceeded to read the next two in the series.
Parent of a 3, 4, and 8-year-old Written bywcedmonds May 19, 2010

perfect for adventure readers.

I liked this book however it is questionable for children under 9 or 10. There is some violent fights that describe bloody scenes and monsters.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Educational Value
Positive Messages
Adult Written byJujubes December 12, 2009
Even though I'm eighteen, I still found this book, and it's sequel, The Land of Silver Apples, to be engaging, entrancing, and even educational. I couldn't put either of them down, though, of course, I had to, since I'm still in school. i haven't read the third book, the Islands of the Blessed, yet, but I'm sure that it will be just as magical.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive role models