Title: The Sea of Trolls
Author: Nancy Farmer
What it's about: Jack is a young Saxon lad apprenticed to the local bard. He learns much from the man, about music and the life force that exists in the world. Then one day Jack and his sister Lucy are kidnapped by Northmen. Only Jack's skill as a bard keeps the siblings safe. But even that's not enough when they come up against the cruel queen of the Northmen. Jack will have to call on all his skills as a bard and all of his allies if he's to succeed in his quest.
What I thought: This is a very creative adventure story that draws on a lot of Norse mythology and tells an enjoyable tale. There's a definitely fairy tale sort of vibe to this, and though it's written somewhat simply, the author doesn't shy from describing violence and creating complex characters. The occasional bleakness doesn't overshadow the sense of wonder and adventure, however. This is a very fun adventure story that's steeped in Norse mythology and makes for an engrossing read.
Overall: Highly recommended.