Nancy Farmer – The Land of the Silver Apples
51. The Land of the Silver Apples by Nancy Farmer (2007)
Sea of Trolls, Book 2
Read By: Gerard Doyle
Length: 13h 46m (496 pages)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Started: 21 April 2009
Finished: 30 April 2009
Lucy’s a brat, but
Jack will find the reason why…
with his kid sister.
Summary: After Jack returned from his adventures with the Northmen in The Sea of Trolls, life seemed to go back to normal… for a while. But ordinary village life isn’t particularly satisfying for a young apprentice bard who has faced down trolls and dragons. Jack’s little sister Lucy is behaving even worse than usual, but when she is kidnapped, Jack – along with a freed slave named Pega – must journey to Elfland and face creatures and dangers he’s never dreamed of if he wants to restore his family.
Review: While I really enjoy the world that Nancy Farmer has created in these books, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did The Sea of Trolls. It was still a fun adventure and historical fantasy, still well-written, still uses mythology in interesting ways, and still doesn’t talk down to its intended audience or oversimplify complex issues. I particularly like how willing Farmer is to even-handedly deal with religious pluralism – pagan, Norse, Christian – without getting preachy. However, I felt like there was just *too much* going on in this book to make it a winner – it started to sprawl, and it got a little hard to track all of the pieces at the same time, and remember why I was supposed to care about each. Maybe with one fewer magical creature, one fewer adventure, one fewer plot thread, one fewer pairing with hints of romance, one fewer goal to the quest, and about five or ten fewer tertiary characters, it would have been much tighter and flowed much better. It was still a fun and enjoyable listen, and kids in the target demographic (maybe 10-14?) may have less of a problem with all of the disparate pieces than I did, but I feel like it needed some trimming to pare it down to just the really great parts. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Worth reading if you want to spend more time with Farmer’s characters and in her world, but it’s more scattered and thus not quite as good as the first book.
Other Reviews: Si, Se Puede! Yes We Can!
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First Line: It was the middle of the night when the rooster crowed.