November 19, 2007

The Land of the Silver Apples

By Nancy Farmer
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

This is the sequel to The Sea of Trolls. It helps if you have read the first book, but new readers will be able to follow along fairly well even so. Set in Great Britain in the year 790, 13 year old Jack is a bard-in-training in his tiny village. Trouble is afoot when Jack's beautiful and selfish little sister Lucy seems to go mad. The Bard travels with Jack's father, Jack, Brother Aiden, and the freed slave Pega, to the monastery of St.Filian's to hopefully purge Lucy of her condition. But when Jack sees the monks mistreating the people who come for help, his anger unintentionally causes an earthquake through his staff. A chasm appears in the earth, and Lucy is snatched away by an elf queen. To set things to rights, Jack is forced to journey through the tunnels with Pega and the slave Brutus to Elfland to try and recover Lucy and get the waters flowing again. The trio have numerous adventures, like running into monsters, meeting up unexpectedly with the pillager Thorgil, and being held captive by the hobgoblins before they finally reach Elfland. Readers will be riveted to the pages as the young teens face each new hurdle, making friends and enemies as they journey. Fantasy and adventure lovers alike will be more than satisfied by this inventive story, which mixes magic with the history of early Great Britain, Christianity and the old gods. A historical note in the back provides information about life during that period of time. A third book is promised in 2009, titled The Islands of the Blessed.