BOOK REVIEWS

The Land of the Silver Apples (Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Paperback)) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-05-16 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 46 user ratings
ISBN:1481443097
LANGUAGE:English

"I didn't really do the end of this book justice. We listened to the first 15/16 of it as we drove around on our vacation and then didn't have the opportunity to find out how it ended. After a few weeks, I read a couple more chapters aloud. Then a few weeks later, we listened to a few more chapters on another car trip... finally I read the last three chapters aloud over this past weekend.

So, despite the fact that I rather massacred the ending of it by chopping it into bits, I really liked this book. I'd have given it 3 and 15/16 stars if I could... it just doesn't quite get to the 4 stars mark. My kids love Norse history, magical beings, and all that sort of thing, so they really enjoyed this book and are ready to hear the last one in the series. There were so many times they were all laughing aloud. The characters are sometimes a little stereotypical, but not as bad as in a lot of adventure stories. Frequently the characters are deep enough that you really see them trying to decide what to do in the face of a dilemma.

I think my favorite parts have to do with the hobgoblins (I don't want to give anything away about them so I shan't say more). I will be reading the third book in the series aloud soon, and not just because my children will demand it... I want to hear more about Jack and his friends, too.
" said.

"Jack is amazed to have caused an earthquake. He is thirteen, after all, and only a bard-in-training. But his sister, Lucy, has been stolen by the Lady of the Lake; stolen a second time in her young life, as he learns to his terror. Caught between belief in the old gods and Christianity (790 AD...more THE CHILDREN FROM THE SEA OF TROLLS BRAVE THEIR WORST NIGHTMARES -- UNDERGROUND.

Jack is amazed to have caused an earthquake. He is thirteen, after all, and only a bard-in-training. But his sister, Lucy, has been stolen by the Lady of the Lake; stolen a second time in her young life, as he learns to his terror. Caught between belief in the old gods and Christianity (790 AD, Britain), Jack calls upon his ash wood staff to subdue a passel of unruly monks, and, for his daring, ends up in a knucker hole. It is unforgettable -- for the boy and for readers -- as are the magical reappearance of the berserker Thorgil from a burial by moss; new characters Pega, a slave girl from Jack's village, and the eager-to-marry-her Bugaboo (a hobgoblin king); kelpies; yarthkins; and elves (not the enchanted sprites one would expect but the fallen angels of legend). Rarely does a sequel enlarge so brilliantly the world of the first story. Look for the conclusion in The Islands of the Blessed in 2009.
" said.

"I was delighted to find that The Sea of Trolls had a sequel, and that it was available at my local library! Though I quickly became engrossed in this book as well, sitting in the driveway with the car stereo still on so I could hear just a little more, I must say it doesn't quite live up to the first book. For one thing, I miss the hoards of Vikings - this installment focuses on different realms. Also - and this is a very mild spoiler - this is quite a "middle book" of what will become a trilogy in October. Don't expect neat resolutions to every small detail.

I do continue to appreciate Farmer's strong female characters. Girls are definitely not just around to be rescued here. On the other hand, they're still strong supporting characters to a male lead. This is hardly endemic to this book, however, and I can't blame Farmer any more than I can blame J. K. Rowling for writing about Harry instead of Harriet.

I'm eagerly awaiting the next (final?) book in this set, The Isles of the Blessed, and am glad I only need to wait until October.
" said.

"The Land of the Silver Apples by Nancy Farmer
Fantasy

Coming of Age/Family/Bravery/Loyalty

The Land of the Silver Apples is a sequel to The Sea of Trolls. I read it without having read the first book and I was very confused for the first 50 pages or so. I started understanding it a little better but I never came to love it and it was difficult for me to get into. Jack and Pega are sent on a dangerous mission by Jack's father to go to the elves and retrieve the water for their wells. These two characters, as well as Thorgil who joins them later on in the book, are the only characters that Farmer develops. The little band travels through the realm of the hobgoblins, through Elfland, through tunnels and knucker holes, and they meet many interesting characters along the way. But the book feels very jumpy because odd characters and creatures will appear for a chapter or two and then disappear without any reference to where that have gone. The book carries a good message: family comes first, and determination coupled with bravery is an essential tool of success. This book also has a curious struggle of Christianity vs. Paganism that I had never seen in a novel before. I would recommend Nancy Farmer as an author for fantasy readers but if you are a non fantasy reader (like me) then you might want to stay away from this series.
" said.

"Let me start by saying that I read the first book in this series 2+ years ago. I still remembered the characters very well and they kept coming back to me, nagging me to read the rest of the series.

I could not find it on any bookshelves. Every time I checked, it did not exist in the physical store, so I caved and ordered them online instead.

one of the things I loved the most about the first one was the Norse mythology. There was less of that in this one, but still enough to make it interesting. I lived Pega and the hobgoblins, and was glad to see Lucy's fate be what it was. The elves were thoroughly creepy. Being a new Christian myself, I thought all of that was interesting as well.

The one area of criticism that I have is the clean tidying up of the end. I still don't really understand what happened. I mean, one minute they are all in danger, Yffi is prospering, and the next it's over and the castle's down. There was no explanation of what the creatures did to help.

Also, picturing some of these creatures (kelpies and the haystack animals...sorry, can't remember what they are called) was very difficult, especially what Yffi was supposed to look like.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading it, and look forward to the last one...and then to her new series, which sounds fantastic.
" said.

"Many people say this book rocks, well no, it does not rock, in fact it is terrible. This book has the same exact storyline as the first! Lucy gets taken jack needs to do something to get her back. Even though there a few differences like its underground or there are more people IT IS STILL THE SAME STORYLINE. If you read my first review you would understand what I'm talking about, but if you don't let me eplain. The girl Lucy has a brother jack. They get taken to a different land, and Lucy is sent to the queen as a prize. She is going to be killed if jack doesn't go out to a different realm to save her. That is storyline one.

In he second book Lucy is seeing things, she is treating people terribly and doesn't take no for an answer, so the parents think something is wrong with her and send her to a church with jack and the bard.(the bard is a wizard.) She falls in a hole and jacks gotta go save her AGAIN. He has to save her because the bards life is at risk. The rest I can't say, because it would give to much away. Anyways this is the same exact storyline! Except different peoples lives are at stake. My answer to if I like this book is NO I do not like this book because of the reason I have shared with you eariler. If there was more difference this book would be great! But there isn't. Nancy Farmer, I really think you need to think more about your series before you right them.
" said.

"Very meh fantasy. The human characters were good in theory- shield-maiden turned poet? Sounds great- but underdeveloped, and universally annoyingly petty. Not merely flawed, for all characters must be somehow flawed to be realistic, but simply unlikeable, with hardly a redeeming quality amongst them. The Hobgoblins were much better, in that as a species they are appealing and rather lovable. As individuals, however, they were lacking in personality, and simply quite silly. The setting is irksomely neopagan- irksome because no move is made to justify this, or to argue out the implications. Farmer draws upon Old Norse and Old English mythology and folktales unsparingly, giving her a wide mythological base to build upon, and yet her world still manages to seem somewhat monochromatic and lacking in the richness it should have possessed. The plot, too, though it should have quite focused by the premise of the story, meanders along in fits and starts. I like a good long story, and I can get past a sluggish plot. Yes, the meandering plot would be forgivable- if the tale had characters I could care about, who developed over the course of the approximately 500 pages, or a rich and various world to immerse myself in. As it is... Well, the first book was pretty good; perhaps the last one will be better, but as it is, I have little hope for the series, and it beats me how an author with good ideas and a world ready-built for her could come up with such a rotten tale." said.

"When I was ten I finally picked up the domineering book my Aunt had sent me a year ago. I was worried it would be long and boring, but instead I had found a novel that would become my favorite book for years to come. This book was the Sea of Trolls. When I was thirteen, I discovered at my school library that there were two sequels. I checked them out as fast as I could. After finally getting my hands on this book I was... disappointed. There was a much different feel to this book. While the last novel had much mythology, it was all very grounded, woven quite neatly within normal life among the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons (just so I don't mislead everyone, no, trolls and goblins don't walk around Nordic villages and buy loaves of bread, I simply mean that their presence in the story feels quite natural and not out of the ordinary). In the Land of the Silver Apples, the plot takes a dive headfirst into Norse myth, feeling stranger and less comforting than the book it follows. Moving past the uncomfortable settings of the story, the characters seem quite strange as well. Why are characters from the last book popping up for no apparent reason? Why are so many characters acting out of place? WHY DID WE GO THROUGH A WHOLE NOVEL OF JACK PROTECTING LUCY AND BRINGING HER HOME ONLY SO (medium(ish) spoiler alert) SHE COULD END UP AN IMMORAL, SNOBBY ELF BRAT WHO ABANDONS HER OWN FAMILY. You CANNOT expect your readers to simply accept that. I feel bad giving this book three stars. I think it must be out of respect for the novels predecessor, and in comparison to its sequel." said.

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