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Title: The Land of the Silver Apples by Nancy Farmer
Notable: Book #2 in the Sea of Trolls trilogy
When Lucy flubs the need-fire ceremony, the slave girl Pega must take her place in bringing pure fire from the Life Force to the community. Something went wrong at the ceremony and Lucy’s behavior continues to worsen until her family decides to send her to St. Filian’s monastery to be cured. Things are not what they appear at the monastery, however, and Lucy is stolen away by an elf. Jack and his comrades must venture into the bowels of the earth to rescue Lucy and call back water to the land. What they encounter underground is not what any of them expected and they must work together to make it out alive.
This was another delightful story by Nancy Farmer! I continue to enjoy getting to know the main character, Jack. I love how he learns and grows, while still holding onto the traits of a typical youth. Pega, the slave girl, is a wonderful character. She is multi-faceted, versatile and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. The hobgoblins are charming and remind me a bit of hobbits.
I also like what Farmer did with the elves in her story. They have an entire back-story to explain how they came to be and why they’re so glamorous. They hold great power and are supremely dangerous, too (like an elf/vampire cross, in a way). These are not the elves you hear about in most other fairy tale stories. Get ready to have your perception of elves flipped on its head!
More mythical creatures are introduced in Silver Apples–kelpies, hobgoblins, knuckers, yarthkins, and more. You will probably want to look up traditional descriptions of these creatures after reading this book.
I believe that the last book in the series will be a continuation of the present story line. It seems to have left off without fully resolving a couple of issues. In particular, I believe that Jack’s sister has a major role to play in the next book. We shall see!
I recommend The Land of the Silver Apples to elementary-age children up to teens. It’s full of adventure but tame enough that I’m comfortable with my kids reading it on their own.
- Some violence & scary creatures
Rating: 4 Stars
Until next time…
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