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Frostborn (Thrones and Bones) Hardcover – August 5, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Karn would rather be playing his beloved board game, "thrones and bones," than learning to become hauld of his father's farm, which has been passed down many generations. He meets Thianna, a half-giant, half-human girl who longs to fit in with the club-wielding frost giants, the only community she's ever known. When a tragedy reminiscent of Shakespeare's Hamlet occurs, the two pair up in order to survive. They soon realize the danger that they're in and that they need each other's unique skills to survive. Aside from the sometimes difficult-to-decipher Norse names, the language is quite easy to understand and that, coupled with the shorter-than-your-average-fantasy length, makes this an excellent choice for readers new to the genre. The themes of staying true to oneself, teamwork, and individuality will resonate with readers. Fans of Matthew Kirby's Icefall (Scholastic, 2011) who bemoaned the lack of magic in that book will enjoy this new series. A good addition to a fantasy collection with potential for future entries.—Jessica Ko, Los Angeles Public Library
Set in early Scandinavia and drawing on Norse culture and mythology, this accessible fantasy brings together two very different children bound by common goals: escape, survival, and setting things right. Karn shows no interest in learning to barter or to run the family farm that will be his responsibility someday, but he has energy to spare for playing his favorite board game, Thrones and Bones. At seven feet tall, 12-year-old half-human Thianna is significantly shorter than the full-blood frost giants she has grown up with, but she makes up for it with spirit, wits, and determination. Leaving home for different reasons, this unlikely pair manages to outwit a series of vicious enemies and even comes to understand themselves better. Though the dialogue sometimes sounds jarringly modern, and it’s never quite convincing that these two young characters could defeat so many powerful antagonists, adventure fans will enjoy the action, the Norse background, and the occasional flash of humor. This book launches the Thrones and Bones series. Grades 4-6. --Carolyn Phelan
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I am not a huge middle grade reader – but it’s one category that I have been wanting to get into for a while now. Fantasy probably wasn’t the best of genres to start with though, to be honest.
Frostborn had a really slow start. The story didn’t really progress until about 40%, with the introduction to the characters and world building. This is not necessarily a bad thing – but it took a lot of patience on my part to get past this.
We have an array of characters; the main two being Karn, a boy next to take over his family farm and Thianna, a half-human/half-giant. Once these two are introduced, the story really picks up its pace and doesn’t let up from there. These two make a great team – with Thianna’s stubborn and tough personality and Karn’s wit. Their adventures were quite entertaining and love how everything pieced together in the end.
Overall – Frostborn was a great start to a series. Minor pacing issues aside in the beginning, it’s entertaining with an interesting world with Norse history and lore, fans of fantasy books will get a kick out of this one!
In Frostborn, Lou Anders created a fictional world with a bit of mythology and fantasy figures. Think Lord of the Rings, but for a younger crowd.
Our story begins with a typical boy who has no desire to take over his family's farm. He would much rather be a kid and play his favorite game, Thrones and Bones. Each year, Karn's family travels to meet and trade with the frost giants. This year, Karn meets Thianna, a half-giant (half human, half giant). Since they're the only 2 "kids", they decide to hang out.
While they're playing and talking, they develop kind of a friendship. I loved that Thianna took pride and was happy each time Karn called her big or tall. Since she was a half-giant, she wasn't near as tall as the giants and was often made fun of by some of the younger giants.
When we get to the mystery involving a spirit and Karn's [evil] uncle, something bad happens. Karn is then on the run!
When the giants get back to their home, there is a group of women hunting for Thianna. She, also, is then on the run!
The two of them, fortunately, end up together while they're running and hiding.
Once together, the two manage to get into trouble and run into creatures that no one wants to run into. However, since they were together, they were able to survive. If not together, they wouldn't have made it individually. Thianna had some frost magic and brute force, whereas Karn had brains and thinking skills.
I really enjoyed that the two of them really relied on one another. They built a fantastic friendship, even though they were running for their lives. I was turning pages so quickly because I was so worried (and excited) as to what was going to come at them next. Karn and Thianna formed an everlasting and strong connection.
If you are a fan of middle grade, RPGs, fantasy, LotR, or even The Lion King, you will enjoy Frostborn! Yes, The Lion King! There were so many parallels that it made my little Disney heart pitter-patter!
As winter drew close, the frost giants trekked south to mingle with humans at the market at Dragon’s Dance. Not many humans dared to trade openly with frost giants. Korlund had come, as his people had for generations, bringing his son Karn. Both knew to stay close to the fires on the wild evening of Winternights. When Karn’s uncle drew Karn out into the woods, the simple youth never dreamed his uncle was planning his death. The treacherous man led Karn amidst the barrows, right to the corpse door, with its shining green runes binding the dead to their barrows. In the eerie light Karn awoke the dead, who vowed to hunt him down as he took flight through the dark woods.
In the grand adventure that unfolds, Karn and Thianna come together in the freezing mountains. They fight for their lives as they flee brutish creatures bent on their capture. Enemies fly above churning river gorges and stalk them in ancient ruined cities. The magical excitement of Norse legend charges through the novel, accented by moments of humor. Higher themes drive through the book, making it at once a powerful and enduring tale.
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By Lou Anders
Thrones and Bones, Frostborn, is the first book of a series.Read more