Friday, 8 August 2014
Review: Thrones and Bones - Frostborn by Lou Anders
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: August 5th, 2014
Meet Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norrøngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones. Enter Thianna. Half human, half frost giantess. She’s too tall to blend in with other humans but too short to be taken seriously as a giant. When family intrigues force Karn and Thianna to flee into the wilderness, they have to keep their sense of humor and their wits about them. But survival can be challenging when you’re being chased by a 1,500-year-old dragon, Helltoppr the undead warrior and his undead minions, an evil uncle, wyverns, and an assortment of trolls and giants.
Middle grade readers are in for a treat with this debut book: it is so much fun! Inspired by Norse mythology and set in a kind of Viking town, Frostborn tells the story of twelve-year-old Karn and half frost giant Thianna. Together they make a formidable team when it comes to outwitting dead people and dragons, and I loved both of them. I can't wait to read more in this series!
Karn and Thianna are fantastic main characters and will appeal to everyone who picks up this novel. Karn is learning the ways of the world from his father, while Thianna is trying to find out her family secrets and the reason why she's not a real giant. At only seven feet tall she's under half the size of the rest of her giant community, and she's always felt left out. She gets her human side from her mother, but here are many questions surrounding her death and the moments before it. Karn is an avid Thrones and Bones board game player and doesn't want to one day take over the family farm, but ot's his destiny and he must abide by his father's wishes. Both Karn and Thianna have a lot going on in their lives, and both help each other and form a lasting friendship.
All my favourite fantasy creatures appear in this book, including dragons, wyverns, trolls, sprites, sorcerers and dwarves (really, just wait until you meet dwarf Gindri). It's an adventure story steeped in mythology and fantasy and is the perfect book for any budding Tolkien readers who are still a bit too young for the delights of Middle-Earth. I whipped through it in a few hours and, even though it gets a bit slow at times, for the most part I was hooked.
Lou Anders has done a great job of bringing the worlds of Norrongard and Ymiria to life and you can just tell that he loves all this kind of fantasy stuff. The end of Frostborn perfectly sets up a sequel and I'm glad this is the start of a series - I have a feeling there's a lot of exploration and adventures to be had, and that Karn and Thianna are the people to do it. I hope there are even more dragons in the next book and maybe a wizard or two; after all, no fantasy book is complete without a Gandalf figure appearing on the horizon!