Jack lives in a Saxon village with a father who is always disappointed in him and a beautiful, slightly obnoxious younger sister who is the family’s favorite. It seems that Jack will be destined to live his days as a poor farmer, just as his bitter father was once forced to abandon his own dreams and accept a more simple life as a peasant. Jack’s fate dramatically changes, though, when he is asked to be become an apprentice to the revered Bard…Jack? Why not the other town boys who seem much brighter and stronger? Jack does not realize that the Bard foresees great promise in his character, and the Bard believes Jack is the only hope for their town’s survival.
Jack internship is violently interrupted when the wild r raid his home, capturing both Jack and Lucy and forcing them to leave their home far behind. Soon Jack finds himself embarking on a mysterious, dangerous journey. He must fulfill a seemingly impossible quest - and quickly! If not, his beautiful, beloved sister will be brutally offered as a sacrifice.
This book provides great humor and spine-tingling adventures (dragons, spiders, and vicious trolls - Oh My!). The greatest aspect to this book are the numerous life themes Nancy Farmer addresses - loyalty, faith, love of family, ambiguity of good and evil, and many more. Jack emerges from this adventure as a true Bard in his own right.
Nancy Farmer is an amazing writer. Hopefully the long length will not discourage any readers - once started, you will eventually wish the story had never ended!