“A fun, fast-paced, and highly enjoyable tale.” -Garth Nix, bestselling author of the Abhorsen trilogy
“The most delightful fantasy I have read in ages. . . . Put me on the waiting list for book 2!” -Amy Plum, international bestselling author of the Die For Me series
“In this Norse-flavored adventure, Anders, editorial director for Pyr Books and editor of numerous anthologies, pits a clever boy and a resourceful half-giant girl against numerous enemies and the hazards of the frozen wilderness. Twelve-year-old Karn has no desire to learn the family business of farming; he’s much more interested in playing the strategy board game Thrones and Bones. Thianna’s human ancestry makes her an oddity and object of derision among her full-blooded giant peers. Nevertheless, Karn and Thianna become reluctant allies and friends when trouble threatens: Karn runs afoul of a malevolent undead lord, while Thianna must flee from her human mother’s people, who seek a long-lost artifact. Though a lot of elements are in play, Anders ties the novel’s threads together in a neatly satisfying way, crafting a powerful, fast-paced tale. Cleverness is valued as much as martial abilities, swiftness of mind as much as strength of sword arm. The setting is rich, the characters well-defined, and the danger ever-paramount. It’s a strong and thoroughly enjoyable start to the Thrones and Bones series.” – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“An obsessive gamer and a sassy half-giant affirm that power lies in being underestimated. As the heir apparent to a powerful farm in Norrøngard (think a fictional Norway), 12-year-old Karn is expected to comprehend bartering techniques (six ewes + six lambs = one cow). His predilection for Thrones and Bones (a traditional Norrønir board game) and disdain for a bucolic existence don’t invite any confidence from his father. Thianna is a 12-year-old half-giant and half-human (by way of her deceased mother). At 7 feet tall, she’s considered diminutive by giant standards and would “cut her human half out in an instant if she could.” When their fathers meet for several days of trading goods, Thianna and Karn strike up an unexpected friendship. Their need for an alliance is accelerated when nemeses from Thianna’s mother’s past surface, and Karn’s life is designated an obstacle by his Machiavellian uncle. Enter: wyverns, a seemingly silent horn, undead assailants, flatulent trolls and one massive dragon. A merging of comedy, action and suspense maintains a promising pace. As present as the lurking danger are two important messages: Focus your energy toward accentuating your strengths rather than regretting weaknesses, and always stand downwind from a troll. Future fans of Tolkien and George R.R. Martin can happily cut their serial-fantasy teeth on this first book of an eventual series. (map, illustrated guide to the Thrones and Bones game) (Fantasy. 10-14)” –Kirkus Reviews
From the Hardcover edition.