Buy This Book Buy This Series
Other books by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Other books you may enjoy
“I don’t know everything,” Mimir admitted. “But what I don’t know, I can usually find in a book.” –Freya and the Magic Jewel
Freya and the Magic Jewel
Thunder Girls #1
by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
When eleven-year-old Freya hears a Doomsday prophecy from her magical jewel, she isn’t sure what to make of it. Mere seconds after the prediction, she receives a mysterious invitation to Asgard Academy from the powerful Odin, who commands her to “bring her magic” to Asgard.
With encouragement from her twin, Frey, Freya reluctantly heads out on the new adventure. Freya’s first challenge begins before she even steps foot in Asgard. While trying to navigate the treacherous Bifrost Bridge, she drops her magical jewel off the bridge, and a sneaky pair of dwarves take her jewel down to the world of Midgard!
Without that jewel, Freya thinks she is powerless. But with the help of her pod-mates at Asgard, Freya discovers a world that is bigger and more mysterious than she ever imagined! There, she learns the true terror of Ragnarok, the doomsday that her jewel warned her about, and what it could mean for Asgard Academy if she and her new friends, the Thunder Girls, don’t stop it!
Fans of Goddess Girls will enjoy this new series, which focuses on Norse Mythology. At first, Freya comes across as shallow because of her intense love of fashion and her assumption that everyone male will find her crush-worthy; she is the goddess of love and beauty after all! On the positive side, Freya has a positive attitude even when times are difficult. In the end, Freya learns that her best ability is fostering friendship. Readers will relate to Freya, who wonders if she is “in-like” with someone, and worries about hurting someone’s feelings if she does not like them in the same way.
Freya soon learns that Mason has a crush on her. In order to win her heart, he promises to “rebuild Asgard’s wall to protect her, if only she will give me her heart in return, plus the sun and the moon.” Freya doesn’t want to make the promise, but she knows the Asguard’s wall must be rebuilt. She reluctantly agrees because she doesn’t think Mason can succeed at building the wall. Although this is one of the main plot points, Mason is delegated to the background, so the ending falls flat.
Readers who are unfamiliar with Norse mythology will want to read the glossary first. The story introduces Norse mythology in a kid-friendly way, while still staying true to the original stories. Readers will enjoy the Norse world, Loki’s mischievous pranks, and the fast pace of the story. Although the story lacks depth, the characters are stereotypical, and Freya is not well developed, younger readers will enjoy getting to know Freya and the other Norse god and goddesses.
- Mason thinks he has won Freya’s heart. “Then he closed his eyes and leaned forward, puckering up.” Freya gives him something other than a kiss.
- The large painted friezes that covered a wall come to life. “At first it was only the blinking of eyes or the twitch of a hand, as if those carved, painted heroes were waking up from a long sleep. . . And because they were all warriors, they immediately went into battle mode. Painted hands grabbed turnips, carrots, and crab apples from painted fields and trees or from platters on carved feast tables, depending on the scene. Arms drew back. Fists punched forth from the friezes. . . The moment food was lobbed out of a frieze, it temporarily turned real.” The kids had to evacuate.
- Dwarves make a boar that comes alive. “Waving their arms, the four dwarfs chased the boar, trying to shoo it out of their workshop without getting stuck by its sharp tusks. . . Alfrigg wasn’t fast enough, though. Oomph! The board head-butted him in the rear.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Freya has a marble that contains cats and a cart. When Freya says “catnap” the cats and cart grow. The first time Freya uses the marble, she thinks “if anyone had been watching at that moment, the cats and cart would’ve seemed to instantly disappear. However, in reality, they had only shrunk down to a single cat’s-eye marble.”
- Fraya has a magical jewel that can tell the future. The jewel “had the power to show Freya the future, sometimes it only revealed bits of information. It didn’t always answer her questions, either, so she could never be sure what it did or didn’t know.”
- A message acorn had “cute faces and hats, and sweet voices.” One acorn “hopped right up into her (Freya’s) palm.”
- Sometimes characters use vine slides to travel. Freya gives her brother a vine slide, which “could enlarge back into the huge spiral slide for Frey anytime he wished to travel through it. And then shrink anytime he wasn’t using it.”
- Ice giants appeared normal-sized, but “magically shot up to five times their normal height” and made it snow.
- While trying to enter Asgard, the Bifrost became hot for the frost giants. “When the frost giants were huge, the bridge probably sensed they were troublemakers and was trying to make them turn back from Asgard by giving them, and only them, a case of hot foot.”
- When Freya drops her jewel, “gnarled hands reached up and snatched at Brising (the jewel) like snapping turtles. Fingers captured it before it could even hit the ground.”
- Doors appear in thin air and allow people to travel to different locations.
- Freya drinks juice that won’t make her immortal, but will make her “stay the same age.”
- Several characters are shapeshifters. Others can grow bigger.
- One character has a box that “expanded into a box large enough to hold many apples.”
- Freya puts her toes and nose against a tree. “Whoosh! Instantly she found herself standing inside a hollowed-out space in the very middle of the tree trunk. . .”
- One of the characters only has a head.
- The story focuses on Norse mythology and includes Norse gods and goddesses as characters.
- The main character, Fraya, is the goddess of love and beauty. She is also a seer. Another character, Odin, was “the leader of the Asgard gods and the supreme rule of all the worlds.” (This is not a complete list of the Norse gods that appear in the book.)