Karn is a champion at the game Thrones and Bones, but not much of a farmer or trader. He wants to see the world and all it has to offer rather than be tied to his family farm for the rest of his life. Thianna is a frost giant, as able in the snow and ice as any, but an outcast because of her human mother. When they are introduced at the yearly trade meeting at the Dragon’s Dance, a friendship is born. A friendship they will soon have to rely on for their very survival.
Lou Anderson’s Thrones and Bones: Frostborn is a middle-grade fantasy novel set in a world based on, essentially, Viking lore. The main characters are fairly easy to get into, and I appreciate that Thianna is the physically more active of the two. It’s a nice turn-around from what is usually done and fits with her being half-giant. Karn’s being the smart one seems a bit more tied into the Thrones and Bones game than I would have liked, but when that’s the title of the series you kind of have to expect it to be important. The side characters weren’t as well done, but served their purpose.
The only real issues I can think of are fairly minor. There was a lot of toilet humor, while it’s not totally unexpected it might have been more effective to tone it back. Also one of the villains was meant to be tricky about their villainy but for all their behavior might as well have been named Antagonist MacEvildude. Again though, middle-grade novel it probably isn’t as obvious to the intended audience.
So what’s the verdict? While the humor was a little hit or miss and the bad guys could have been better, I really dig that cleverness won the day as often as fighting did and that the protagonists were as well rounded as they were. Thrones and Bones: Frostborn earns a four out of five.

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