Friday, August 28, 2009

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness-Book Review

The old stories tell that when the first person woke up on the first morning in the world where this tale takes place, he yawned, stretched, and said to the first thing he saw, “Well, here we are.” The man’s name was Dwayne, and the first thing he saw was a rock. Next to the rock, though, was a woman named Gladys…the first sentence was taught to children…all speaking creatures referred to the world around them as Aerwiar.

So begins On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book 1 of The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. The story focuses on the Igiby children (Janner, Tink, and Leeli) who live with their mother and grandfather in the Glipwood Township that sits next to the Dark Sea of Darkness. Apart from the annual Dragon festival, Glipwood is a town just like yours and mine, with the exception of being completely unlike anything we have ever known, with the lizard-like Fangs of Dang lording over the townsfolk and the fear of being eaten by the toothy cows or being carried away at night by the Black Carriage. Then, of course, there is Peet the Sock Man walking on his hands and Zouzab the ridgerunner sitting atop Books and Crannies, the kids playing Zibzy, and the secret talk of the Jewels of Anniera. Other than these minor differences (and a few more), it is just like the world we have come to know. All of these elements are skillfully crafted into the beginning of an adventure that will have you longing for a world that used to be and that your heart tells you one day shall be again.
Peterson has created a world in which the young and old alike will want to get lost and wander freely for a while, a world that will help each of us discover who we truly are. Fans of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis will feel at home here, curled up in front of the fire with a hot bowl of cheesy chowder. Buy it here and read it to your students (if you’re a teacher), or read it to your children (if you’re a parent), or read it to your parents (if you’re a child). If you’re none of these, just read it to yourself. It will be time well spent.

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