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On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga) Paperback – March 18, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 233 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Wingfeather Saga Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Playwright Peterson (Behold the Lamb of God) spins a whimsical fantasy novel that will appeal to both adult and YA readers. When the three Igiby siblings find a mysterious map, they embark on an adventure to discover family secrets about the father they never knew and a hidden treasure that many have long desired to find. Leeli, the youngest, can sing with a beauty that captivates dragons; Tink, the middle sibling, has the makings of a king; and Janner, the eldest, possesses a bravery that will protect them all. But the children's curiosity get the entire Igiby family into trouble with the Fangs of Dang—frightening, scaly-skinned, lizard creatures that drip venom—who have ruled the land of Scree since the Great War. Soon, the Igibys are scrambling for their lives. Peterson's style is lighthearted and funny, but following the Igibys' story requires patience and attention to detail and character so as not to get lost. The sheer amount of names, places, creatures and history Peterson invents will frustrate some readers—it is so complicated that he inserts explanatory historical footnotes throughout (though many are amusing). (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“So good–smart, funny, as full of ideas as action.”
Jonathan Rogers, author of The Wilderking Trilogy

“A wildly imaginative, wonderfully irreverent epic that shines with wit and wisdom–and features excellent instructions on how to cope with Thwaps, Fangs, and the occasional Toothy Cow.”
Allan Heinberg, writer/co-executive producer of ABC’s Grey's Anatomy, and co-creator of Marvel Comics Young Avengers

“Fun to read! Every page has word-play, a pun, or clever dialogue that makes me giggle, and the story is full of insight into life. The characters have great names and come to life and stimulate the imagination. Andrew is such a gifted storyteller; this book will be a treasure to both children and adults.”
James Bryan Smith, author of Room of Marvels; Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven, and Embracing the Love of God; co-author of Devotional Classics with Richard J. Foster

“What a great story! I laughed, gasped, and learned more about Skreean culture than I ever thought possible. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is equal parts adventure and whimsy–a real page turner that both accelerates the heart and warms it. I loved it.”
Carolyn Arends, singer/songwriter and author of Wrestling with Angels

“Sometimes, in order to find out who we were supposed to be, we need to get lost in other worlds: Oz, Camelot, Narnia. In On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Andrew Peterson provides new and needed places like Aerwiar, Skree, and Glipwood–places where we need to get lost and found.”
Michael Card, author of The Hidden Face of God and The Parable of Joy, and singer/songwriter of more than thirty albums

“Totally fun! Andrew Peterson, a natural storyteller in the oral tradition, has nailed the voice needed to translate a rip-roaring fantasy tale to the written page.”
Donita K. Paul, author of DragonSpell, DragonKnight, DragonQuest, and DragonFire
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Series: The Wingfeather Saga (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook; First Edition edition (March 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400073847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400073849
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Andrew Peterson's songwriting and music, so when I heard he'd written a novel I had high expectations. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness delivered. It's not great literature, it's not going to displace Narnia or Lord of the Rings in the canon of fantasy literature, it's not going to be studied in classrooms fifty years from now. But it was a ton of fun to read, and I've continued to think about some of the themes a couple weeks after finishing the book (I plowed through it in about four days earlier this month).

The characters are memorable and well-crafted, the dialogue is perfect (unimaginitive or stilted dialogue is usually where sloppy fiction loses me, and this one kept me throughout), and the plot is fun and tense and touching and a little messy, but in a good way.

I've been told that I frown a lot when I read, not because I'm unhappy but because I'm thinking and processing, and I guess when I get lost in my thoughts my expression looks sour. This book made me smile as I read it. It was fun to read and is even more fun to read aloud (I've read the first two chapters to the kids, and next is Chapter Three: "Thwaps in a Sack"; they cackled when I read the parts about falling hammers and horse nuggets; they'll love toothy cows and Peet the Sock Man and the Fangs of Dang too). But there's also plenty of tension and drama and conflict, which carries the story along.

At times it seemed a little bit derivative of The Chronicles of Narnia, until it reminded me more of To Kill a Mockingbird, but then it brought to mind Harry Potter, except when it was more like Lord of the Rings. Then there were all those times when it was completely original. There's a lot that's familiar and a lot that's original. It's a good mix.
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Format: Paperback
Before you can get through the title of Andrew Peterson's new book, he pokes you with his sense of humor. In the opening pages, the author delights in throwing you head first into a world of meeps, chortneys, and flabbits. What's a flabbit? You'll find out when you need to know, so play along with this fantastically spun tale of adventure, wit, and hope.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a pleasure to read for the thrilling story and the delightful way Peterson chooses to tell it. Characters are rich and mysterious, and the story is dealt like cards in the hands of a magician. The world created for these characters is equally rich, full of unexpected color and detail. The reader is allowed to go down small footpaths along the story's trail, some important, others just for whim. Footnotes and appendices are even offered, rewarding the reader with extra insight and out-loud laughs.

Andrew Peterson is best known as a songwriter. In fact, he is a craftsman whose wood is words. He selects words and shapes phrases with fierce skill. Happily, he has applied himself as fiercely to his newest adventure. More, the story fills the soul with hope, recognizes the heart's ache, and reminds us of what is valuable.

Reading this book was a complete joy. Sprouting near the family trees of Narnia and Middle-Earth, young readers will love reading about the land of Anniera. Adults will quickly be swept up in the adventure, beauty, and humor. It may be a great storybook for families, as the chapters are 4-5 pages long. I happily recommend it to any reader.
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Format: Paperback
So I started reading this book with the expectation of a Lord of the Rings style tale. It has a bit of that, but it's difficult to say how it's so different than that. One thing is certain, and this is the charming thing that sets The Dark Sea of Darkness apart from stories like the one I mentioned: the novel really doesn't take itself too seriously for very long. Let me explain by giving a couple examples. The top Fang in the township of Glipwood is named Gnorm. Gnorm. It's really not that silly until you say it out loud. And almost every one of the story's short chapters has a footnote that is completely ridiculous, yet completely effective at moving the story along. To me, these endearing little bits made the story really enjoyable. In a way, the silly elements and the fact that the lead characters are all under the age of 13 might make you think it's just a kid's story. On the contrary, I think it's a story that will engage kids of any age, like all the great stories. There's action, humor, peril and toothy cows which are much worse than they sound. Actually, I think some of the other animals are worth mentioning just for their creative names. There are thwaps, ratbadgers, sea dragons, horned hounds, quill diggles, digtoads and more. Andrew Peterson's On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is an excellent book. The tale is engaging and absolutely satisfying. The characters leap off the pages like a pack of ratbadgers. In fact, I was so riveted that I plowed through the last two-thirds of the novel this evening. And amid all the silliness, there are some deep, important themes to the story-things I'll be thinking about for a few days. I know a part of me really longs to attend the Dragon Day Festival and be rapt by the songs of the Sea Dragons... Honestly I'm not surprised that I enjoyed this book so much. Andrew was already one of my favorite singer/songwriter/story-tellers. I just didn't know he could write fiction.
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