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On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga) Paperback – March 18, 2008
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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.
“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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Initially, the author's whimsical sense of humor (which I eventually came to enjoy) can give the impression that these stories aren't written with the same kind of gravitas as Narnia. But by the end of the series, I found these books to be thematically even richer than Narnia, which is my favorite piece of literature for all time.
There are not many overt spiritual references, but there are many powerful themes that any Christian will recognize. Among these are . . .
- looking forward to a Kingdom and homesickness for heaven
- drawing strength and courage from our identity in Christ
- there are many powerful metaphors for ministry, for shining as lights in a dark world and rescuing people from enemy-occupied territory
- empathy for others, including enemies
- fighting with our sinful nature. We have many noble aims but we can be our own worst enemies
- being attracted to inner beauty and strength of character vs. only outer beauty
- God taking our deepest wounds and turning them into something beautiful, using them for good and to help us empathize with others
I'm 31 years old, and I found myself moved to tears by the Wingfeather Saga on several occasions. It spurred me on in my faith and helped me to fix my eyes on Christ. It helped give me courage to run the race. If I were a parent, I would love to read this with my children and discuss the meaning of each chapter. I think it would be quite character-building.
Caution: The series does deal with verbal cruelty and minor physical cruelty. Though, it is nothing compared to many of the shows and movies parents allow their children to be exposed to now a days.
Thoughtfully, Andrew Peterson wrote about family, love, perseverance, and faith. Family members get separated as they travel and face difficult trials, but endure through battles, funny times, sad times, and bitter-sweet endings. Reading this book showed me how to persevere in hard times. Difficult circumstances aren’t easy. I heartily recommend this book for fifth graders and up because it is a medium sized book which has some confusing parts. But it’s an awesome anecdote, no bad words and a very fun story line. In the series there are three more books: North or be eaten, Monster in the hollows, and The Warden and the Wolf King.