Note: I’ve actually wanted to change the look of the blog for a while…so I finally did! I thought the black-on-peach text of the previous theme was a bit hard on the eyes, so now we have good old black-on-white. (And it will be much easier for me to hide spoilers!)
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is written by Andrew Peterson. It was published in 2008 by Waterbrook Press. It is the first book in the Wingfeather Saga.
Andrew Peterson spins a riveting tale-for-all-ages, following Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby and their trusty dog, Nugget, in escape from the vicious Fangs of Dang who seek the lost jewels of Anniera. Quirky characters and their world of wonders—from the edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness to the deadly Glipwood Forest and beyond—set the stage for this epic adventure…
When I first started reading the book, I thought, “This guy is trying way too hard to make this book quirky and fun.” Luckily, once the plot gets going, Peterson eases off the quirkiness just enough to make a nice blend of serious and not-so-serious.
I enjoyed the originality of the world and the fun characters, especially Peet (whose story actually gets really tragic towards the end). I thought that the three kids were a little flat and uninteresting, and Janner was annoying, but I really only noticed it at the beginning. Like the quirkiness, once Peterson gets things going, he gets better with handling his tone, the world, and the characters. I do wish he had done more with Leeli, though, who acted like (and was treated like) she was much younger than she was. I also wanted more screen time with her, so I hope she gets more.
Points to Peterson for making an obvious plot less obvious! After the Big Reveal, I thought, “Huh, that was actually pretty obvious,” but before the Reveal I didn’t think so. Or maybe I was just expecting a “What You See Is What You Get” sort of thing, so the Reveal was more surprising. I did figure it out beforehand, but only because Peterson throws in a hint a few chapters before he reveals it. I didn’t figure it out from the very beginning, which I tend to do if it’s an incredibly obvious Reveal. So, yes, points to Peterson for at least masking it.
Also, I thought this was pretty gruesome for a children’s/MG book. Or maybe I just don’t like reading about lizards eating dead things. Gross.
Recommended Age Range: 12+
Warnings: Some slightly gruesome details involving flesh-eating lizards and their food, fighting/violence.
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
“What do you think all these little pinholes are all over the map?” Tink asked.
“I dunno,” Janner shrugged. “Probably from mice. Or bugs. Look!” Janner pointed at an image of a dragon in the bottom, right corner of the map. “Does that look familiar to you?”
Tink shook his head.
“Remember the Annieran journal in the crate from Dang? That looks like the same dragon.”
Tink pointed to an inscription above the dragon. “The Jewels of Anniera,” he read, his face puzzled. “What are the Jewels of Anniera?”
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness starts off a bit too flat and quirky, but once the plot starts going everything evens out and gets better. I did enjoy the quirkiness, even if it was a little much at first, and I loved the quirky details of the world. Peterson did a good job disguising and twisting around his (pretty obvious in hindsight) plot. It’s not a fantastic book, but there’s definitely the potential there for the sequels.
You can buy this here: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga)