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Read! Or Be Eaten! July 28, 2009

Posted by markgeil in Reviews.
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It’s the perfect time to meet the Igiby family.

Picture this scene. Your family is gathered all in one room, but the television is off. Instead, pictures are flickering in the mind of each listener as one family member reads a book aloud. The pictures are a little different for each family member. The youngest is imaging little Leeli Igiby, all full of pluck and determination, climbing a tree even though she walks with a cane. An older listener is trying desperately to figure out the secrets that seem to be hidden in the rooms and occupants of the Igiby cottage. The firstborn child resonates with Janner Igiby and pictures the tinge of fear on his face when responsibility is thrust upon him a little bit too early. I think that must happen a lot with firstborn children. The dad in the room is picturing the dread Toothy Cow, knowing that cows are supposed to be docile but remembering when he was a little boy inside a fence full of cows and they were suddenly very very large and how he didn’t really want to admit that he was afraid of cows but he had actually run out of that fence as fast as possible. Well, at least that’s what I was picturing. Maybe you’re not actually afraid of cows.

The book is On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson, a thrilling and funny fantasy novel that just begs to be read in such a setting. Andrew is one of my favorite musicians (and the writer of the song from which this blog borrows its title) and this book is his first foray into fantasy novel writing. As expected, it’s stellar. I was initially turned off by reviews that listed long strings of oddly-named people and places. I was worried that the book would be too much effort, that this fantasy land would require a learning curve. Fortunately, I was wrong. Peterson crafts a world in which I could easily imagine living, even though big lizard people roam the streets. He lets the characters rule the story, and the rest is vibrant and sometimes whimsical context. The trip to this new land is effortless, and that’s a good attribute for a fantasy writer. In fact, the only effort I faced was coming up with voices for each of the characters, since I was the one reading aloud. My version of Podo the pirate grandfather became inexplicably Irish, while Peet the Sock Man wound up sounding like Paul McCartney in fast-forward. Oh, and music lovers, look for a cameo appearance by a singer with a name that curiously resembles the beloved Rich Mullins.

The kids couldn’t get enough of the book, and the end of each chapter was followed with a chorus of pleas to keep reading. Here’s the thing, though. You should get the book now (you can order your own autographed copy here), so that you can read it in time for part two of the Wingfeather Saga, North! Or Be Eaten, which releases on August 18th. That’s why it’s the perfect time to meet the Igiby family.

While you’re reading, visit the Wingfeather Sage online to learn more about this fantasy world and see some of the author’s own artwork that reveals the pictures flickering in his mind.

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Comments»

1. Review: North! Or Be Eaten « A Window in the World - September 18, 2009

[…] book one of the Saga, “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness,” (which I mentioned here), we meet the Igiby family and the three children who carry the story. Janner is 12, the eldest […]

2. Nate - August 6, 2012

This is a very good book. I have read it and book 2 and have now started book 3. So much is going on. Cant wait to see what happens.


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