Bonita Jewel’s Review
Andrew Peterson blends world-building, high fantasy, and belly-rolling humor to create a wondrous tale truly for all ages (I finished the book in a day, and my daughter, in her review, might decide to tell you how many times she has read it).
The story follows Janner, Tink, and Leeli, the three Igiby children, who live in a small town in a land occupied by Gnag the Nameless’ evil Fangs of Dang. Janner, 12 years old, faces a blend of resentment and responsibility at the duty of looking after his younger brother and sister. He wants to discover the world beyond the little town of Glipwood. But when the three children catch the attention of the Fangs, and everything Janner has ever known is brought into question, Janner learns there is more to fear – and more reasons for courage – than he might have dreamed possible.
Every character – from Podo Helmer, the grandfather of the Igiby children, to Oskar N Reteep, “Proprietor / bookseller / intellectual / appreciator of the Neat, the Strange, and/or the Yummy” – draws in the reader and welcomes an odd blend of laughter and something akin to homesickness. Even the places in Andrew Peterson’s land of Aerwiar (in spite of odd names like “The Dark Sea of Darkness,” “The Sunken Mountains,” or simply, “Skree”) seem to hold mysteries that would take far more books than the four in The Wingfeather Saga to tell.
It is rare I read a book that absorbs me so completely from the first page and carries such a grand mixture of entertainment and meaning. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness whispers a message of worth in the heart of the broken, new life beyond the shores of fallen cities, and the power of love and courage even in fearful souls.
Recommended age: 10 to 103*
Re-readable: I dare you to try to read this only once!
Suggested by: Luke Miller (Thank you again!)
* Will entertain (and possibly bring tears to the eyes of) adults, especially mothers, fathers, ex-pirate grandfathers, and sock men.
Jessica Rose’s Review
Andrew Peterson’s series “The Wingfeather Saga” is an awesome tale that starts On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.* The book has lots of funny quotes and footnotes ranging from how the Glipper Trail was made to how repulsive Snot wax is; even the explanation of the game Ships and Sharks is given in one. Oskar N. Reteep, Proprietor/Bookseller/Intellectual/Appreciator of the Neat, the Strange, and/or the Yummy, makes the book even funnier by coming up with quotes from random books and authors for almost every occasion such as, “As the great Thumb of the Honkmeadow wisely wrote, ‘The games are starting soon enough’.”
The story is about the three Igiby children – Janner, age 12, Tink (whose given name is Kalmar), age 11 and Leeli, age 9. Janner, the oldest, often wonders about his father, whose name he just learned. His wishes to leave the small town of Glipwood and experience Aerwiar for what it really is, conflicts his un-wished-for responsibility of taking care of his two younger siblings, especially Tink who is always getting into trouble and taking Janner with him. On the Dragon Day Festival that Glipwood hosts every year, Janner’s life starts to turn upside down when the greatly feared Fangs of Dang try to kill him and his siblings. Janner finds that there is more fear in Skree (where walk the Fangs of Dang) than he thought and true bravery is hard to find – and achieve.
Recommended age: 10 to 100
Re-readable: YES! I’ve read it six times in seven months and the humor never gets old.
*The Wingfeather Saga is one of my two most favorite series of books and I must have read hundreds of other ones.