Saturday, January 24, 2015

2015: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness: Adventure. Peril. Lost Jewels. And the Fearsome Toothy Cows of Skree. (The Wingfeather Saga Book 1) - Andrew Peterson

I was talking with my friend Matt Webb about my plans for reading this year. He told me to stop whatever I was reading and read the Wingfeather Saga. He said it would be the best thing I read this year. And though that did not turn out to be the case, it was a pretty good little book. I like the way Andrew Peterson plays with words; I like the way that music has power; I like the way that unlikely characters have unlikely pasts that have put them in unlikely positions and unlikely relationships.

Peterson followed many of the rules that you are supposed to with a good fantasy series. We have a parent who is a dead, we have someone at risk so they have to leave home, we have a hidden treasure, we have named and unnamed villains. We have all of these things that produce a mystery as to what the heck is going on and why this story should interest us at all. When I read the story I thought it was written by a 9 year old. I think that persuaded me to keep pressing through what were some childish types of storytelling. It turns out he was in twenties, but just writing a youth fiction novel.

The reality is that the book is a little like Harry Potter, it grows. The language and the themes mature and it is a different novel at the end than it was in the beginning. The ending actually makes me excited to begin the second book, and the characters are living more into who they were called to be than they ever knew they would be.

I think what I like most about the series is that the hero(es) are not these robust, confident men and women that stumble into great destinies. These kids actually have a lot of help and for all but the last pages of the first book they have no idea who they really even are. In that regard you tend to get annoyed with certain attributes, but you slowly realize, or maybe remember, your heroes are 9, 11 and 12. So young! This isn’t the teenager or even young adult awaking to realize that they have been wasting life. These are school-age kids, not even to puberty yet who find themselves in the midst of something they could not survive without others.

The Wingfeather Saga is something that interests me now. It is also interesting to now realize that the writer is also a musician who produces music that gets played on the Christian music stations. I think that may open up some interesting themes in the future of the story.

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