Singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson has given about nine years and seven albums-worth of proof that he is a wordsmith par excellence with a heart uncommonly in tune to eternal truth and mystery. I was not surprised, therefore, to find his first full-length book to be well-written, creative, and full of biblical concepts like forgiveness, redemption, loyalty and servanthood. Indeed, I would have expected no less.
What I wasn't quite expecting is the downright silliness on the surface of AP's story. I say "on the surface" because it quickly becomes obvious that, though AP, with a boyish adventurousness, invites his readers to share in the quirky world of Aerwiar--complete with talking lizards, snot-wax candles, toothy cows, and a revolting recipe for "maggotloaf"--his real concern is that his readers are given cause to ponder the eternal truths of our own world. In fact, as I read, I began to envy AP for the incredible fun he must've had writing this book! He peppers thoughtfulness with humor, deep truths with goofy fantasy. That's a nearly impossible recipe to pull off--even trickier than mixing up a batch of maggotloaf!--but Andrew Peterson does it as well as it can be done, I dare say.
Whether or not you fully embrace the wacky humor of the author, you will be drawn into the story and amazed at the twists the plot takes toward the end of the book. One of the mysteries I figured out a few pages before the characters did--and when it hit me, I actually had to lay aside the book for a minute to process the stunning and glorious implications. Later, a conversation among the main characters prompted tears on my part, as it gave me a glimpse into the beautiful mystery of self-sacrificing love, epitomized in Christ's love for the Church.
Some mysteries remain with the closing of the book. What tragic secret does Arthram harbor about his past? What will happen to the Igiby children? Will the sea dragons sing again? These questions will be answered in the coming installments of "The Wingfeather Saga," and along the way I look forward to lots more laughs, a few more tears, and plenty of food for thought--none of it maggotloaf-type fare!
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400073847
And now the cool part...
I was privileged to secure two pre-release copies of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness for a blog tour of the book. One copy has my name on it and it shall remain in my library for ever and always...but the other copy is up for grabs! Leave a comment on this post and I will randomly choose a comment-er on Saturday, March 22, as the happy recipient of the book. I'll send it straight to your home and you can begin "The Wingfeather Saga" for yourself!