Who’s afraid of the Fangs of Dang and the Toothy Cows of Skree?
I can feel it through the computer screen that all you readers are either laughing or deciding whether or not to just navigate away without spending the time reading whatever might be contained in a post bearing such a silly title. MH is probably considering revoking my co-blogger privileges.
But have no fear. There is a point to my silliness. I’ve just finished my first book! Huzzah! (And just in the nick of time I might add as it’s January 31st as I write this, and therefore the last day in month 1 of my book-a-month goal.)
I actually bought this book as a gift for Hubs for Christmas. Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto which MH just posted about recently, opened a fabulous bookstore in Nashville a few months ago called Parnassus Books. In effort to support not only our new bookstore, but also a local singer/songwriter-turned-author friend of Hubs and I, I made this purchase, and as I was deciding what to read for my blog goal, this book just kept calling my name so I picked it up and read the first 80 pages last night. (run-on sentence, anyone?) Then, after dreaming of what might have become of the Igiby children on their perilous adventures, I picked the book back up this morning, and Read. The. Entire. Book. In. One. Sitting. It was fabulous! Dying of curiosity yet? It’s On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness: The Wingfeather Saga Book One by Andrew Peterson. Sure it’s written for “young adults” but I was hooked from the moment I saw the map illustrations on the inside front cover all the way to the appendices which include copies of Podo Helmer’s “Permission to Shovel Hogpig Droppings Form.”
Peterson does a fantastic job of weaving together a fantasy world not unlike the Narnia’s and other lands created by the likes of C.S. Lewis, J.R. Tolkien and even J.K. Rowling. You’d like a synopsis you say? Here goes:
The three Igiby children live with their mother and grandfather (an ex-pirate) in a little cottage outside the town of Glipwood in the land of Skree, which used to be a very pleasant place apparently, but which is now governed by the menacing and smelly Fangs from the land of Dang who would look like humans if they didn’t also look like lizards. After the youngest Igiby kicks a Fang who is trying to snatch her beloved pet dog, an all- out Igiby vs. the Fangs of Dang war is waged which only becomes worse when the head Fang from across the sea finds reason to believe that the Igiby family are harboring the valuable lost jewels of Anniera. What unfolds is a tale of family love and valour, good vs. evil, and a vast menagerie of various creatures that roam the dark, shadowy corners of the forest (including the terrifying toothy cows).
It’s the sort of read any child with a wild imagination would devour with glee, or any adult could easily find themselves lost in to the point that when the last page is turned, they must remind themselves that they are indeed adults and that the magic of the previous few hours of reading was just a fantastic literary snack. My personal favorite feature of the book is Peterson’s extensive footnotes explaining the culture and history of Skree, without which, the book would have lost just a bit of its clever appeal. And if you’re dying for more of Janner, Tink, Leeli, Nugget, Podo, Nia and Peet the Sock Man…(as I am)…you’re in luck! The Wingfeather Saga has 2 more books!
MH: We got your letter in the mail yesterday! Many thanks! I only wish you could have mailed a box of cinnamon rolls with it as well!
Bookworms: What types of books do you prefer? What is your favorite probably-written-for-kids-but-I’m-obsessed-with-it-anyway story?
P.S. stay tuned…project “15. Surprise my husband (somehow)” is in full swing! I’m whisking him away tomorrow on a top secret trip. details to follow this weekend!