Title: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
Author: Andrew Peterson
Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby have the secret of the lost legend and jewels of King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera. The wicked Fangs of Dang have crossed the Dark Sea of Darkness and taken over Anniera, and the children, along with their dog Nugget, must escape their pursuit and brave horned hounds, the Black Carriage, Glipwood Forest, Peet the Sock Man, and the terrible toothy cows.
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness tells a well-paced story full of character and courage. It has enough character uniqueness and development to satisfy those who love character-driven stories, and an intriguing and fast-paced plot to satisfy those who read a book for the plot.
This story is filled with outlandish names, an unusual world, and funny footnotes that serve to both entertain and explain Anniera and its customs. We are thrown right into the world of Anniera, which can be disorienting, but the quirky writing style and well-used description make the world feel real and important.
I appreciated that despite the light tone and fast-paced plot, the characters’ struggles feel important and real. Janner, Tink, and Leeli all have unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Their grandfather is a wise and quirky ex-pirate. Their mother is a loving, strong, and hard-working woman.
I also particularly liked the rich and authentic family relationships in this book. Often in teen and middle grade fiction, families are dysfunctional, not present, or treated as trivial and annoying. In On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, we see how even through their struggles and perils, the Igibys love each other and lean on each other.
This story has many layers. The fear and suffering of the people in Anniera. The struggle of good versus evil. The realization that you can’t judge a person by how they look. The struggle to fight for what is right when most prefer to turn a blind eye on the injustice.
If You Like
If you liked the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini, the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, the Hobbit series by J. R. R. Tolkien, or the Green Ember series by S. D. Smith, you will probably enjoy this book.
Have you read On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness? What did you think? Have you noticed that lack of healthy family relationships in teen and middle grade fiction?