Monday, March 24, 2008


On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

by Andrew Peterson

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(Click book for Amazon link)

One of the positve themes that ran through the book was the importance of family. Tink is afraid of heights so their grandfather thinks it best to cure him by facing his fears on the cottage roof. Crippled while very young, Leeli stays inside the cottage to help her mother with chores as walking with her wooden crutch tires her at times. The three had lost their father during the great war after the Fang invasion, and their mother moved the family to live with their grandfather.

Life is good at the cottage for the Igibys. The children learn their T.H.A.G.S. ( Three Honored And Great Subjects) from their mother, and their grandfather, Podo, spends much of his free time fighting and removing thwaps from their garden. Thwaps sound like some type of short, furry gnome with a taste for vegetables.

In one scene, Podo manages to knock out a single thwap who later recovers and throws pebbles at him. The thwap groups are small, and they band together to survive; much like the Igiby family.

Janner becomes discouraged with the prospect of looking after his younger siblings, Tink and Leeli, and feels burdened with his lot in life. Janner later panics when Leeli and her dog Nugget disappear after the Dragon Song is heard from the cliffs on the outskirts of Glipwood. His job was to watch over her at the Dragon Day event, and now she is no where in sight.

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Christopher Hopper said...

I thought it was terribly interesting that you pointed out the focus on family--a fantastic element to his writing.

It's surprising to me how when people, most notably, Christians, ask me for my opinions about well-known secular YA authors, they're wanting me to comment on ties to the occult or anti-Christian content. Funny thing is, the occult is the least worrying element to me! Issues that seem to stir generationally independent concepts, lying to adults, family division and sibling antagonism are far more dangerous in my opinion!

Family obviously means a lot to Andrew and you can tell.

Well said.


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

You've done an excellent job painting the set-up of the story. You can almost say, And then the conflict begins!

The theme of "family" becomes even more important when one of the twists develops.

Good post, Tim.


Fantasythyme said...

One good point Peterson seemed to bring across was that there are consequences for our actions, even those we think that no one sees. When Janner and Tink take the map from the bookstore, something is lost and never the same between them and the owner.