Andrew Peterson's New Novel

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
Adventure. Peril. Lost Jewels. And the Fearsome Toothy Cows of Skree.
by Andrew Peterson

As aforementioned, we were gifted with some advance copies of this new novel, and devoured it shortly. The first thing to know is that Andrew Peterson has long been Eric's songwriting hero. In fact, there's web evidence of this; just scroll down to "Heroes". His latest effort does much to buttress this, and even advance this idea into new realms.

You know how there was that really talented person in high school that you didn't really know, but you had this innate assurance that, if you could just get together and hang out, you'd be new best friends? Rachel has postulated that such is the case with ourselves and the author. So, Andrew, next time we're visiting Eric's family in Nashville: La Hacienda, our treat.
There's a few truths about this book that can, in fact, be judged correctly by it's cover. The redundant reference to the "dark" in the title, and the obscure zoology of the "toothy cows" in the subtitle both set a certain tone of fun that continues throughout, reminiscent of the book version of "The Princess Bride", for those who have read the book. But the rest of the subtitle points out the meat of the tale, which is a quite compelling opening to a larger saga, in which Andrew has truly created an original and consistent world, in which the whole spectrum of trivial to grand finds a home. This world creation, apparently produced out of bedtime stories for his three kids (who echo the birth order of the 3 protagonists in his story), rings of fantasy, but not like the novels where the main characters could very well meet Bilbo and Mr. Tumnus around the next corner, for all the similarities a story bears to previously created worlds. Instead, it's a new imagination, like Tolkien or JK Rowling, in which Andrew tells a whole new mythology, built around a huge turning point in the history of the land of Skree, which all starts out innocently with a small family living near the cliffs, all the while hinting at stories and legends that exist in this land, for which there is just not enough time.

So, in it's lightheartedness, there's room for virture. And peril. And the lost jewels. And the toothy cows. We lapped it up, caught up enough in the story to forget that these are the words of a favorite songwriter. Our only regret was that this is the first in a series, and apparently the rest of the story has yet to be written. Eric finished it one night on call at the hospital, and was taken enough, that when his rare chance for sleep came, he instead lay in the dark awake, wondering how Nia and Podo were going to keep safe the Lost Jewels of Anniera.

Can be found at Amazon and Andrew Peterson's site.


Kelsey said...

I've been strolling through the reviews of this book, and I like the reference to some similarities with the "The Princess Bride."

I also noticed your plans to head to someplace in Africa. Any idea where? Long-term? I'll soon be on my way to Guinea for a year or two, and it's always cool to hear about others heading to the African continent.

The Drs. McLaughlin said...

maybe Kenya, Ethiopia for a couple years of training, then Sudan, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are at the top of the list, but obviously we're undecided. Have a great time in Guinea. We were in Bangladesh with a doc from Midland last fall. =)