Currently Reading: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

"In the nine years after Skree's king and all his lords--in fact, everyone with a claim to the throne--had been executed, the people of Skree had learned to survive under the occupation of the Fangs of Dang. The Fangs walked about like humans, and in fact they looked exactly like humans, except for the greenish scales that covered their bodies and the lizard-like snout and the two long, venomous fangs that jutted downward from their snarling mouths. Also, they had tails."

Author: Andrew Peterson

Synopsis: Janner Igiby grew up in a land ruled by terror, where children and adults disappear without warning and the disgusting Fangs regulate everything, even the hoeing of a totato patch. His mother and grandfather refuse to talk about his father, who died before Janner can remember, and Janner spends most of his time studying and helping around the farm and watching over his brother and sister. But when the Fangs throw all three children in jail, the bond posted leads the evil ruler of Skree to believe that Janner's mother has the Jewels of the lost kingdom Anniera, and life becomes a bigger and more terrifying mystery than even Janner thought it could be.


This is a book to thrill the heart of a young boy. After all, the protagonist is a young boy, and the tale is full of glory and humor and dragons and interesting people like Janner's grandfather, Podo the pirate. There's even a recipe for booger gruel, which made me gag while I laughed.

It took me a little while to hit that can't-put-it-down mode, which may have been due to a slightly episodic feel in the early chapters and/or to the fact that when I started reading I was distracted by my own storytelling. I'll have to post sometime about how hard it is for me to read when I'm caught up in writing. Anyway, last Sunday afternoon I sat down with this book and didn't let go of it till I'd finished.

Throughout the story, fear and humor balance each other with the precision only an expert storyteller can manage.

Recommendation: Yes. It's a good book. It deserves an extra star just for the line "... in the mind of a boy, a warning isn't much different from an invitation."


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