The Bark of the Bog Owl is the first installment of Jonathan Roger’s Wilderking trilogy, a delight from beginning to end. Rodgers has taken the age old tale of David and Goliath to a whole new level in his allegorical rendition of fantasy and delight. Aidain Errolson is a rough and tumble young boy longing to find purpose and adventure as a warrior for his King, certain he is meant for greater things than tending his father’s sheep.
Destiny comes knocking in ways Aidain never dreamed as he runs into a lovable, indigenous character who helps him save his father’s flocks from the iron jaws of a panther. Before Aidain can catch his breath he is rushed into the presence of Bayard, the truth speaking prophet who proclaims, in spite of the ridicule of Aidain’s brothers and the discomfort of Aidain’s loyal Father, that Aidain will be the new king of Corenwald.
We are soon led on many wild adventures which include, scheming, intrigue, wild frolics with the Feechiefolk, a treaty feast at the King’s table, and an underground operation whose goal it is to blow up the Pyrthen’s secret weapon! Oh, and let us not forget the age old battle between boy and giant!
Aidain calls to the inner boy in all of us and urges others to be true and noble. Jonathan Rodgers delights us with the humanness of his characters and Aidain’s steadfast devotion to God and King. The book’s only fault is its predictability with this first installment. Readers who know the biblical narrative will guess where the plot is headed; however, the intricacy of the characters, the vivid and whimsical settings, and the fun loving simplicity of the Feechie will keep you surprised all along the way and add new twists and turns to the well known account. Lovers of Narnia will enjoy the rich allegory and medieval setting.
While the story is very symbolic and follows a close parallel to the account in scripture, it is by no means an accurate retelling, but good fiction fantasy that proves Jonathan Rogers knows how to tell a story well. Readers are left with the desire to follow Aidain along his journey of maturity and self discovery. The pace never stills, the story doesn’t lag, and you’ll long for the next installment when you can once more romp alongside Aidain in his world of fun and adventure. I can’t wait to see where Rodgers talents will take us next!
Published on 22 September, 2010. Last updated on