>> Thursday, January 20, 2011
Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Audio)
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Series: #4 in the Peter and the Starcatchers series
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: 2009
Read by: Jim Dale
The Short Version:
Moving past the prequel to Peter Pan that the first 3 books in the series were, this one takes place 20 years after the 3rd book with an alternate first adventure for Peter and Wendy than the one told by J.M. Barrie.
Why I Read It:
I loved the first three books in this series that created a wonderfully entertaining prequel to the well known Peter Pan series. Although the authors had intended to stop with three books, when I heard they were writing a fourth I had to read it.
This is the 4th in a series so if you’re concerned about spoilers for the earlier books, you should skip down to the My Thoughts section.
London, 1901. It’s twenty years after the events of Peter and the Secret of Rundoon. Molly and George Darling are married and have three children, Wendy, Michael and John. From that point on, the story differs from the classic Peter Pan but with all the fun and adventure of the earlier books in this series.
It turns out that the bad guys from the earlier books may have not been defeated after all. One group is determined to take control of the magical starstuff that keeps Mollusk Island the unchanged paradise it has been for the past twenty years. Even more frightening are the signs that a man close to the soon to be crowned King of England may me none other than the incredibly evil shadow creature that was thought to have been destroyed at the end of the last book. Why is he searching for something in London? And what does it have to do with a broken sword that belonged to Charlemagne?
I loved the first three books in this series because they presented a possible prequel to the classic Peter Pan story without actually interfering with it. That changes a bit in this one because it presents an alternate first meeting and adventure for Wendy and Peter. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful follow up to the earlier Peter and the Starcatchers books.
I’m not sure which I enjoyed more: the story itself or Jim Dale’s performance of the story. Both are highly entertaining and pure fun. There are villains who are incredibly scary and creepy as well as a few who are more comic-relief. The natives of Mollusk Island are both noble and fun and have the best naming conventions of any fictional society I’ve ever encountered. There’s probably some sort of ‘Mollusk name generator’ out there on the internet somewhere and if there’s not, then there should be. The adventures that Peter and Wendy undertake are both frightening and fanciful, and even though you’re sure it’ll all work out just fine in the end, there’s plenty of tension before the end of the book.
All in all, this installment is not a necessary part of the series, but still a delight.