The Bark of the Bog Owl

The Bark of the Bog Owl
By Jonathan Rogers
(Broadman & Holman: ISBN 0-8054-3131-4
I found this title at the public library and knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed in this children’s Biblical fantasy fiction, book one of the Wilderking Trilogy. It’s wholesome enough for the most particular parent and scary enough for fantasy-loving children of all ages.
Set in an imaginary time, with castles, spears and accompanying pomp, the story weaves through a setting similar to the swamps in Georgia, where the author grew up.
Aiden Errolson’s life changes one afternoon when he hears the bark of the bog owl. He kills a panther with his slingshot, saving the life of Dobro, a wild feechiefolk youngster his own age. Dobro has more courage than Aiden, a horrible, eye-watering smell and an alligator tunic held in place with a cottonmouth snake belt. But the boys have a similar faith.
That same afternoon, Bayard the Truthspeaker arrives at the Errol Errolson estate and announces, “I am here to find the king, the Wilderking of Corenwald.” He obviously communicates deeply with the One God as he sorts through the four older brothers and asks if there is another son. Finally Errol sends for twelve-year-old Aiden in the sheep pasture. There’s no anointing oil but the boy learns he’s called to be the king who restores Corenwald’s former glory. Does this story sound familiar?
The Errolson clan attends a treaty feast at the Corenwald Castle. It turns deadly and ends in a standoff between Greidawl, the huge Pyrthen bully and anyone from the Corenwald army who challenges him. Aiden happens to be at the camp delivering supplies to his four brothers and volunteers to kill Greidawl.
Aiden kills Greidawl with his slingshot, there’s a battle and Aiden almost causes his own underground burial in a huge cave. God protects him and his companions, Corenwald wins, and the bog owl barks.
Back home, Aiden receives a gold painted eighteen-foot alligator named Samson and another prize he would never have dreamed of.
The second book, The Secret of the Swamp King, is now available but we’ll have to wait until May 2006 for number three, The Way of the Wilderking.
Check out the website, HYPERLINK “”, especially the sound effects.

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