The Bark of the Bog Owl
The Wilderking Trilogy: Book One
“The Bark of the Bog Owl is a top-notch addition to fantasy literature. The first volume in an anticipated Wilderking trilogy, this stirring and richly imagined story should attract a faithful following of young readers.”
From School Library Journal:
“Roger’s writing is terrifically appealing. The adventure and the humor are first rate. Fans of ‘Narnia’ will find this just to their taste, and will look forward to future installments.”
From Publisher’s Weekly:
“Unusual settings and characters keep the surprises coming, while Rogers’s lovely descriptions and distinctive voice keep the pages turning.”
Courage and a heart for adventure drive twelve-year-old shepherd boy Aidan Errolson. When the bark of the bog owl echoes from the forest across his father’s well-tended pastures, Aidan dreams of wild places still untamed and quests not yet pursued.
Aidan’s life changes forever on the day Bayard the Truthspeaker arrives at Longleaf with an astonishing pronouncement: it is Aidan’s destiny to be the Wilderking, who will ascend to the throne from Corenwald’s wildest places. Only the Wilderking can balance his people’s civilizing impulses with the wildness that gives Corenwald its vitality. But not just yet. Many trials and adventures will shape the shaggy-headed shepherd boy into the man who can bring the kingdom back to its former glory.
Comments & Reviews
“Live the life that unfolds before.” It was the first thing Aidan had said since they left camp.
Everyone turned toward Aidan. “What’s that, son?” asked Gustus.
“Who knows what the future holds? Only the One God,” explained Aidan. “ You just live the little bit of life that you can see in front of you. You live it well. And that gets you ready for whatever unfolds next.”
I haven’t spent much time in the south. I am a tried and true northern boy; born in North Dakota, lived three years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and I’ve been living in Wisconsin ever since I was twelve. My parents never took us on family vacations into the southern depths of our country, we mostly went west. To be honest, I haven’t really even thought much about the south. Besides enjoying a few southern movies, like the classic Forest Gump (I love this movie, even if proves I’m not an artsy hipster, which I’m not , my life has been primarily focused on things of the northern nature. But things have changed and I’ll blame author Jonathan Rogers for part of that.
This upcoming spring break I decided to take my kids to Kentucky. Why Kentucky? I figure it’s about time I start checking out the southern foundation of our country and I figured Kentucky would be a good stepping stone. My girls love horses and if Kentucky is anything, it’s all about horses and college basketball. Also, we just survived one of the hardest winters I’ve ever experienced in Wisconsin and to get anywhere warmer is going to be therapeutic. But besides all of these great reasons to head south, Jonathan Rogers has given me a taste for things of the southern persuasion via his book “The Charlatan’s Boy”, and now again through the “The Bark of the Bog Owl.”
The Bark of the Bog Owl tells the story of a young shepherd Aidan Errolson who longs for a life of adventure but finds himself stuck in the fields taking care of the family sheep. But that changes real fast for young Aidan, soon he is anointed to be the Wilderking, who is prophesied to save the kingdom Corenwald. And then the adventure begins, complete with adventures in the swamp with the feechiefolk (I’d equate them to red-neck swamp people that remind me of duck dynasty, but I’m sure there is a better more appropriate description) and a battle with the evil Pyrthen empire. The story shadows the story of David and Goliath but with a southern flair that is contagiously fun and witty.
A sign of good writer is someone who can take something that is ordinary or maybe unappealing and bring it to life and beautiful. The swamp, in my mind, can’t get any uglier but Jonathan Rogers knows how to bring this unique environment into the readers imagination, vivid and alive. Sometimes too alive, as I’ve had recurring nightmares about a certain monster alligator, called Samson that Rogers has implanted in my brain. Also, Rogers has a gift with sentences. Beautiful, crisp and tight sentences. One can tell Mr. Rogers has worked hard at the craft of writing and it shows in his non-fluffy prose. I love his sentences, saying it exactly as it is without saying anything more. And since Jonathan Rogers has his Phd in English Literature, he is definitely a worthy practitioner of his education.
I can usually tell if I’m enjoying a book by how fast I read them. I knocked out the Bark of the Bog Owl in a week. While this may seem like a long time to some people, I have a budding family of three kids and a wife, a full time job and many other distractions that generally make me chip away at books over a couple month time period. To finish a book in a week is typically an outright miracle or I’m on vacation. In this case it was neither, I really just enjoyed the read. I was transported into the beautiful southern world of Aidan in Corenwald, living the adventure of his life as it unfolded before him. I’m looking forward to experiencing the next bit of Aidan Errolson’s life, as this first journey in the Bark of the Bog Owl has been a fun, enjoyable and pleasurable experience. Please pick a copy up as you won’t be disappointed.
- Recommended readers ages 10 and older