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The Fishermanís Son
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-133-3
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 100 Pages
Published: April 2004

From inside the flap

THE FISHERMAN'S SON is a children's novel filled with fantasy, adventure and the heroic qualities of a brave, young boy. At the same time, it includes accurate and beautiful descriptions of life under the ocean, villages similar to those of real nineteenth century island villages, and cities similar to those of ancient Greece and Rome. Part of the book is based on research accounts of what may have happened to Atlantis if it once existed.

The main character is a twelve-year-old boy named Wiley O'Mara. He lives on an island far up north where it is very cold, around the beginning of the nineteenth century. The island scenery and culture in some ways resemble that of Ireland around the same time. After meeting a dolphin who allows him to swim underwater, Wiley takes part in an extraordinary adventure through which he and the dolphin accomplish an incredible rescue mission. Along the way, Wiley and his friend encounter both real and imaginary creatures - the real fish, dolphins, coral reefs and changing depths of the North Atlantic Ocean, as well as imaginary creatures in the island forest and ocean depths surrounding Wiley's home.†††††

Reviews and Awards

Here is what reviewers had to say about The Fishermanís Son.(To read the complete reviews, visit

PIERS ANTHONY, author of the Xanth series, the Incarnations of Immortality series, the Adept series, and so much more! (

Now I have read The Fisherman's Son. This is a nice children's fantasy, grounded in realism. Even the fantastic element is realistic, in that the dolphin doesn't abridge the rules just for convenience; the right introduction has to be made. It's not all right to make the excuse "I lost the cup because of a bear.?

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief of the ?Midwest Book Review?


The Fishermanís Son is a delightful and colorfully narrated tale which documents Marilyn Peake as a story teller of considerable narrative skill.

Rebecca Brown, Editor and Publisher of ?


The Fishermanís Son is a complex tale simply written, with fascinating detail & unblinking reality borrowing from legends & sagas deep within our collective memories.

Phillip Tomasso III, ?The Best Reviews? (

Marilyn Peake has burst onto the scene as a promising writer with the release of her first middle grade novel, The Fishermanís Son.

? Peake is a talented, creative and passionate storyteller.The Fishermanís Son is a thought provoking, heart-felt fantasy novel with a twist.It lends itself to great discussion questions to be reviewed with parents, teachers, or friends.Easy to pick up and read, hard to put down.

Beverly J. Rowe, ?My Shelf? (

The authorís descriptions of the underwater world are exhilarating as Wiley traverses the depths and meets up with wonderful undersea creatures and the fearsome dragon-beast that guards the entrance to the village.

This book would be a great read-aloud project for the whole family.

Tracy Farnsworth, ?Roundtable Reviews? (

Marilyn Peake launches her debut with a fast paced offering that contains excellent imagery amidst a coming of age story.

The Fishermanís Son will appeal to readers both young and old.

This relatively quick read is a perfect offering for those who love fantasy.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Reviewer and Award-Winning Author


When itís time to introduce a child to beautiful language in a book she can read herself, The Fishermanís Son might well be an excellent choice.

The story has the flavor of time-honored tales partially because it is so well-rooted in tradition.There are talking animals, an imaginative lost city, a dragon-like nemesis and more.Even the narrative style evokes the feeling imparted by fairy tales.

Sharon Schulz-Elsing, Contributing Editor of ?Curled Up With a Good Book?


Marilyn Peakeís first fantasy novel for young readers, The Fishermanís Son, calls to mind all the mystery and wonder of Orson Scott Cardís earlier mythological works such as Hartís Hope or Seventh Son in its quest-style tale, and in its evocative descriptions of a place much like early nineteenth-century Ireland comes close to the lush and luminous visual treatment of John Sayles? magical film The Secret of Roan Innish.

? this childrenís debut shines with fear, wonder, triumph and loss.Few readers will be able to resist this tale of a resourceful young boy ?

Warren Thurston, Owner of ?Boggle Books? (

The author has created a novel for young readers that has an interesting twist.It is a puzzle woven into the storyline.The symbolic nature of the answer will test the power of young enquiring minds.

The story is full of action and mythical creatures.It flows quite well and always entertains.The Fishermanís Son is a book well worth reading.

Kevin Tipple for ?The Blue Iris Journal? (

A key component of the fantasy genre is the quest and a quest makes up most of this enjoyable novel by Marilyn Peake.

This rich, fun read is perfect for the pre-teen reader.There is a minimum of violence, plenty of action and historical lessons, as well as an appreciation of nature, beauty and magic.

This novel reminded me strongly of ?The Magic Tree House Series.?There is that same wonder and joy at exploring the unknown as well as a balance between magic and reality.Along the way, subtle life lessons are taught that fit child and adult alike.This was a wonderful book and well worth the read.

Jennie S. Bev,

This first book by author Marilyn Peake shows her tremendous talent in story telling.

In many ways, I found The Fishermanís Son a strong novel for children.

Cheryl McCann, ?Review-Books? (

The Fishermanís Son is a childrenís novel filled with fantasy, adventure and the heroic qualities of a brave, young boy.Even though it is considered a childrenís book, I certainly enjoyed the rich, descriptive text of this tale.It has wonderful imagination with touches of realism; descriptions of events are rich and put you in the scene, and it has a wonderful plot.I recommend it highly and look forward to the next book.

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The Fishermanís Son (Excerpt)

In the Dead of Winter

Chapter 1

The cold wind blew down from the North and slithered into the house like a living thing.† The house was gray and white and hard.† It was built the old way ? stones fitted tightly together to form a barrier against the outside world.

The front yard was dead now.† Brittle brown stems that had once been grass littered the sandy soil.† Ocean waves crashed against the monolithic rocks guarding the coastline.

The cold wind entered the house through crevices and invisible openings.† It wrapped its icy fingers around the throat of the dying woman.† Robyn shivered and moaned and tried weakly to pull the white fleece blanket more tightly around her.† The fleece slipped from her fingers.† Robynís body burned with fever like a lamp burning oil, but this only made her feel colder against the frigid air.

Wiley looked at his motherís red hair spread out across her pillow.† He heard her moan and ran to cover her.† He wrapped the fleece blanket around her shoulders and told her he loved her.† Then he walked over to the large stone fireplace made from the same gray and white stone as the house and pushed the logs around to uncover the flame.† He took the bellows down off the wall and blew life into the fire.

"Boy, what are you doing?"† Wileyís father slammed his glass of whiskey down onto the wooden table, spilling most of it.† The wasted brown liquor splashing onto his hand made him furious.† "Now, look what you made me do!† I can?t afford to waste this stuff!† What d?ya think I?m made out of?† Money?"

Wiley looked up at his father.† Without really thinking about it, he gauged how long he had until his father reached his side of the room.† Vail O?Mara was a tall, sinewy man.† His body had been hardened and turned the color of dirt through long, hard years as a fisherman.† His face was long, thin and leathery.† There were lines etched into his weathered skin around his eyes, across his forehead and down his long, thin cheeks.

Vailís dark brown eyes were glazed by alcohol.† He wore an old suede cap only slightly lighter in shade than the dark brown hair it covered.† He wore a coat to match the cap.† It was dirty and at least one size too big for him.† Wiley had often wondered why his father did that, bought clothes slightly too large for himself.† The youngest of ten children from a poor family, surely he didn?t think he would still outgrow his clothes if he bought them the right size.

"What a? ya lookin? at, boy?"† Wileyís father threw his glass of whiskey against the hard, cold wall of the house.† Enraged that he had spilled the whiskey and broken the glass, Vail O?Mara took three huge steps toward his son.† Then, in his drunken state, he tripped over the leg of a chair and passed out.

Wiley put his cheek next to his fatherís mouth to see if he was still breathing.† A small cloud of whiskey breath wafted up the young boyís nose.† Offended by the smell and relieved that his father was alive, Wiley went over to tend to his mother.† He made her sit up.† Supporting her in his arms, he made her drink water.† The doctor had left strict instructions that his mother must drink water even though she did not want it.† Otherwise, the fever would consume her and take her life.