Book Review: The Wingfeather Saga

What the Books Are About:

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On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson (summary from Goodreads)

Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice and pursue the Igibys who hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.
Andrew Peterson spins a quirky and riveting tale of the Igibys’ extraordinary journey from Glipwood’s Dragon Day Festival and a secret hidden in the Books and Crannies Bookstore, past the terrifying Black Carriage, clutches of the horned hounds and loathsome toothy cows surrounding AnkleJelly Manor, through the Glipwood Forest and mysterious treehouse of Peet the Sock Man (known for a little softshoe and wearing tattered socks on his hands and arms), to the very edge of the Ice Prairies.

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North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson (summary from Goodreads)

In order to survive, the Igibys [Janner, Tink, and Leeli] must flee to the safety of the Ice Prairies, where the lizardlike Fangs of Dang cannot follow. First, however, they have to escape the monsters of Glipwood Forest, the thieving Stranders of the East Bend, and the dreaded Fork Factory.
But even more dangerous are the jealousies and bitterness that threaten to tear them apart, and Janner and his siblings must learn the hard way that the love of a family is more important than anything else.

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The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson (summary from Goodreads)

Janner Wingfeather’s father was the High King of Anniera. But his father is gone. The kingdom has fallen. The royal family is on the run, and the Fang armies of Gnag the Nameless are close behind.

Janner and his family hope to find refuge in the last safe place in the world: the Green Hollows–a land of warriors feared even by Fangs of Dang…Join the Wingfeathers on an adventure filled with mystery, betrayal, and sneakery in a land of tasty fruits. There’s a monster on the loose and the truth lurks in the shadows.

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The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson (summary from Goodreads)

All winter long, people in the Green Hollows have prepared for a final battle with Gnag the Nameless and the Fangs of Dang. Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli—Throne Warden, Wolf King, and Song Maiden of Anniera—are ready and willing to fight alongside the Hollowsfolk, but when the Fangs make the first move and invade Ban Rona, the children are separated. Janner is alone and lost in the hills; Leeli is fighting the Fangs from the rooftops of the city; and Kalmar, who carries a terrible secret, is on a course for the Deeps of Throg. Meanwhile in Skree, Sara Cobbler and Maraly Weaver care for the broken Artham Wingfeather as Fangs muster for battle across the MightyRiver Blapp.
Sea dragons lurk in the waters. Wicked Stranders crawl through the burrows. Ridgerunners and trolls prowl the land. Cloven haunt the forest. Monsters and Fangs and villains lie between the children and their only hope of victory—in the epic conclusion of The Wingfeather Saga.

What I Liked:

I don’t know if you’ve noticed by now, but I like fantasy (yes, that was sarcasm).  The Wingfeather Saga is not only fantasy: it’s fantasy done well.  It’s got it all: fantastical creatures (such as toothy cows), magic, and a different world.  What’s not to like?

One thing I especially liked about this series is that the reader can really relate to the characters.  Each character has his or her own personal struggles.  Janner, the main character, struggles with jealously and bitterness, and he is a much more relatable character because his struggles and faults are so evident to the reader.  We all have probably struggled with jealousy at some point in time, so the reader can not only relate to how Janner feels but also really empathize and understand how Janner feels in the story.  And although the reader can admit that Janner is being selfish, Andrew Peterson somehow still manages to make Janner likable.

Andrew Peterson also does a wonderful job world-building.  He creates a world that is so original, it’s realistic in the reader’s mind.  He pictures it so clearly that the reader has no doubt about what this mysterious world is like.  The most important thing in creating a realistic world is picturing it your own mind so that you can convey this picture to your readers, and Andrew Peterson does this brilliantly.

Another thing I loved about this series was the creativity and originality of the story.  It was refreshing to read a fantasy series that is so creative and original and like none other I’ve ever read.

If anything I said above about this series sounds appealing to you, you need to read this series.  Even if what I said doesn’t sound appealing, still read it, okay?  When you read this series, you make life-long friends of the characters, friends you will never forget.

What I Didn’t Like:

Honestly, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this series.  There isn’t any inappropriate or objectionable material.  If you like fantasy, you need to read this series!

Who I Would Recommend This Series For:

I would recommend this series for almost all ages.  This would be a great family read-aloud.

Underlying Themes and Messages {SPOILER ALERT}:

The two main themes throughout this series are good vs. evil (which every good fantasy series should have) and brotherly love.  In the series, Janner, the main character, is the Throne Warden, whose job it is to protect his brother Kalmar, the king.  Janner has to make many sacrifices along the way to keep his brother safe, including the ultimate sacrifice at the end of the series.  At first, Janner is bitter about his responsibilities, but as the series progresses, he willingly protects and even *MAJOR SPOILER* sacrifices himself for his brother. *END OF MAJOR SPOILER*  This message is so powerfully portrayed throughout the series, as well as good triumphing over evil.

Rating (Goodreads):

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga #1): 4.22 out of 5 stars

North! Or Be Eaten (The Wingfeather Saga #2): 4.47 out of 5 stars

The Monster in the Hollows (The Wingfeather Saga #3): 4.63 out of 5 stars

The Warden and the Wolf King (The Wingfeather Saga #4): 4.69 out of 5 stars

My Rating:

I would give this series a 5 out of 5 star rating.

Quotable Quotes:

And guess what?  I’m adding a section: the quotable quotes section!

“Blood was shed that you three might breathe the good air of life, and if that means you have to miss out on a Zibzy game, then so be it. Part of being a man is putting others’ needs before your own.”  ~ Andrew Peterson, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

“Here I sit in the presence of queens and heroes and magic. Yes, magic. It is only when we have grown too old that we fail to see that the Maker’s world is swollen with magic – it hides in plain sight in music and water and even bumblebees.”  ~ Andrew Peterson, North! Or Be Eaten

“When children say it’s time to leave, they mean, “It’s time to leave.” When grownups say so, they really mean, “It’s time to begin thinking about leaving sometime in the near future.”  ~ Andrew Peterson, North! Or Be Eaten

“‘But I don’t want to be the Throne Warden,’ Janner said with all the bitterness he could muster.
‘I understand,’ Nia said. Janner had planned to send her over the edge with that comment, but she didn’t seem surprised.
‘Sometimes I don’t want to be queen. But what I want doesn’t change what I am.'”  ~ Andrew Peterson, The Monster in the Hollows

“Love runs stronger than blood. Deeper than any name you could give me.” ~ Andrew Peterson, The Warden and the Wolf King

“When you run out of hope, everything is backwards. Your heart wants the opposite of what it needs.” ~ Andrew Peterson, The Warden and the Wolf King

 

Have you ever read the Wingfeather Saga?  Did you like it?

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On a completely unrelated note, sorry I haven’t posted in a long time.  I’ve been really busy lately…I’m sure you all can relate. 🙂