Remember who you are: Review of The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

I recently finished reading Andrew Peterson’s The Wingfeather Saga, books 1-3 (a fourth is on its way). Below are some overall impressions of each of the books. I wouldn’t want to ruin the story for anyone, so I didn’t get too specific about plot. My husband read these first and it was hard for him to not talk about what happens in each of the books until after I’d read them. I’d recommend these books in a nanosecond.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

I have loved Andrew Peterson’s musical stories for years, and after my husband (who typically does not read books quickly) tore through this series, I was eager to give them a shot. This first book in The Wingfeather Saga starts slow and builds a lot of background for the Igiby family. It’s not that it’s a hard read or a bad story or anything. I love the relationships between the children, their mother and grandfather, and the trouble they find themselves in. Everything I love about Peterson’s music translates to the pages of this story somehow, and I found myself wishing there was a soundtrack for the book. I am wowed by Peterson’s creativity in forming a world with fascinating and frightening creatures with detailed descriptions and amusing names. I’ve said that I’m not a fan of the fantasy genre, but I think I’m being won over of late by works like this. I look forward to sharing these stories with my kids as they get older and letting their imaginations run wild. This book will whet your appetite for more. (And thankfully, there are more!)

North! Or Be Eaten

If the first book started slow, then this book is the opposite. I felt like it started with action and never let up through the whole book. It was intense and thrilling. The middle book(s) of a series sometimes lack a little as they pave the way for the conclusion, but not so this one. It was my favorite of the three (a fourth is to come). The Igiby children learn tough and valuable lessons as they flee for their lives. They struggle to work together and wonder if their mission is worth it. They long for the good-old days, before they knew who they were and the responsibility that carried. Worked throughout the story is the struggle of living enslaved to an evil power (the Fangs) although life was simpler and fleeing and fighting that evil for the promise of something better. As in the first book, the creatures and lands Andrew Peterson created in his mind translate well on the page. Maps and illustrations are a small part of that. He has the ability to take a familiar animal and transform it into something fitting for this mythical world. A page-turner, for sure. My husband warned me not to read them too quickly or I’d find myself at the end wanting more. But the story is so good, I couldn’t put it down.

The Monster in the Hollows

Just when you think you know what’s going to happen and how things are going to end, Andrew Peterson gives you a shocking and surprising twist. And you LOVE him for it. The Igiby family finds themselves in their mother’s homeland but things are far from easy. Peterson weaves deep truths into this story, the most memorable for me is this: Remember who you are. The characters struggle with identity and perception and guilt and shame. Through it all they grow and change and affect the world around them for good. I didn’t want this book to end because book 4, the concluding piece, is still a long way off. But Peterson’s story is so captivating, you can’t take it slow. So my only word of caution is that once you start this series, you’ll finish it quickly and find yourself eager for the conclusion. Book 4 can’t come soon enough!

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