For those of you not following along, I’m reading the Wingfeather Saga to mark the release of new collectable hardcover editions being released this year. Specifically, books three and four being released on October 6.
Alas, rather than hardback I am reading them on Kindle so I am not getting the full effect of the new covers, maps, and illustrations by Joe Sutphin. Kindle reading does make it easier to read in bed at night without disturbing my wife so it has that going for it. And it does give me a sense of the added material even if not quite as grand as the hardbacks.
I am pleased to report that the books seems to be getting better as we go. I enjoyed On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and found the second half of the book more engaging than the first.
And that pattern continued with North! or Be Eaten
Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.
In order to survive, the Igibys 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 Ben, and the dreaded Fork Factory.
But even more dangerous are the jealousies and bitterness that threaten to tear them apart. Janner and his siblings must learn the hard way that the love of a family is more important than anything else.
I think I enjoyed this second book in the Wingfeather Series more than the first because there was more action and much more of the larger picture was revealed.
The focus continues to be on Janner, his character and perspective, but we also finally learn more about Peet/Arthur. The second book also includes more about the history and geography of Skree and the myths and legends of Aneiria. The big picture really starts to come together and you see how the children’s story connects with the larger world. The complexity is starting to develop even as the tension and excitement grows.
It is still a fantasy adventure for younger children so there are some improbable escapes but also some nice twists and turns as well. Mixed in with this are some well done portraits of what it means to be a family. Sure, not every family has to deal with fantasy adventure type action but the dynamics of siblings and family are universal and Peterson explores them without slowing the story down or getting too cheesy.
I’m glad I decided to revisit this series and am excited about pushing on to book 3.