Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Wingfeather Saga Overview, Book 1: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness; & Book 2: North! Or Be Eaten! by Andrew Peterson

Book 1: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Storyline: The three Igiby children, Janner, Tink, and Leeli, live in Skree, a land under the oppression of Gnag the Nameless and his soldiers, the lizard-like Fangs. While Nia, their mother, and their grandfather Podo Helmer, try to keep them out of the way of the Fangs, one, named Slarb, seems particularly interested in harassing them.

Then on Dragon Day, when the Sea Dragons come up and sing at the cliffs of the Dark Sea, the Igiby kids are thrown into jail for defending themselves against Slarb and his buddies.

Nia comes to their rescue by offering the Fang general some precious jewelry in return for her children. But, unfortunately, she didn't notice that one necklace bore the insignia of their former life—the life that she'd hoped to hide from her children and from Gnag the Nameless.

My Take: Andrew Peterson doesn't take much seriously. His goofy footnotes, bizarre creatures, and equally bizarre things like snotwax candles and remedies for itching, make this an enjoyable fantasy romp for younger kids, especially boys—well, and certain people like me. :0)

He's built a well-fashioned world peopled with lovable characters, like the owner of Books and Crannies, Oskar N. Reteep, and Peet the Sock Man.

However, there are some things he takes seriously—fighting evil, for one, and praying to the Maker, for another. He also builds in lessons of taking care of one's siblings (and I agree with Janner—sometimes taking care of siblings can be difficult!) among others.

Besides the occasional head-hopping and the abrupt ending, the book is excellently written. The head-hopping isn't confusing, really, and the abrupt ending can be forgiven because we know that this is just Book One; and it makes us go crazy for Book Two.

Book 2: North! Or Be Eaten

Storyline: Janner, Tink, and Leeli are now hiding in Artham's (Peet the Sock Man) treehouse. They think they're safe for a while yet, but one day Oskar N. Reteep comes charging through the woods, bellowing for them to run. On his tail are hundreds of Fangs and several trolls.

The Igibys run, and through various circumstances (including Artham's capture) make across the River Blap and into Dugtown, where Oskar knows someone who can get them safely to the Ice Prairies, where they hope to be safe. The Fangs can't follow them there, can they?

But plans go amiss when Janner and Tink are separated from their family, and then Janner is separated from Tink.

My Take:

This book is a little more serious than On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Sure, there was the usual humor (including a bit of grossness), the usual goofy footnotes, and the usual crazy tales.

But as the kids grow into their new roles as heirs of Anniera, the world consequently grows with them. New enemies are revealed beyond the gluttonous Fangs, that are more sinister and creepy. Artham's backstory is unfolded. Podo's true past is revealed.

It's a story of kids growing up quickly and learning that the world is dark. But Peterson does a good job of making sure that there's always some humor, and (more importantly) that you can always see the Light shining through everything.


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