REVIEW- Wingfeather Saga Books 1&2
"Somewhere out there, men and women with redeemed integrated imaginations are sitting down to spin a tale that awakens, a tale that leaves the reader with a painful longing that points them home, a tale whose fictional beauty begets beauty in the present world and heralds the world to come. Someone out there is building a bridge so we can skip across to elf-land and smuggle back some of its light into this present darkness."- Andrew Peterson, Adorning the Dark
I don't know how much of this was subconscious planning on my part, but I was reading Adorning the Dark, Andrew Peterson's book about creativity and calling while also finishing out his fictional tale North! Or Be Eaten. And let me tell you, after reading both, I can say with confidence the above quote applies completely to Peterson himself. The first two books of his Wingfeather Saga demonstrate that perfectly.
The first book, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, is the bridge that connects us to the "elf-land" known as Aerwiar, where we are plopped into a small town called Glipwood on the continent of Skree. Here we met the Igiby family and are directed to pay attention to the three children- Janner, Tink, and Leeli, who are living during a time of occupation by the scaley Fangs of Dang. But the Fangs are on Skree for a reason. And that reason has a lot to do with three Igiby children *cue mysterious music.*
If the first book is the bridge that takes you to the elf-land, the second book, North! Or Be Eaten, is the tale that awakens and gives you the light that you take back with you to your own world. I'll put the disclaimer here, that I have not finished all four books yet. But it seems to me that the first book seems to be what draws you in and introduces you to the world, while the last three are really the meat of the story. By now the secret of the Igiby children has come to light and we travel along with them as they try to learn what these revelations mean for them. It is in this book that I found bits of light for my own life.
In regards to the more technical aspects of storytelling, Peterson also shows himself to be quite competent. The characters are completely engaging and viewing the story from Janner's perspective helps to awaken the child-like excitement and anticipation that this tale requires. The world is immersive, full of history, mythology, and creatures that give layers to the story without being too distracting from the main plot. The writer also uses footnotes. This is a unique feature, which I can honestly say I've never seen in a fantasy story before. Or any other work of fiction. The aforementioned footnotes, act as a guide to the reader; providing necessary information so that we are not clueless while allowing us to retain the feeling of not being talked down to. Much like Tolkien's writing style in The Hobbit. All of these features come together to create a story that is truly beautiful.
It has been a long time since a children's fantasy series has thoroughly held my attention. I cannot wait to continue the saga of the Igiby's and their adventures.
If you are interested in learning more about the Wingfeather Saga, you can find more information on the official site- www.wingfeathersaga.com.
You can also find the books for purchase at the following location (this is not a sponsored/affiliate link I don't make any money from the purchase of these books)- The Rabbit Room Store.