— Podo Helmer.
“Lad, it’s one thing to be poor in pocket. Nothing wrong with that. But poor in heart, that’s no good.”
Singer/Songwriter Andrew Peterson’s first novel is a riveting, adorable fantasy story that takes you from the humble town of Glipwood on an adventurous journey to save the jewels of Anniera from the Fangs of Dang.
Janner, Tink, and Leeli are 3 young children who live with their beloved mother Nia and their Grandfather Podo. Their father, Esben, died in the Great War many years ago. The family lives in the town of Glipwood in the Land of Skree that has been run by the Fangs of Dang, horrible creatures created by their leader, Gnag, by melding humans and animals.
The story begins with young Janner struggling with independence, boyhood, and understanding who his father was and living without one. As Grandfather Podo senses what the boy needs he gives responsibility to Janner to take his siblings to the Dragon Day Festival, a day wherein the people of Glipwood and tourists come to hear the Dragons sing. It is there that Janner has a longing for adventure and an adventure he gets! While at the festival Janner and his siblings have a run in with the Fangs of Dang and there the adventure begins of the Igiby children saving themselves, the Jewels of Anniera, and the Land of Skree from the Fangs of Dang.
This book was especially made fun with Andrew Peterson’s creativity shining through. Not only did he create a whole new world and land with this book series, but he went even farther with it and created all new creatures and foods. There we discover different types of vegetables such as, “totatoes” and animals named “toothy cows” or “thwaps”, creatures that Grandfather Podo fights with in the beginning. This book series even came with a Creaturepedia where you will find pictures of all the creatures in the book and very creative descriptions. One of the fun characters was Oskar N. Reteep, a self-proclaimed appreciator of the neat, strange, and/or yummy. This jolly fellow was a bookstore owner of Books and Crannies Bookstore in the Glipwood Township. He also has a fun knack for adding in random quotes to just about any situation he finds himself in. This book was a very easy and fun read with all of the creative and witty additions to keep you giggling. There are many twists and turns throughout the book that will keep a reader on their seat to find where the Igibys will end up next. It will capture the easy reader and the experienced reader all the same. Some parts were not so easy to read, namely parts that were sad and definitely tug on your heart strings, although nothing terribly heavy for the young minds reading. There is quite a bit of action in the story and some parts include characters dying but nothing problematic. As far as being a Christian read goes, it is not explicitly Christian but the characters do speak of The Maker and there being a beginning to things. For instance, when all the beasts of the forest kill The Fangs Janner believes it to be a miracle from the Maker. They also pray in situations when they need help.
Riddled with laughter and tears, Andrew Peterson outdid himself with his first book of the Wingfeather Saga. I truly enjoyed this book as it offered fun and whit and imagination you can’t quite get in many books these days. I appreciated the touch of Christian connections, but not making it explicitly preachy so as to leave room for other nonbelieving readers to enjoy. I enjoyed the made-up characters and places and all the names that Andrew Peterson came up with. You can tell he had fun writing this book! This book is young enough to keep the attention of your average young child, but fun and interesting enough to be enjoyed by the older group. The Wingfeather Saga tells a story of hope, faith, and most of all love. This book is a great and fun read for young and old fantasy adventure readers.
You can purchase the book here!