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North! or Be Eaten

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First they found themselves On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Now they must make their way 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 or First they found themselves On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Now they must make their way 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. Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, North! Or Be Eaten is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers' groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning.


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First they found themselves On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Now they must make their way 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 or First they found themselves On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Now they must make their way 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. Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, North! Or Be Eaten is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers' groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning.

30 review for North! or Be Eaten

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    (Spoiler Free) When CS Lewis wrote Narnia, he wasn't really writing fantasy - he was playing with "dressed rabbits" - a style of anthropomorphizing pastoral animals and mythic creatures (like centaurs) so as to give the story a magical setting. Basically, however, the creatures all followed rules that were fairly basic to regular humans and this made Narnia quite relatable to most of it's readers. When Tolkien built Middle Earth, he built an entirely different world than our own. Instead of magic (Spoiler Free) When CS Lewis wrote Narnia, he wasn't really writing fantasy - he was playing with "dressed rabbits" - a style of anthropomorphizing pastoral animals and mythic creatures (like centaurs) so as to give the story a magical setting. Basically, however, the creatures all followed rules that were fairly basic to regular humans and this made Narnia quite relatable to most of it's readers. When Tolkien built Middle Earth, he built an entirely different world than our own. Instead of magic invading the "real" world, Tolkien created another world with different kinds of creatures but still the same basic sense of physics/gravity and created order. Peterson's Wingfeather books are more like Tolkien than Lewis. I understand why they are classified as fantasy (they do have otherworldly creatures) but they are not magical in the way that Harry Potter defies the laws of reality nor are they fantastic in the way that Percy Jackson super imposes an alternate reality on our own. Instead, they are very much a classic hero story set in a world that is remarkably like ours (minus a few hundred years). It would be more fair to classify Peterson as being like the author of Beowulf, Homer, Tolkien or any of the Robin Hood authors. In this installment, the plot deepens and darkens. The characters are living under the terrible burden of an inescapable legacy during a dark time when evil is winning. Many of our primary characters are absolutely tested to the breaking point - and all bear awful scars from the choices that they make. But, like any true heroic epic, there is never a moment without hope. There is always a fight to move towards the light and like the plot, the characters are deepened in so doing. This book is intense. It is beautifully written and very exciting to read. We find ourselves utterly invested in our characters and so we suffer with them and we hope for them. The mood and subtext of this book reminds me of Oliver Twist or Barrie's Peter Pan. Unlike Lord of the Flies, the darkness does not win. It scars. It wounds. It exacts a bounty. But darkness never really wins. I am thrilled to have this series in our family library. This beautiful set of stories does what Chesterton and Lewis insist that good fairy tales do - it introduces my children to real and terrible dragons but shows them that those dragons can be defeated when heroes live sacrificially. Unlike Narnia, this is not a collection of integrated stories. Like The Lord of the Rings, it presents one epic story broken across several volumes. My particular children are not terribly sensitive to the struggles in hero epics and so at 5, 6 and 8 they cannot get enough of these books. For most children, however, I think that these are probably a better fit for 10+. There is no gratuitous violence - but there are violent struggles that clearly illustrate the battle between good and evil and there are bloody descriptions as appropriate. There are no outright tragedies in this volume but there is a lot of suffering. This could be an excellent family read aloud for a family who is steeped in saint/martyr stories and hero epic and who are willing to pause to discuss intense parts as needed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Dragina

    I CAN'T EVEN COPE RIGHT NOW. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME ANDREW PETERSON???!!!! *endless screaming* My heart is tangled in knots. Again. As if it wasn't enough to absolutely destroy me the first time, you had to do it again. Only this time you scared me so bad I put off reading it for a week. :P *Side Note* This review is full of spoilers for those who haven't read the first book. 😃 Only amazing storytellers cause such emotion to rise in me, and I doubt I could relay to you my joy at the torture fin I CAN'T EVEN COPE RIGHT NOW. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME ANDREW PETERSON???!!!! *endless screaming* My heart is tangled in knots. Again. As if it wasn't enough to absolutely destroy me the first time, you had to do it again. Only this time you scared me so bad I put off reading it for a week. :P *Side Note* This review is full of spoilers for those who haven't read the first book. 😃 Only amazing storytellers cause such emotion to rise in me, and I doubt I could relay to you my joy at the torture finally being over. 😂 The torture of watching these beloved characters suffer through so much. It's like we just get bad thing after bad thing after bad thing and FINALLY the ending helps heal us...a little bit. *sigh* Andrew Peterson reminds me of C. S. Lewis and Robin McKinley combined (in some weird way). Both are masters at storytelling and yet can be so deep. I don't think Mr. Peterson gets as deep as either of them, but his style is similar. He adds his own taste of humor as well. :) I've really enjoyed being immersed in his world. Setting ~ The ice prairies, all manner of lands and experiences. I felt like the setting was always changing (because they were always on the move) and keeping you excited. The surrounding elements definitely added color and suspense to the adventure. Plot ~ Well...I've noticed a lot of mixed opinions on the pacing, but to me it was really fast paced--especially because the chapters are so short. The action, emotions, decisions, etc that the characters dealt with really effected the story nicely. Description ~ My heart is invested in Andrew Peterson's details. His way of describing things is unique, and I really liked that. The scenery and hard choices Janner had to make were really detailed well, and forced you to see--feel--like you were really there. Content ~ Ehhh....it can get violent. And there were somethings that could definitely be triggering for anyone who has controlling fears. I'd rate it PG 13 mostly for the action and violence. Characters ~ They twisted my heart in knots. They're epic. And honestly Podo's secret surprised me...but I wasn't surprised, if those contradicting statements make sense. 😂😂😂 The development was amazing. Janner ~ I love how he's grown into his Throne Warden instincts and allowed them to build him. His love for his siblings is so heartwarming. I weirdly like how he fought with Tink, because it shows that he himself is flawed, and I love flawed characters. 😏 Kalmar (AKA Tink) ~ I felt bad for him. He doesn't have a father figure to guide him into his role as King. He's alone in a way that other people can't fix. He now has a weight of responsibility that has nearly strangled his youth from him...and because of this struggle he now suffers for a fatal mistake. 😭😭😭 Leelie ~ Again. I loved her so much. She's so adorable and yet acts all grown up. A mature young Song Maiden that her mother has raised perfectly. If she has any faults I haven't discovered them yet...and I'm kinda disappointed by that. . .TBH. But I overlook that often because of her gift in music. 😂😏 Podo ~ I wanna strangle you rn. Why? I mean why on the face of God's green planet would you go and do a thing like that? *headdesks multiple times* Overall ~ Nothing cliche or annoying. I really loved this hard-worked tale that left me screaming. Although I hope for some slight reprieve in the beginning of the next book before everything picks up pace again. ^.^ **FTC DISCLOSURE** I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (you're awesome NetGalley!!). This is my personal review (aka my opinion), so if you were offended by anything that was said don't take it personally. It wasn't meant to offend. Thanks! :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Peterson

    “Peterson deserves every literary prize for this fine book. It is obvious that his musical talents have been put to good use as his use of words, plot and narrative read like a well scored film script. A very fine book, by a very fine writer and future talent. Amazing - thrilling and well worth reading again and again.” –G. P. Taylor, New York Times best-selling author of Shadowmancer and The Dopple Ganger Chronicles “Toothy cows are very dangerous. Andrew Peterson convinced me and shivers run dow “Peterson deserves every literary prize for this fine book. It is obvious that his musical talents have been put to good use as his use of words, plot and narrative read like a well scored film script. A very fine book, by a very fine writer and future talent. Amazing - thrilling and well worth reading again and again.” –G. P. Taylor, New York Times best-selling author of Shadowmancer and The Dopple Ganger Chronicles “Toothy cows are very dangerous. Andrew Peterson convinced me and shivers run down my spine at the very thought of meeting a toothy cow face to face. The author spills characters like Podo and Nurgabog onto the page, then weaves a tale of danger that holds the reader captive. Believe me, you will relish being held captive by this master storyteller. But be sure you don’t get caught by the Stranders. Those people just ain’t civilized.” –Donita K. Paul, author of The Vanishing Sculptor “In a genre overrun by the gory and the grim, Peterson’s bite-sized chapters taste more like a stew of Gorey (Edward) and Grimm (the Brothers). North! Or Be Eaten is a welcome feast of levity--and clearly a labor of love. Andrew Peterson has awakened my inner eight-year-old, and that is a very good thing.” –Jeffrey Overstreet, author of Auralia’s Colors and Cyndere’s Midnight “An immensely clever tale from a wonderful storyteller - filled with great values and even greater adventure!” –Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales “Thrills, chills, spine-tingling mystery, and lots of smiles. It’s not easy to combine heart-pounding danger with gut-busting laughs and make it work, but Peterson pulls it off. For readers who want nonstop action infused with powerful, life-changing themes, North! Or Be Eaten is a must-read.” –Wayne Thomas Batson, best-selling author of The Door Within Trilogy, Isle of Swords and Isle of Fire “Andrew Peterson is a gifted storyteller, scene painter and wordsmith who takes you on a rollicking white-water ride of adventure. Readers of all ages are sure to find North! Or Be Eaten worthy of a big mug filled with a favorite beverage and a cozy nook near a crackling fire for hours on end. Here there be tales within yarns within stories. Listen, reader, bend your ear, but keep an eye peeled lest the dreaded Fangs of Dang be near!” –R. K. Mortenson, author of Landon Snow and The Auctor’s Riddle

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    If I had to pick one Wingfeather Saga book to tell people to reread, it would be this one. Obviously, you have to read the whole series. Read it multiple times, better still! But this is the one for which I consider a reread most essential. Read it once, to hear the story, to feel the pain of mistakes made by broken people. Read it again, once you know how the story ends, so you can realize how far those people go and how the seeds of the growth were planted in their mistakes. (And then reread Chap If I had to pick one Wingfeather Saga book to tell people to reread, it would be this one. Obviously, you have to read the whole series. Read it multiple times, better still! But this is the one for which I consider a reread most essential. Read it once, to hear the story, to feel the pain of mistakes made by broken people. Read it again, once you know how the story ends, so you can realize how far those people go and how the seeds of the growth were planted in their mistakes. (And then reread Chapter 59 about ten more times because it's amazing and inspiring and beautiful and makes your heart sing.) This story hurts the first time you read it, as I said already, because, as in the first book, it's full of broken characters trying to deal with their brokenness in ways that are often destructive. It's in this book that we really see the beginning of the struggle that Janner and Kalmar won't resolve until the end of book 4. They're boys who've been thrust into new roles, new identities, and new responsibilities that they never asked for, that weigh them down because they don't yet have the maturity to handle them, that spark resentment even towards the people they love the most. And, let me tell you, I feel that. On a side note, I really appreciate the fact that this book lets the kids be kids. I have steadily increasing issues with some fantasy books in which the kids are given an unrealistic amount of responsibility and then handle it unrealistically well, or where it's constantly the kids solving the problems because the adults are, for some mysterious reason, unable to do so. (*cough*HarryPotter*cough*Fablehaven*cough*KeepersoftheLostCities*cough*) But in the Wingfeather books, the kids are kids. They generally think like kids and act like kids, and they're treated like kids. When they aren't treated like kids, when they're forced into situations that force them to grow up too fast, that strip away joy and innocence, it's treated as a genuine tragedy. And I appreciate that a lot. This book is Janner and Kalmar's book, yes. But it's also Artham's book more than any of the others. And, as a firm fan of Artham P. Wingfeather, that may be why it's become one of my favorites. While the start of his story won't be revealed for some time, he has one of his best moments here and it's really hard to talk about without giving spoilers, but yeah. I also very much appreciated Podo's arc here. Characters with a dark past that catches up to them at the worst possible moment aren't exactly uncommon in fantasy fiction, even Christian fantasy fiction. But I think Podo may be one of my favorite examples of such a character. Podo is an old man with scars that run deep, but he hides them well. He's ashamed of what he's done, but not the brooding type of ashamed that's so popular now. And he's afraid — but not solely for himself, and when the time comes, he still stands despite his fear. I could also talk about Gammon . . . but I think I'll hold off on my ramble about him until the next two books rerelease, eh? Suffice it to say that I appreciate him as a character for myriad reasons. Plotwise, this book is a little more straightforward than the last, but still quite full of unexpected twists and turns. It has a few more threads than the last one did as well, which helps keep things moving. And the ending is superb, absolutely superb. Plus, we get to see more of Skree in this book than we did in the last one, which is fun! Once again, if you haven't read this book yet, do so as soon as possible. And if you have read it before, well, maybe it's time for a reread. Trust me, it's worth it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Dickerson

    I'm having a hard time remembering the last time that I shed tears while reading a book, but as I turned the final page of this strange, epic fantasy, I realized I had tears in my eyes. I sat back and sighed, contented (and frustrated that I'll have to wait a year or so for the next stage of the journey!), and thought about the beauty of redemption that this book just gave me a picture of. From a young person's fantasy novel? It's more than that. The Wingfeather saga series, and especially this book I'm having a hard time remembering the last time that I shed tears while reading a book, but as I turned the final page of this strange, epic fantasy, I realized I had tears in my eyes. I sat back and sighed, contented (and frustrated that I'll have to wait a year or so for the next stage of the journey!), and thought about the beauty of redemption that this book just gave me a picture of. From a young person's fantasy novel? It's more than that. The Wingfeather saga series, and especially this book, really defied what I expected of it. Oh, I'll say right off that Andrew Peterson is one of my favorite songwriters. His prose with words and music, and the way he points his listeners to Truth and the eternal light simply amaze me. But I didn't really have high hopes for his new venture as an author of books, as I know what his oddball sense of humor is like (a lot like mine, actually), and it appeared that these books would be imbued with said humor--I mean, the first book is titled "On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness" for cryin' out loud! These would also be Andrew's first foray into long-form book writing, so I figured they'd be cute, funny, and fun to read, but a way for Andrew to experiment and find his footing as an author. I didn't realize I'd find them so deep. Picking right up from where On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness leaves off, Janner, Tink, Leelee, Podo, Nia, and Nugget the dog are thrown almost immediately back into danger, and proceed at a pretty break-neck pace on a journey that's more about learning about themselves, family, love, sin, and redemption than the actual locations they travel to. There are wonderful metaphors in many of the scenes in this book. One of my favorites is when one of the characters gets trapped into a dark, confined space for days, and begins to come to terms with who they are, and how much they don't like themselves. The last two or three chapters are what really did it for me, though, as there are dark, dark secrets that come to light, sins and lives that are forgiven and redeemed, and brothers who find each other. Andrew wrote this like a song, and it is beautiful. This book will now take it's place on the shelf of my all-time favorites. One note of caution, for those of you with young children: the Wingfeather Saga is almost deceptive at first: you feel like, due to the humor and oddball-ness of some of the characters and elements of the world, that this is going to be a pretty mild ride. But things can get pretty dark, and pretty violent. Even though the main characters are all under teenage age, situations can be violent and gruesome, especially for those of us with vivid imaginations. I feel like it works for this story, and is not too much for most children, but use discretion. Thanks, Andrew.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Pindak

    Well, I cried a few times. Wow. So good. I love the character development in this book. And I love the plot twists as well. Some you feel coming, some you long for, some wrench your heart out and some would’ve been so hard to guess. Great, great story!!! Also, 11/10 recommend listening along as Andrew Peterson reads this aloud during the COVID-19 quarantine of 2020. If you have to go through a pandemic, why not listen to some wonderful reading knowing that a whole community of families and frien Well, I cried a few times. Wow. So good. I love the character development in this book. And I love the plot twists as well. Some you feel coming, some you long for, some wrench your heart out and some would’ve been so hard to guess. Great, great story!!! Also, 11/10 recommend listening along as Andrew Peterson reads this aloud during the COVID-19 quarantine of 2020. If you have to go through a pandemic, why not listen to some wonderful reading knowing that a whole community of families and friends are reading along with anticipation of the adventure unfolding a little bit more for 30ish minutes each night? (4/13-5/5/2020)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lila Kims

    Before, I could hardly imagine how North! Or Be Eaten could be any better than the magnificence that was On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Now I understand. (Also, it remains true that I have never related to a protagonist more than I relate to Janner Igiby.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Yogaa Lakshmi

    I am going to make this review really short. The book 'North! Or Be Eaten' is the second book of the Wingfeather Saga. This book is a good sequel but I personally felt that the first book was a bit better. The are loads of bad things happening in this book. By the time I finished this book, I was filled with mixed emotions- anger, happiness, sympathy, sadness etc. The illustrations and the world-building was wonderful. The character-development was also great as most of the characters mature as I am going to make this review really short. The book 'North! Or Be Eaten' is the second book of the Wingfeather Saga. This book is a good sequel but I personally felt that the first book was a bit better. The are loads of bad things happening in this book. By the time I finished this book, I was filled with mixed emotions- anger, happiness, sympathy, sadness etc. The illustrations and the world-building was wonderful. The character-development was also great as most of the characters mature as the story goes on. But this book, unlike the first one, was filled with adventures right from the start. Another thing that I personally liked in this book is the ending which is filled with hope. Overall, this is a great saga, which would be loved by both adults and children, filled with adventure, fantasy, family drama etc. I am eagerly waiting to read the next book! I thank NetGalley and WaterBrook Multnomah for giving me this amazing opportunity to read and review this amazing saga.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Raquel Evans

    I really hate to call this a DNF, even temporarily, but I haven't even picked it up to read in a couple of weeks. As much as I love the idea of this series, it's hard to stay focused on it when there's a scene or paragraph that I love here and there, scattered amongst the filler of necessary plot that isn't holding my interest. I really hate to call this a DNF, even temporarily, but I haven't even picked it up to read in a couple of weeks. As much as I love the idea of this series, it's hard to stay focused on it when there's a scene or paragraph that I love here and there, scattered amongst the filler of necessary plot that isn't holding my interest.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    There is something amazing in turning the page of a book and not recognizing the phantastical creatures that appear not only in the written word, but the occasional well drawn excerpt from Pembrick’s Creaturepedia. Such is the story in Andrew Peterson’s North! Or Be Eaten the second book in the Wingfeather Saga. N!OBE (as it is affectionately known) picks up quite literally where we left the beloved jewels of Anneria at the end of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness living with their Uncle P There is something amazing in turning the page of a book and not recognizing the phantastical creatures that appear not only in the written word, but the occasional well drawn excerpt from Pembrick’s Creaturepedia. Such is the story in Andrew Peterson’s North! Or Be Eaten the second book in the Wingfeather Saga. N!OBE (as it is affectionately known) picks up quite literally where we left the beloved jewels of Anneria at the end of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness living with their Uncle Peet the Sock Man in his treehouse preparing with their mother Nia, and former pirate grandfather Podo, for a trip that will take them north to the Ice Prairies where the Fangs of Dang cannot follow. While the first book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness entertained me with its wit and quick paced movement, I found myself slowing down to capture every moment in this book. I am more invested in the Igiby family and wanted to savour their escape. It was Janner Igiby that I found myself drawn to as I read through the story. It seemed with every page you could see Janner growing into the protector of his family whether he wanted to be or not. It was often times in those moments of not wanting to be protector that he found himself most alone and out of control. I confess I thought I knew how the book ended, but never was I more surprised when I got to the last ten chapters and knew that my plans would wait while with baited breath, tears of sorrow and joy, I found an end that was most unexpected. I could tell you about the songs of the Sea Dragons, the stories that Podo, tells about Stranders and toothy cows, I could even tell you how Janner, Tink, and Leeli begin to believe they truly are the Jewels of Anneria; I could tell you all about those things, but Andrew Peterson does it so much better than I. So curl up any where you dare find, carve out a few hours and read: read about adventures and dangers unknown, read about creatures you have never even dreamed about, read about and remember how we (as much as the Wingfeather family) are created for so much more than we dare dream or imagine

  11. 4 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    Finished with book 2! After I notoriously disliked the first book in this series, I wasn't sure if there was any hope for the second. And at first, things didn't seem much improved. The writing is a little less silly, there are fewer snot, vomit, and bathroom jokes. That's all to the good. But the plot moved surprisingly slowly. I had a few expectations of this book, none of which materialized: 1. There would be a lot of travel, probably spending time getting to know a different island or contine Finished with book 2! After I notoriously disliked the first book in this series, I wasn't sure if there was any hope for the second. And at first, things didn't seem much improved. The writing is a little less silly, there are fewer snot, vomit, and bathroom jokes. That's all to the good. But the plot moved surprisingly slowly. I had a few expectations of this book, none of which materialized: 1. There would be a lot of travel, probably spending time getting to know a different island or continent. I was surprised how small a geographical space this story seems to occupy (though it's kind of hard for me to tell how far apart each location is). For much of the book, it feels like they're still within a few miles of their starting point in book 1. And even within the range of geography in this book, there's a lot of back and forth among places they've already been. A really frustrating thing related to this is that the story is made up entirely of "Oh no, we've been caught and there's no way out! Whew—rescued, just in the nick of time!" moments. When that happens too often, the stakes plummet and I no longer worry about the characters. Instead, I just sit back and think, "Well, I'm sure Peet will swoop in and save them again or something, any minute now." And then it happens, and they move on to the next crisis. 2. Background information about Gnag. I thought by this point in the story, we'd know something about Gnag. I assume he'll be revealed to be some part of the Wingfeather family, but it hasn't been revealed yet. If I'm right in my assumption, then I wish they'd reveal it sooner, because it will be disappointing to be expected to be surprised at a later stage. In general, the enemy motivation in this story is still really vague. A new enemy is introduced, with very creepy Jadis-like powers, but we don't know anything about her, either. 3. Someone significant will die. I felt like the story should have someone important meet their demise. There is someone who meets a strange and disturbing change, but no one dies, even near the end when it seems like someone is going to. It would've been fine to have that happen, instead of yet another nick-of-time save. As the story progressed, I was puzzled by how many different tropes were being introduced. But by midway through, I actually kind of enjoyed the bizarre mishmash of different story elements. None of that was really hinted at in the first book, which makes that book feel even more pointless and unnecessary. Thus in book 2, I never expected a Dickensian child-labor factory—but after the initial "Huh??" it kind of works. Other pieces of this weird puzzle: Zorro, the abominable snowman, the Hoth Rebel base, Prydain's cauldron-born, Peter Pan's Lost Boys, Pinocchio's Pleasure Island, Narnia's battle on the frozen river, and of course, Middle-Earth (in a Bridge of Khazad-dûm homage that is far, far too close to the real scene in Fellowship of the Ring). I'm probably forgetting more. It's weird, but by the end of the book I liked it. I do wish Andrew Peterson was confident enough to let the story branch out further beyond just Janner's perspective. I feel Peterson is too timid about this, maybe worried that readers wouldn't be able to follow along. It feels strange to not know what certain characters are doing for days and days, simply because we have to keep following Janner. That frustration is aggravated when we do see a few scenes of what's happening with Peet. So it's entirely possible to have multiple story threads bringing more complexity to the book; but it's not happening. The conclusion of the book finally starts to raise some very intriguing ideas about identity, regret, justice, and forgiveness. Throughout the first book, I wondered if Podo was actually Gnag in some "old pirate" transformation, playing a very long game to trap the royal family. I don't think that's true now, but what is revealed about him at least affirms my suspicions that there's something shady about his past. I still don't particularly care about any of the characters, which is a shame, given that the series is halfway done. Kalmar's decision midway through this book seems to come out of nowhere. But the most annoying character is Leeli, who so far has never done anything wrong nor made a single mistake. She is always right, always wise, always sweet 'n' cute. Eventually we need some character development for Little Miss Perfect. It's like bringing Tiny Tim along as part of the fellowship of the ring. I also wish I knew what the title is about. I assume it must be a pun on some common phrase, but I can't think what it is. Otherwise, it's not a great title.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Kyriosity

    Another nasty piece of work by Andrew Peterson. Sure, it started out OK -- the first hundred percent was thoroughly engaging and lovely...funny, tense, and moving in all the right places -- but after that, ugh! it stank like a flatulent Fang.

  13. 4 out of 5

    E.F.B.

    AAAAWWWWW!!! <33333 That was a positively lovely ending (for this book in particular, anyway. The saga still continues.) and I just... *cries* I don't even quite know how to review this one. Truly, so much happened and it was sad and happy and dramatic and touching, and occasionally still some funny/cute bits, but less funny than the first book. SO MANY FEELS. I also don't want to spoil anyone who hasn't read it yet, so I guess the most I can really say is that the themes of endurance through gr AAAAWWWWW!!! <33333 That was a positively lovely ending (for this book in particular, anyway. The saga still continues.) and I just... *cries* I don't even quite know how to review this one. Truly, so much happened and it was sad and happy and dramatic and touching, and occasionally still some funny/cute bits, but less funny than the first book. SO MANY FEELS. I also don't want to spoil anyone who hasn't read it yet, so I guess the most I can really say is that the themes of endurance through great hardship, unconditional love, and forgiveness are so strong. *cries again* And the characters and the story and the world. They're all so rich and deep and I NEED BOOKS 3 AND 4 NOW!!! I NEED to see their purty new covers and learn the stories inside them. Why do we have to wait until September??? *weeps* Definitely 5 stars all the way. Content Advisory: I'll repeat what I said above: A LOT HAPPENED IN THIS BOOK. That, combined with the fact that I listened to Andrew Peterson read it over the span of three weeks instead of reading it with my eyeballs, I don't feel I can be as detailed as I usually like to be. I will try to give a general summary of the content, though. Romance/Sexual: The closest anything came to this was when an old woman Podo (sp?) used to know and was always in love with him, asked him to kiss her. He does, but Janner doesn't look, so there's no description, and the author plays it for laughs and squirms. Spiritual: Continued references to The Maker, His will, and His protection throughout. Characters pray and prayers are answered. Violence: This is where I would say the book, in my mind at least, leans more into the lower Young Adult category than Middle Grade, though, again, I will note that I was pretty sensitive to scary fantasy things back when I was 12 and younger. Probably more so than the average fantasy-reading kid that age, especially these days. Obviously, I grew out of it and nothing in this book truly bothered me personally, AND it was clear during the readalong that parents and kids much younger than 12, or even 9 were listening along and enjoying it, so just know your child and use your best judgement. There is just as much, if not more violence in this book than the last one. Blood of humans and non-humans gets mentioned semi-frequently, but it's never so much that I would consider it gory or gross. All the characters are in peril pretty much constantly, yet I don't remember anyone important dying besides (view spoiler)[ the giant dog, who dies in a moment of self-sacrifice to save his humans. It does seem he's permanently gone this time. (hide spoiler)] (Fellow fans, correct me if I'm wrong about there only being one death. There truly was a lot that happened in this book and I'm not sure I fully trust my memory when listening to a book instead of reading it with my eyes.) Some of the characters are in so much peril, there is some concern about if they'll survive. Janner in particular goes through some dark times and scary places and it's difficult to watch him struggle. The struggle helps him grow and become a better person, though, so there is a point to it. Speaking of the scary things, the "Fangs" from the first book continue to be present. Then we discover that they've built a machine of some sort where they send a human and a wolf inside and a hybrid being comes out. (Not explained.) These wolf/human hybrids are called "Grey Fangs" and are apparently more dangerous and stronger than the original snake-like Fangs. Other human/animal hybrids can be made, too, as one character sprouts bird-like wings and talons. Whether the process can be reversed has not yet been revealed, but apparently the human inside the hybrid can be reminded of their true identity and overcome their new animalistic tendencies. Janner and family also encounter an insect-like creature with a fairly scary description that has a lair full of the remains of Fangs and toothy cows. Janner himself ends up in a very scary location where some children are captured and taken to do hard labor as slaves. It they do things wrong or try to escape they can be beaten or put in "the coffin" for days. Both happen to Janner more than once and some of the pain of his injuries is described. A mention or two of someone thinking they heard bones crack.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Ok, ok, I guess this wasn't as bad as I've been making out, after all. But seriously, the main characters never stop running away! There's always some fresh danger, never a moment's rest. It's a never-ending cycle of out of the frying pan and into the fire, then back into the frying pan again. Other than this, though, I thought the story was good... Ok, ok, I guess this wasn't as bad as I've been making out, after all. But seriously, the main characters never stop running away! There's always some fresh danger, never a moment's rest. It's a never-ending cycle of out of the frying pan and into the fire, then back into the frying pan again. Other than this, though, I thought the story was good...

  15. 5 out of 5

    ryan elizabeth

    4/5 Now I totally understand why everyone says they get better as you go on. The only reason I'm giving this book a 4 star rating instead of 4.5 or 5 is because the first half or so wasn't very engaging. Don't get me wrong, it was still very good, but the second half was AMAZING. It was so much more intense and exciting than the first book (and first half of this one), and I am definitely looking forward to reading the next two books! 4/5 Now I totally understand why everyone says they get better as you go on. The only reason I'm giving this book a 4 star rating instead of 4.5 or 5 is because the first half or so wasn't very engaging. Don't get me wrong, it was still very good, but the second half was AMAZING. It was so much more intense and exciting than the first book (and first half of this one), and I am definitely looking forward to reading the next two books!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lili P

    This one was so much more intense! I was thrilled and hooked the whole time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lillian

    We listened to this book as a family just as we did with the first book. I really enjoyed it. It’s a great book!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joel Wentz

    Very rarely have I had such mixed feelings about a series of books as I have about the Wingfeather Saga thus far. On one hand, there are long sequences that are nailbiting and difficult to put down, in a great way. There are well-timed reveals about certain characters, and the world Peterson is building gets more interesting as the story continues (and I'm a huge sucker for good world-building). On the other, Peterson gets way too bogged down in efforts to be cutesy and funny, and honestly, even Very rarely have I had such mixed feelings about a series of books as I have about the Wingfeather Saga thus far. On one hand, there are long sequences that are nailbiting and difficult to put down, in a great way. There are well-timed reveals about certain characters, and the world Peterson is building gets more interesting as the story continues (and I'm a huge sucker for good world-building). On the other, Peterson gets way too bogged down in efforts to be cutesy and funny, and honestly, even after two hefty books, I don't have a strong sense of the characterization of the main 3 protagonists. This is especially troubling because the narrative really hangs on the fate of these 3 kids, and I find it difficult to connect with them (especially the sister, Leeli, who seemingly has almost no human characteristics aside from a gimpy leg). I continue to connect most with Peet, and to a lesser degree Podo the Grandfather, but as these are peripheral characters I simply feel that a huge opportunity is lost with the main children. Similarly, the villains are a bit simplistic and cartoony. In a weird way, the Fangs almost aren't scary at all, though they are supposed to be the fearsome antagonists who push the family to flee their hometown. Overall....I don't know quite yet about this one. There is enough here for me to keep reading, and I genuinely am curious to see how Peterson will wrap up the story threads, but I am honestly a little baffled to see how much these books are getting praised. There are likable elements here, but I can think of many young-adult-fantasy series that I would recommend over this, at least so far.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christine Norvell

    What a complete delight! Vivid settings and creatures. Action and humor in batches. "The Throne Warden protects more than the High King's flesh. He protects his soul by reminding him at every turn what is good and noble and true in the world. He protects not just the king but the kingdom as well. It is his job to remember and remind." As the second book in the series, it might have been a less-than, and at first I thought, "Oh sure, like all fantasies, let's just have our characters pursued and What a complete delight! Vivid settings and creatures. Action and humor in batches. "The Throne Warden protects more than the High King's flesh. He protects his soul by reminding him at every turn what is good and noble and true in the world. He protects not just the king but the kingdom as well. It is his job to remember and remind." As the second book in the series, it might have been a less-than, and at first I thought, "Oh sure, like all fantasies, let's just have our characters pursued and go from one escape to the next." But I was dead wrong. The plot and characters quickly deepened, and story threads connected and then extended. And the characters. I cheered for them all. Cannot recommend Peterson highly enough. His writing is delightful. I'm only sorry I discovered these stories ten years after their publication.

  20. 5 out of 5

    David

    Its a really awesome book! One of the things that I love the most about this book is that the Igibys never gives up hope even though it looks like there was no hopes left. Another thing is that there was always a great ending to these Wingfeather Saga books. If I was in the Fork Factory I would also be hopeless because of the way the Overseer and his mean Maintenance Managers treating the us as " tools". The only way I have hope in the Fork Factory was if I have some kids who has hope and that t Its a really awesome book! One of the things that I love the most about this book is that the Igibys never gives up hope even though it looks like there was no hopes left. Another thing is that there was always a great ending to these Wingfeather Saga books. If I was in the Fork Factory I would also be hopeless because of the way the Overseer and his mean Maintenance Managers treating the us as " tools". The only way I have hope in the Fork Factory was if I have some kids who has hope and that they wanted to get out of the Fork Factory together.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Kassing

    This is my first time through these books but they are really enjoyable. I'd highly recommend them at this point in the series. This is my first time through these books but they are really enjoyable. I'd highly recommend them at this point in the series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Barker

    What a beautiful story of remembrance. An action packed book that will keep you on your toes and leave you longing for Anniera.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Winter

    Really enjoyed this one, it's a great sequel. Really enjoyed this one, it's a great sequel.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michaela Bush

    This one is easily my favorite of the first two.  While I loved the fast-moving pace of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, this book picks right up and dives into something deeper and grittier.  Some of the elements surprised me as being in a middle-grade novel because it deals with extremely real situations like child labor, kids being kidnapped and mercilessly put to work in a factory, and some other matters. Again, Peterson infuses the very ordinary/daily life into the extraordinary, as This one is easily my favorite of the first two.  While I loved the fast-moving pace of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, this book picks right up and dives into something deeper and grittier.  Some of the elements surprised me as being in a middle-grade novel because it deals with extremely real situations like child labor, kids being kidnapped and mercilessly put to work in a factory, and some other matters. Again, Peterson infuses the very ordinary/daily life into the extraordinary, as he did with Book 1.  It's so jam-packed with action that I feel like if I say anything about it, I'll be spoiling something...So beware! Continue with caution.   Through a series of truly heartrending events, the kids have to fight through circumstances that are either brought on by themselves or by those around them - not even the adults are blameless here - and they have to do a lot of maturing in order to find a way out.  It's a book that, right down to the wire, you're wondering if they will really get out of that scrape alive....and it's "out of the frying pan and into the fire" (to quote Tolkien) for the next crisis.  There are a lot of twists and turns that are well-done, things that you won't see coming, and problems that are riveting.  Again, the prose is wonderfully executed - typical Peterson - and some scenes are especially touching.  I can think of about three or four in particular that really got to me, but I can't even name names because then the book will be spoiled.  But let me just say that if a middle-grade novel is making a "doesn't like to cry" adult reader tear up, it's doing something right.  Again, there are many themes that readers of all ages will gain something from; I might even say that if your kiddos read this book when they're young and re-read once they're adults, they might gain new layers to the story from circumstances that are more nuanced.  Tink (excuse me, Kalmar) and Peet's journeys were especially touching in this book, and although the book follows Janner more closely, it seems like the other characters are developed more in this book than in the first one.  And from what I can tell, the story's really just beginning!  

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becca Dolly

    #2 of the series and it starts off with a bang! From start to finish this book was non stop action and gripped me right away. Compared to the first in this series, it was much more engaging and interesting from the beginning. It felt way more serious too, but with deeper meaning. Looking forward to where they will travel next!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Oh, traditional gender roles.... you find a way to be everywhere, don't you? While the grandfather, the portly bookkeeper, and the two grandsons are adventuring and swinging their swords and daggers, mum and granddaughter are always in the background being protected. There is one fairly activist female character, and the family mentions numerous times that she "needs work." Again, I was fairly turned off by the overt Christianity of this book (why don't you just hit me over the head with your me Oh, traditional gender roles.... you find a way to be everywhere, don't you? While the grandfather, the portly bookkeeper, and the two grandsons are adventuring and swinging their swords and daggers, mum and granddaughter are always in the background being protected. There is one fairly activist female character, and the family mentions numerous times that she "needs work." Again, I was fairly turned off by the overt Christianity of this book (why don't you just hit me over the head with your messages a little harder?), but I was more disturbed by how easily traditional gender roles were reinforced. This is a book that gets listed as a "safe YA book" (in that it doesn't deal with issues that will make your teen want to worship the devil like Harry Potter ::read the heavy sarcasm here:: or real life issues such as sex, drugs, cheating, or illness). Sure, it's safe. If you want to live by mythical standards. I'm reading the third book because I can't leave a series unfinished, but I don't have high expectations.

  27. 5 out of 5

    ReaderofLegends

    This review has been a long time coming but this book still deserves every star. Unlike the first book, which could be accused of being slightly slow, this one picks up the pace, throws in higher stakes, a whole lot of twists and turns, and the Wingfeathers' first big adventures. Also, it has the (view spoiler)[new and improved Artham (hide spoiler)] in it, so you can't go wrong. Oh, and also (view spoiler)[the Fork Factory (hide spoiler)] . *shudders* Overall, a wonderful journey that will certa This review has been a long time coming but this book still deserves every star. Unlike the first book, which could be accused of being slightly slow, this one picks up the pace, throws in higher stakes, a whole lot of twists and turns, and the Wingfeathers' first big adventures. Also, it has the (view spoiler)[new and improved Artham (hide spoiler)] in it, so you can't go wrong. Oh, and also (view spoiler)[the Fork Factory (hide spoiler)] . *shudders* Overall, a wonderful journey that will certainly lead you on to the next book!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzannah

    YOWZA.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    Now that's more like it. Much better than book one. I'm hooked. Now that's more like it. Much better than book one. I'm hooked.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bonita

    This second tale of the Wingfeather Saga

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