Deep Themes and Elbow-Slapping Oddities
Monsters of various shapes and sizes, all possessing crazy names and eating habits. Vivid descriptions. The power, beauty, and magic of music. Trust, betrayal, wounds, loss, sacrifice. Joy in the morning. Transformations. Guilt and Forgiveness. Seeing a loved one’s deepest, darkest evil, and loving them anyway. Shame. Brothers. Responsibility and love. A wildly overdone, masked, flowery-speaking swashbuckler called the Florid Sword. A castle built to look like a crouching kitten.
Yes, this is a very unique book. Ridiculous, tragic, and bursting with gladness by turn. And it all balances and fits together beautifully! How in all Aerwiar did Peterson do it?
Frightening! Heartening! Stupendous!North! Or Be Eaten was my favorite book to read in a long, long time. I cried, laughed out loud, and groaned by turn at the choices characters made. I was there in the land of Scree, smelled the odious odors, saw the marvelous architecture, shivered under the dull eyes of the Maintenance Managers of the Fork! Factory!, and struggled with Janner Igiby as he faced hard decision after harder decision.
The first book was frightening enough. Now Janner struggles with even bigger problems than nasty Fangs - such as facing his own darkness, battling bitterness, and learning what it means to protect his brother with his life. And he meets characters much, much worse than quill diggles... though he has a run in with one of those, too. (See picture below, taken from Pembrick's Creaturepedia.)
I closed the book with a sign of sadness and tears of deep joy. I eagerly await the third book, but I’m not worried. Peterson is proving that each new book will be more than worth the wait.
Music I Recommend to Accompany Reading
- The Lord of the Rings soundtracks. The book could have been written to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack – it goes so well, especially at one spot early on which reminded me particularly of a scene in Fellowship of the Ring, which I can’t tell you about until you read it. ;-)
- Andrew Peterson albums. And, as my friend Catie said, if you read Andrew Peterson’s books while listening to his music, “You feel like you really know the guy!” His stories and songs explain one another’s hidden depths and layers of truth like nothing else could.
Both books are available in a bundle for $20 HERE – an amazing deal! And autographed, too! His music albums can be found on the same website. If you want to hear a sample of his songwriting and musical style, his Behold the Lamb of God should give you a marvelous, wondrous taste.
And here is the official Wingfeather Saga website. Check out the facinating Creaturepedia, as well as the insightful quotes from Oskar N. Reteep on the sidebar.
I plan to do at least one more post on more reasons I so enjoyed this book, so check back soon if you're interested in a bit more excited rambling and perhaps some delicious quotes!