Review: Wingfeather Saga

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Wingfeather saga first boTitle: The Wingfeather Saga

Author: Andrew Peterson

RRP: £7.99 (paperback)

Published by: Hodder Faith young Explorers

Perfect for: children aged 7-100 who enjoy fantasy adventure and stories which are made up but true

Best bit:  It’s a series of four books, so picking one best bit is HARD, but personally I love the last chapter in book 3, where Podo Helmer, an old pirate and Grandad, finds peace

Worst bit: Only four books? I could read them forever!

More thoughts:

I got the first book in this series, On the edge of the dark sea of darkness, from an online recommendation, and I wanted to check if it wasn’t too scary for my girls (ages 8 and 10). I got reading it at night, and couldn’t put it down! I decided it was probably a bit scary for them, but enjoyed it so much that I ended up finishing the book and getting book 2! While I was reading book 3, my girls discovered I was reading the series, and wanted to know about it. I read a few pages to them, without any spoilers.

I then came across the books on Audible, which we use in the car, and played them a sample (which you can do without buying the book).

They were immediately and completely hooked and insisted I buy the whole series!

We’ve been listening to them on EVERY car journey, no matter how short, and they have been loving them.

I love the combination of fantastic adventure, brilliant characters with real-life problems, deep emotional lives and truths buried in plain sight all over the place.

The dynamic between the three siblings is so real – lots of fights and disharmony! – and the love of their Mother and Grandfather is almost tangible! The ‘baddies’ are Fangs of Dang, which sound bad even without knowing what they are! And the top baddie is Gnag the Nameless, who we haven’t really met even though we’re in book 3!

I would recommend these to children who can cope with a bit of scary, but for families who want wholesome, truth-filled stories. They’re not for the faint-hearted, or for people wanting a family devotional style story, but they are wonderful books which would make a good present as well. They do talk about praying to The Maker a bit but otherwise are not overtly Christian while having masses of Christian and Biblical truth woven into the story in not-cringy ways.

There are many quotes I love, but this is one of my favourites and is about Podo Helmer, the grandfather of the three protagonists, who had hidden his shady past from his family until a time when circumstances compelled him to tell the truth about what he had done and who he had been. However, it didn’t have the impact that he had so long feared:

“He moved through the days in peace and wonder, for his whole story had been told for the first time, and he found that he was still loved. (North! or Be Eaten, p. 321)

Ahhh! Thank you Andrew Peterson for this wonderful line! And for your magnificent reading of the Audible version – I especially love Oscar N Reteep’s voice!

If you’ve tried these yet, I totally recommend you do!

While discussing the book on a Facebook group, I came across this recommendation which I felt described the series well:

“I’m a huge Tolkien fan, so I found the first book too light and jokey. But then the second book was almost as good as Narnia, and the third book was as good as Tolkien and had me in floods of tears by the end. Then in the fourth book, the absurdly talented Mr Peterson showed that all the seemingly jokey asides in the first book were essential parts of the plot all along! I would strongly recommend these books.” Matt Hornby