Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Review: The Wingfeather Saga

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A several months ago one of my dear readers recommended this four-book children's series to me.  I can't remember who that was at this point, but whoever it was.... thank you so much!  
And then on the other hand.... How could you??  Nevermind, it's not your fault.  You can't help the- oh, sorry, spoilers.  -_-  I'll just get to the review, I guess.

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In the land of Skree, there lives a lovely family known as the Igibys.  And aside from when they sing in the garden, or when they tell lively tales, or when they play zibzy, they are pretty miserable.  The nasty Fangs of Dang overshadow any happy moment in the lives of the three Igiby children, Janner, Tink and Leeli.  But they know very well that as long as they keep quiet and stay away from the dark forest where the Toothy Cows live, they'll be fine....
Until one little dog bites the wrong Fang and all Deeps break loose. 
Suddenly, Janner and his siblings are thrown into turmoil as their lives turn upside down.  The Nameless Evil named Gnag the Nameless searches relentlessly for the Jewels of Anniera, and it's up to the Igibys to make sure he NEVER gets them.  Mystery, lies, secrets, and danger lie around every corner.  To defeat the darkness, the Igibys will embark on a journey that will change them forever...
IF they are not eaten first. And IF they can survive the Dark Sea of Darkness.
Maker help us.

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Image result for wingfeather saga the igiby familyThis series is among the most enjoyable I've ever read.  In fact, I don't believe I've read a fantasy book that made me laugh quite so much as these ones did. 
 Andrew Peterson has created something unique here.  The tone reminds me of a perfect combination of C.S. Lewis, Lemony Snicket, and Dr. Seuss.  One moment it was heartwarming, the next hilarious, and then quite dark indeed.  And all of it laced with distinctly Christian views, though the series itself is not overtly Christian.  
The world of Aerwiar is enchanting, though quite dangerous.  There is great beauty and whimsy, and also a load of crazy, scary creatures that you should thank your stars don't really exist!  
And the characters!  Oh, how I loved the characters.  They were the highlight of the series for me.  Well, them and the hilarious footnotes scattered throughout the books to expand on various wacko ideas and history.
Janner, the main character, is the oldest of three children, and his mother and grandfather have raised him to be the protector of his younger brother and sister, Tink and Leeli.  I found him incredibly relatable- probably because of him being the oldest (and a writer!), but also because of his very personality.  He is perhaps a little grumpier than I, but the things he struggles with really do mirror my own personal faults.   Though lovable, Janner struggles with apathy, pride, and selfishness- which can probably be applied to anyone, but his emotional reaction to those faults is pretty much how I would have done at his age.
And I just must say that my new character love is Artham P. Wingfeather.  Not a crush, mind you, but more of a... squish.  A squish is what my sisters and I call that feeling when you just like someone a lot, and want to be their friend, and want the best for them no matter what, and seeing them happy makes you smile inside.  
Artham was such an interesting individual.  I can't really talk about him much without giving much away, so I'd best stop while I have the chance.  
The other characters were wonderful too.  There are too many for me to talk about, so I'll just get down to the pros and cons.  


Okay, maybe I should have labeled the above section as Pros instead, since I've already sung the praises of the lovely series.  But, in a nutshell, The Wingfeather Saga is full of loveable, memorable characters, witty humor and an emotional plot that's sure to draw anyone in, whether they're 10 or 100.  Themes of redemption are woven through all the books, which opens up many discussion opportunities for parents who wish to teach their children about God and the redemption that He offer us.


(Spoilers ahead.  No names are mentioned, but just the same...)

These books do have a dark side though.  The antagonists are quite evil, and there are a lot of sad things that happen to the characters, and it's not the kind of bad think where you can just shrug it off and say, "Oh well, in the next chapter everything will be alright."  The tragedies that occur throughout the series have lasting consequences.  Some sequences can be a bit intense and may be frightening to children.  (SPOILER: for instance, the villain creates his minions by transforming humans into beast-like creatures, causing them to lose their free will.)
Parents should be aware that themes of imprisonment are prominent through the stories.  Children are captured by the enemy and snatched away from their parents, and they are locked up in prisons or made to work in factories with no reason to hope for rescue.  One character is revealed to have been captured and tortured for quite some time, and he has never been the same since then.  Characters are changed forever by the events that transpire, though in the end things are worked out for the best.   There are some character deaths too, which may be quite upsetting to young readers or listeners.  Parents will be the best judge for their children, since they know what they can handle.


I would recommend this series wholeheartedly to anyone who loves fantasy, comedy, drama, and adventure.  Just a word to the wise, though- it is emotional, and so be prepared as you read.
For young readers, I would personally recommend you to be thirteen and up before reading this book on your own.  However, as I said, that depends on the parent, the kid, and the family.  If you can handle it, great!  Because this series is not something that should be missed by anyone.

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-Emmarayn Redding

(DISCLAIMER:  Images taken from The Wingfeather Saga)


  1. Yay, you read Wingfeather! I give 5 to 1 odds that I'm the one who recommended it to you- I love this series so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    And, yes, Artham. Artham is amazing. He's probably my favorite character in the entire book.

    1. I think it was either you, or Dmitri Pendragon. :D I'm so glad to have read it too.... this is a series you should not go through life without reading.

  2. The Wingfeather Saga! I love this series!
    I have yet to read the last book, however.

    Did you know that the writer is also a musician? I strongly recommend his music.

    1. I did know that! I haven't heard his music, though! I really should. :D