Sunday, December 7, 2014

North or Be Eaten

by Andrew Peterson
330 pages / 2009

The second book in the Wingfeather Saga is more serious and somber than the first, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness but author Andrew Peterson's whimsy is still in full evidence here, starting with the title, and continuing on throughout the book, as our heroes meet:
  • a hag with a schoolgirl crush
  • a villain who can be bought off with fruit
  • and the Florrid Sword, who, in the midst of battle, shows himself to be a remarkable swordsman and an even better wordsmith
I don't often review more than one book in a series like this because, well, who's going to start a series based on a recommendation of the second book? But I'm making an exception this time around because I wanted to be able to double down on my previous recommendation - this is another wonderful book in a simply a fantastic series!

There's lots to love here, but one of things I particularly appreciated is how Peterson talks about magic. There's always magic in Fantasy series, and that's the reason that some Christians have a problem with this genre – magic belongs to the supernatural, and the supernatural is God's domain, so hands off wizards, sorcerers and other enchanting sorts!

But Peterson ensures that the magic in this series remains firmly in God's domain. As the children's mother Nia explains to her son Janner:
What is magic anyway? If you asked a kitten, "how does a bumblebee fly?" the answer would probably be "Magic!" [The world] is full of wonders and some call it magic. This is a gift from the Maker - it isn't something that [your sister] Leeli created or meant to do, nor did you mean to see these images You didn't seek to bend the ways of the world to your will. You stumbled on this thing the way a kitten happens upon a flower where a bumblebee has lit.
So the magic in this series isn't a means by which a man can become god-like, but is instead, a wonder given by God to men. And that makes all the difference in the world!

This is listed as for Young Adults but kids as young as 12 could certainly enjoy it. And I would particularly recommend this for dads who read to their kids - then this might be good for as young as ten, and dad will enjoy it as much as they do. You can buy a copy at by clicking here.

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