21 September 2009

North! Or Be Eaten: a book review

Tink squatted near the [toothy] cow’s head and poked it with a stick.

“So there are fangs nearby,” Janner said, eying the bloody spear.

“No, lad,” Podo said. “This ain’t a Fang spear. Far too fine a weapon for that. This explains why we’ve not seen any critters before now.” He threw the spear aside and wiped his hand on his breeches. “Stranders.”

“NOW will you tell us what a Strander is?” Tink asked.

“Aye,” Podo said darkly. “Theives and killers. If they’re around, we need to move, and fast. The sooner we get clear of the forest, the better.”

High adventure best describes North! Or be Eaten by critically acclaimed and award winning singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson. In his second book, the Igby children face serious danger with their mother, the long lost queen, and their story-telling pirate grandfather, but with the help of the Maker, they overcome. In this story the reader explores even more of the world of Aerwiar and learns of the hideous, yet ferociously humorous appearance, of the creature that inhabit that world as the Igby family flees from the “Ghastly Fangs of Dang.” Learning of their royal blood in the last book, Peterson explores growing up and earning responsibility (whether you want it or not). Janner struggles with the responsibility of watching over his brother Tink, who cannot seem to muster the courage to face the fact that he will rule a kingdom. Leeli, their little sister has to face grief on an enormous scale.

As with his first book in the Wingfeather Saga (On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness), Peterson has filled this book with humor, adventure, and insight. It seems as if both books have been written to be read aloud, and judging from the focus of the books, that means aloud with your family. Parents, children, and siblings will relate easily to the Igby family and their struggles as a family growing up in a tough world. Not too mention the book has enough meat to entertain and challenge all of the generations in a family.

Andrew Peterson has proved time and again that in the space of a four-minute song he can tell a powerful and compelling story. Now, with the publishing of the first two books in the Wingfeather Saga, Peterson has proved he can do something that made The Chronicles of Narnia intriguing and compelling. He can create a world that, at the end of the book, you do not want to leave. If you enjoy reading with your family, adventure, or good books (you should fall in there somewhere) pick up On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and North! Or Be Eaten. I guarantee you will not want to leave them. Oh, and beware of the toothy cows!

Andrew Peterson is the author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One in the Wingfeather Saga, and The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats. He’s also the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and recording artist of ten albums, including Resurrection Letters II. He and his wife, Jamie, live with their two sons and one daughter in a little house they call The Warren near Nashville, TN.

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