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The Wingfeather Saga continues (read book one’s review here) with Andrew Peterson’s second book: North! Or Be Eaten. It’s an excellent second book and really proves the entire series as well worth reading. The book ups the stakes significantly from the first book: betrayals, escapes, and hopeless situations abound. Yet somehow, everything lines up for even bigger happenings in book three.

The Igiby children have left their home after discovering that they are the precious Jewels of Anniera — crown children of the throne of Anniera, which has been overrun by Gnag the Nameless and the Fangs of Dang. In order to escape Gnag’s reach, the Igibys and their mother and grandfather flee to the Ice Prairies, the only free land left in Skree. But on the way they are separated, and must brave the Fork Factory, back-stabbing Stranders, and even the threat of betrayal. There’s much more at stake than book one, and it seems impossible that the Igibys will make it safely to their destination.

The first book was a solid start to the series that I hoped would set the tone for better books to come. North! Or Be Eaten steps up the game, making for an excellent second entry in the series. There is so much more to lose, and the Igibys come much closer to losing everything than they ever did in book one. Danger is present, and the worst possible turn of events keeps getting worse and worse by the end of the book. At the same time, this isn’t a depressing book like the last Hunger Games book. Everything is more vivid and present than the first book, but Andrew Peterson doesn’t shunt the resolution over to book three. Instead, everything ties up mostly neatly in this book, as a unit, while still leaving tendrils of the bigger story ready for the final two books in the series.

The Wingfeather Saga really opened with the feel of bedtime stories for kids. While that feel is still there in this book, it’s much reduced. The story has gotten more serious and picked up the pace, and the humour is present only in smaller doses. Sly footnotes and illustrated Creaturepedia entries are less common than book one. In a way this is totally fine &emdash; the series presents itself as a bedtime story, perhaps, but the books grow up with the children. I’m anticipating the further books to continue on this pace as they devote more time to resolving all of the story threads that the first book launched out so light-heartedly.

It’s hard to go wrong with North! Or Be Eaten. I’d recommend the series — again — and say that you could do much worse. Time will put the Wingfeather Saga next to Narnia and Lord of the Rings, I believe. Even if they’re not quite so “epic” in scope and size, the Wingfeather Saga books are full of good, solid writing that has solid truth as a foundation. These are books I’d be proud to read my kids, and even as an adult I enjoy them myself. Andrew Peterson has done an excellent job continuing the story in North!, and I look forward to the third book.

Andrew

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North! Or Be Eaten — Andrew Peterson, $11.90

Published on 6 November, 2014. Last updated on

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Into the Book was born out of a crazy idea of a blog that'd provide book reviews for teens. There aren't very many book review websites out there exposing awesome, high-quality Christian literature, and there are even fewer that target teenagers. Since 2009, we've been providing high-quality book reviews to the world through our blog. Into the Book has grown around reviews since then, but it remains our oldest project.

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