Friday, March 27, 2020

Reasons to Love the Wingfeather Saga (Part the First)

Hey'a, everyone! So, as I mentioned in last week's post, Andrew Peterson and Waterbrook Press recently re-released the first two Wingfeather Saga books, and I made the release street team. As you may also remember, the release took place the week that everything descended into chaos and madness, which meant I neither reread the books in as timely a fashion as I intended nor blogged about them when I planned. But, better late than never, and I'll take any excuse to ramble about the books I love! So, here is Part the First of my non-exhaustive list of reasons to love (and read, and reread, and reread again) the Wingfeather Saga. I'll be focusing primarily on the first two books, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and North! Or Be Eaten in this post, and I'll talk about the other two books, Monster in the Hollows and The Warden and the Wolf King, in my second post, which will go up when those two rerelease. Hopefully the world will be a little less crazy then, yeah?

Reasons to Love the Wingfeather Saga
(Part the First)

  1. It's a very family-oriented series. I mean this in both senses. It is a story that the whole family can enjoy (and my whole family does, and so do the wholes of several other families I know that include a much wider variety of ages). But it's also a story very focused on familial relationships. That's consistent across all four novels, but you get the biggest variety of those relationships in these first two novels. These two are also where you most clearly see the relationship between Leeli and her grandfather, which has a special place in my heart.
  2. It has footnotes! I've mentioned this before, but I love footnotes in fantasy. Whether used seriously or in humor, I feel like they give another layer of depth to the narrative and worldbuilding. In some respects, they give some of the effects of having a Silmarillion-and-then-some behind the story without having to actually write those background books (unless you want to). In any case, they certainly make the story feel like something that's been given to you out of that world, and they give the author a chance to add all the fun little asides that they can't put in the actual story.
  3. It has absolutely amazing artwork (in the new versions). Practically speaking, I recognize why most fantasy novels don't have a lot of artwork in them. Artwork requires an artist, and getting an artist requires a fair bit of money and time. However, I do think that good artwork dropped in here and there in appropriate places can help bring a story to life. So, I quite enjoy the fact that the new editions of the Wingfeather Saga has some absolutely gorgeous art at key points. Plus, the characters (except for two) actually look like I imagined them! Which is awesome!
  4. You need to meet Artham. Look, I am not going to make a list of my favorite heroes in fantasy fiction. Even if you let me make two lists, one for heroes and one for heroines, I'd spend the entire time second-guessing my picks. But one of the few who I wouldn't second-guess hails from these books, and his name is Artham. If you've read the books, you know who I mean and you most likely agree. Artham is magnificent, and his part of the story contains some of the most heartbreaking lows and the most thrilling triumphs. (Other people might argue with me on that. That's fine. I'm probably biased.) And besides being a great character, Artham has inspired some of my characters, so . . . yeah. He's cool.
  5. It's a story about kids who are actually kids and are treated like kids (but not in a bad way). Maybe I've just gotten salty and cynical as I've become an adult-ish person, but I become more and more frustrated with some fantasy books in which the kids are given an unrealistic amount of responsibility and then handle it unrealistically well, or where it's constantly the kids solving the problems because the adults are, for some mysterious reason, unable to do so. But in the Wingfeather books, the kids are kids. They generally think like kids and act like kids, and they're treated like kids. When they aren't treated like kids, when they're forced into situations that force them to grow up too fast, that strip away joy and innocence, it's treated as a genuine tragedy. And I appreciate that a lot.
Have you read the Wingfeather Saga yet? What do you think are the biggest reasons to love it? If you haven't read it yet, have I convinced you to give it a try? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah Pennington


  1. I LOOOOOVE this series! And it's certainly time for a reread, but I'm hoping to purchase the new editions for my library first---they're GORGEOUSSSSSSSS.

    My top reasons I love this so much are:
    1] THE FOOTNOTES. Seriously, I laugh at nearly every. Single. ONE. xD
    2] the message & heart of family the books portray. TT_TT Such beautiful stories!!

    1. They really are! I hope you can get ahold of them!

      Both of those are very good reasons to love the series. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I'm currently listening to the read-along with little brother. This series really is fantastic, and I'm impressed with the new artwork.
    (I adore footnotes. Wish more books had 'em.)

    1. Fun! I haven't really been keeping up with the readalong, but I'm glad you're enjoying it! (And I agree, 100%.)


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