The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson, a review

Andrew Peterson’s middle-grade Wingfeather series that started out as an amusing tale full of rollicking names moves to epic scope along the way. In this fourth book, The Warden and the Wolf King (2014), it builds to a mighty conclusion full of heroic deeds.

Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga is the story of the widow and three children of the King of Anniera, which was once a blessed island kingdom, now a ruin. Read my review of the first book in the series. And the second book. And the third.

I was not the only person who was waiting for this book to come out. Peterson was able to raise $100,000 in donations with a Kickstarter campaign to do the job right.

At the opening of this book, the Wingfeather family lives in the Green Hollows, a land not their own, and try to make themselves useful to the war effort. Gnag the Nameless and his Fangs of Dang attack this peaceful country on Gnag’s borders in overwhelming numbers. Above all he seeks the three children, who are the fabled Jewels of Anniera.

Leeli Wingfeather uses her whistleharp to demoralize the fangs but gets very, very tired. Janner gets lost in the hills. And Kalmar, the eleven-year-old king of Anniera who nearly became a fang, fights the demon within. Meanwhile, across the ocean, their uncle Artham fights his madness with the help of faithful friends and seeks to destroy the fangs there.

The odds are overwhelming. Will they give up?

This is just a terrific book. If you are looking for something for your kids to read, pick it up. And don’t forget to read it yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Note: Peterson is a musician, first and foremost, and you can tell in his amazing prose. The names in this tale sing: “Bonifer Squoon,” “bomnubble,” “Glipwood,” “Flambode’s Seedery.” Sometimes there’s an amusing contrast between name and meaning. “Toothy cow,” for example, refers to a very dangerous monster that is actually a cow with a lot of teeth.

I have a request to make of Peterson. I would love to hear a recording of him reading troll poetry, full of wild and crazy consonants. I bet it’s very cool.

Oskar Reteep, the bookseller, has a warning for us about Ouster Will, the original sinner.

This review originally appeared on another blog of mine.

The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson, a review

Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga tells the tale of the widow and three children of the King of Anniera, a blessed island kingdom overwhelmed nine years before by the dreaded fangs of Dang. This book is Book 3 of the four-book saga, The Monster in … [Continue reading]

North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson, a Review

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On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, a Review

I'm reviewing On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, by Andrew Peterson, Book One of the Wingfeather Saga (2008) . In this middle-grade book, the three children of the Igiby family are being raised by their mother and their grandfather. They live … [Continue reading]

Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner, a review

Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner, Book 1 of The Keepers TrilogyPublished 2010 by Delacorte Press, 312 pagesGenre: Secular middle-grade fantasy In Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner (2010), Book 1 of a trilogy, Goldie is a protected child. She's … [Continue reading]

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, a review

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (a Newbery Honor winner from 2013) tells a winsome and magical story about a ten-year-old girl and a squirrel. Flora is surrounded by some dysfunctional people, like her parents, who are separated, and a new … [Continue reading]

Dreamtreaders by Wayne Thomas Batson, a review

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Failstate by John W. Otte, a review

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Merlin’s Nightmare by Robert Treskillard, a review

Robert Treskillard concludes his terrific YA Merlin trilogy with this book, Merlin's Nightmare (2014), leaving some threads open for starting a new work focused on Arthur.  I’m really enjoying Treskillard’s re-imagining of Merlin as a … [Continue reading]

Merlin’s Shadow by Robert Treskillard, a review

I reviewed the first book in the series, Merlin’s Blade. This second book, Merlin's Shadow (2013), like any middle book in a three-book series, leads us through some majors trials for the main characters.  Merlin finds himself fleeing the traitor … [Continue reading]