Hey friends! Today I’ll be giving you a book review on one of my favorite book series of all time: The Wingfeather Saga.
This is a post for A.K. Cromwell’s Rainy Day Writer Blog Tour, celebrating the launch of her new blog, the Rainy Day Writer. Be sure to follow along with the tour and subscribe to The Rainy Day Writer as well!
Here is the schedule for the rest of the tour:
July 16, 2022: review of the Wingfeather Saga (Part 1) – The Rainy Day Writer by Agnès Cromwell
July 17, 2022: in which we read well to write well – The Misty Mayflower by Lily May
July 18, 2022: review of the Wingfeather Saga (Part 2) – Pen & Ink by Annabelle Batie
July 19, 2022: Writing Tips – Notes of a Feather Pen by Alethianna Mercy
July 20, 2022: 1000 words contemporary snippet – Words by Kaley Kriesel
July 21, 2022: Why Characters are More Important than Plot – Storylight by Kairissa Chmil
July 22, 2022: What’s Next? – The Rainy Day Writer by Agnès Cromwell
A.K. Cromwell also recently posted an article on The Rainy Day Writer called Why is the Wingfeather Saga so powerful? This post here is the second installment of that review. I will be going more in-depth and sharing more of my thoughts on The Wingfeather Saga.
Now, for the book review. I’m going to go over the whole series and outline my favorite scenes, characters, and what I thought overall. Let’s get started!
The Igiby family lives in the small village of Glipwood, on the edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. The three Igiby children, Janner, Tink, and Leeli, are just walking to town to attend the town’s annual dragon festival when disaster strikes.
The Fangs of Dang, horrible creatures who invaded the land of Skree years ago, are onto the kids’ trail. The three siblings find themselves in a whirlwind of adventure and mystery as they try to escape the Fangs’ grasp and solve the mystery of their family’s true history.
(Side note: this is a summary for the first book because if I wrote a summary for the other three books it would spoil it.)
The characters in this book are so amazing. Janner, Tink, and Leeli are all great characters with vivid personalities and interests. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, and they all learn how to help each other through those weaknesses and work together.
The sibling dynamic in this book was so fun to read about. Janner, the oldest, would always be trying to keep track of Tink and Leeli. Tink would always be doing something he’s not supposed to (such as stealing an ancient map from a library and following the map to an abandoned mansion on the edge of the forbidden forest ;)). Leeli, the youngest, would be the bravest and kindest of both siblings, sharing her little words of wisdom, even when the boys didn’t realize how significant it was.
All three siblings were so realistic and the struggles they went through felt real. And even for the other side characters, such as Nia, Podo, and Oskar. Every single character I felt had a purpose in the story.
I also loved the character arcs here, especially Janner’s development over the series. His arc clearly shone the theme through in the story, creating such a powerful message. The other characters in this story also had some smaller arcs, which contributed to Janner’s main arc. That really made the story so deep and everything.
Also, the backstories of each of these characters are genius. And the way Andrew Peterson shares the character backstories over the course of the series really creates a new element of suspense and mystery in the plot.
Everything about the plot in The Wingfeather Saga was good. There wasn’t a single part of the story that felt boring. There were no info-dumps, no plot holes, no scenes that lagged. Overall, the plot was great.
Now, I will say that the plot of these books gets better as it goes on. I noticed some repetition in this first book. Basically, Leeli or one of the other children would get captured by the Fangs, and then someone in the family would go save her. That process is repeated about two or three times with some slight variations. Despite this fact, the story was still suspenseful the whole way through, and I didn’t recognize it was repetitive until after I finished the book and I looked back on the plot.
There were also so many unexpected plot twists. Not as much in the first book, but the last three books were filled with twists and turns.
I will warn you that there is some sadness throughout the series. Bad things happen to the characters, and they have to learn to cope with the situations they are thrust into. If you read this book, you’ll be experiencing all the hardships right along with everyone. For me, I like how this book portrays the hardships: as circumstances, you can overcome with the help of the Maker. But if you prefer not to read about some sad things, then just make sure you’re aware that there is some sadness in the Wingfeather Saga.
(BIG SPOILER ALERT) One of the main characters died at the end of the last book. It was a super sad scene, but once I allowed it to sink in, I realized just how perfect it was for the story. Now don’t get me wrong: I don’t particularly like death. And for those of you who have read the Wingfeather Saga, I am still very sad about that certain character’s death. However, I still thought that the ending still fit perfectly with the plot, and it really topped off the character arcs. (END OF SPOILER)
I absolutely LOVED all the themes in this book. Andrew Peterson’s thematic message really shone through throughout the whole series. Janner, the main character, had to protect his siblings as the oldest in the family. He had to learn to have courage through hard times, learn how to put others before himself, and how to sacrifice even when it’s hard.
Here are some of the messages I noticed throughout the series:
I’m sure there were lots more secondary themes, but those are the ones I noticed the most.
As I also mentioned above, I love how each character contributes to the theme in their own way. They all have different ways of letting the truth shine through in each circumstance. Janner and Artham especially show the theme of self-sacrifice and protection, and I love how they each go through their own struggles through their thematic journey.
Overall, the themes in the series were great. However, some of the themes may be a little bit heavy for younger children, that’s why I would recommend this for ages ten and up.
I really enjoy Andrew Peterson’s writing style. It is so immersive, as if you are right there in the story, not to mention humorous and fun to read. I noticed very few mistakes in any place in the series.
Andrew Peterson’s style reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ style in some ways, too. Andrew Peterson also sometimes stops in between scenes to explain something about the world of Aerwiar so readers can understand. Yet he does this in a fun, interesting way, just like Lewis did in my opinion. I also like how, most of the time, Peterson included his little “interludes” in footnotes at the end of each chapter, so it’s more optional to read them.
The sense of humor in these books was also so fun. There was a lot of it in the footnotes, but also in random places throughout the series, such as the comical relief, Oskar, who randomly quotes books whenever he talks.
And like I said before, the prose was very immersive. Despite the fact that the whole series was written in the third person, I still felt like I got into Janner’s head over and over, giving me a clear interest in what was going on.
So if you can’t tell already, I love The Wingfeather Saga. Everything about it; the characters, plot, themes, writing style… it’s such a great read.
I wouldn’t recommend this book for any kid under ten-years-old, because of the heaviness of some topics, some more scary monsters, and violence. But for any teens and tweens who want to read this, I would highly recommend it.
So those are my thoughts on The Wingfeather Saga! Be sure to check out the next stop on this tour on Lilliana Joy’s blog tomorrow, and don’t forget to check out Agnes Cromwell’s new blog as well.