The opening two words ("Toooothy cow!") of Book Two of the Wingfeather Saga immediately transported me back to Aerwiar, the fabulous land created by author (and amazing singer/songwriter/Christian/proprietor) Andrew Peterson. It had been a well over a year since my first visit in Book One, and I was more than ready to return. Ready to face those fearsome toothy cows roaming Glipwood Forest, ready to hear from the sea dragons again, ready to follow the young unlikely hero and his tight-knit family on their dangerous journey.
The official summary of North! Or Be Eaten:
Readers thrilled to the phantasmagorical adventures in On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One of the Wingfeather Saga. Now in Book Two, Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby, mom Nia, ex-pirate grandfather Podo, Peet the Sock Man, and trusty dog Nugget flee north to rebel headquarters.
Their escape brings readers to the very brink of Fingap Falls , over the Stony Mountains , and across the Ice Prairies, while villains galore try to stop the Igibys permanently. Fearsome toothy cows and horned hounds return, along with new dangers: a mad man running a fork factory, a den of rockroaches, and majestic talking sea dragons.
Andrew Peterson’s lovable characters create what FantasyBookCritic.com says made Book One “one of the best fantasy novels in a very long time,” and Book Two contains even more thrills, exploring “themes universal in nature, ranging from the classic good versus evil, to the importance of family, and burdens of responsibility.”
(Me again...) All but gone are the hilarious but distracting footnotes employed in Book One. In North! Or Be Eaten, Peterson seems to settle in to the story and tell it in earnest. Janner Igiby, the protagonist, finds himself alone for much of the story, and the character development during that stretch is superb. Action scenes were painfully slow at certain points; still, the story drew me in and kept me up long after my normal bedtime. I am counting the days till Book Three is released.
Bottom line: read it!
Thanks to Staci and company at Waterbrook Press for a pre-release copy of the book to read and one to give away. That's right, I said give away. Leave a comment, any comment, and you may just be the happy recipient. Of course, you can purchase it for yourself here. But beware the toothy cows!