Book Review | The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson

So many of my reviews boil down to something like, “This book was real good.” And that isn’t as helpful as it probably could be. So, even though I do think that the last installment of the Wingfeather Saga was excellent, I’d like to go a step further and give you seven reasons why you should read it. Here goes!

7 Reasons to Read The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson

9780988963252Andrew Peterson is a gifted storyteller.

There are writers who are known for creating strong characters. Others have signature plot twists or descriptive language. Andrew Peterson is the full package. In addition to creating some great characters to root for, Peterson keeps the story interesting with unexpected turns. All the while, he shows off his knack as a skilled wordsmith by using the words and the cadence of their reading to put the reader in the desired mood.

The book is told from multiple viewpoints.

Rather than being trapped inside one character’s head, we get to see the tale unfold from all three of the Wingfeather children’s eyes. This helps keep the plot fresh by being in multiple places at the same time. This tactic is a staple of fantasy and Peterson uses it with finesse.

Siblings can learn a thing or two from the Wingfeather kids.

I have two girls, and once they have the attention spans to accommodate longer books, I’m looking forward to reading them the Wingfeather Saga. Peterson doesn’t whitewash the fact that “brother” is just one letter off from “bother,” but neither does he glamorize sibling rivalry. If anything, kids could learn a lot about embracing the fact that siblings are often differently gifted and learning to tolerate some of their more annoying aspects as well. The Wingfeathers may not always get along, but they always show what love looks like when it counts.

Parents can learn a thing or two from the Wingfeather kids.

As a parent, I would love to raise my kids as well as Nia Wingfeather raises hers. And while young readers are imagining the story through the struggles of the children, I’m seeing it from Nia’s eyes. How would I feel if some dark evil was after my kids? How much freedom should I allow my kids when they have a history of making bad choices? What can I do to equip them for the battles they will face rather than trying to fight all of their battles for them? Parents would do well to see how the matriarch of the Wingfeather family handles herself and her kids. She isn’t a perfect mom, but she loves her kids and wants to do the best she can for them. I want the same.

This book came into existence because it was demanded by fans.

In a move that I’ll never understand, after the first two books in this series were published by Waterbrook Press (and they won a bunch of awards and such), the publisher dropped the series right in the middle. Peterson published the third book on his own dime and made it available through his personal channels, but for the fourth book, he appealed to his fans. Andrew Peterson launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the final installment. With the way Kickstarter works, if no one cares enough about a project to fund it within a certain time-frame, then it doesn’t happen. Peterson’s goal was $14,000 (the minimum amount he needed to write, edit, print, and ship the book to the people who funded it) and by the end of the campaign he raised $118,188 (which is quite a bit more). His fans really believed in this book, and with good reason (it is excellent).

Fantastic creatures abound.

If there’s something you expect to see in a fantasy series, it is some fantastic beasts. The Wingfeather Saga doesn’t disappoint, having enough beasts and awesome creatures to warrant a separate book to document the lot (Pembrick’s Creaturepedia).

The end of the book closes the series well.

I’ve read too many book series where the final installment is rushed to print and leaves much to be desired (I’m looking at you, Hunger Games, and from what I’ve heard, Divergent). Either authors don’t know how to wrap the story up or they don’t want to part with their characters, but as a reader, it is so much nicer when the author can pull all the threads of the tale together in a way that is believable and intentional. I’m not saying that I don’t want to read more about the Wingfeathers, but I feel like that the story arc that began in book one has reached a good conclusion in book four.

I firmly believe that the Wingfeather Saga is the next Chronicles of Narnia. I hope Peterson continues to write (when he isn’t too busy as a touring musician). I’ll gladly be part of any crowd-funding effort that ends with another of his books in my hands.

Seriously, go buy a copy today!


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