Peterson, Andrew. The Warden and the Wolf King – The Wingfeather Saga Book 4. Nashville: Rabbit Room Press, 2014. 524 pp. $22.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.
Andrew Peterson needs no introduction to most. He is most known for his songs though I believe that is changing with the publication of this fourth (and final?) book in the Wingfeather Saga series. You can read reviews of the first three books here. It must be noted that the publication of this book was part of perhaps the most successful kickstarter campaign in the history of kickstarter campaigns. His goal was $14,000 and he raised well over $110,000!
At over 500 pages and over 90 chapters, this book is actually a very quick read. The story picks up right where it left off in The Monster and the Hollows. We once again join Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli as they fight against Gnag the Nameless and bring peace to Anniera.
From the book synopsis:
All winter long, people in the Green Hollows have prepared for a final battle with Gnag the Nameless and the Fangs of Dang. Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli – Throne Warden, Wolf King, and Song Maiden of Anniera – are ready and willing to fight alongside the Hollowsfolk, but when the Fangs make the first move and invade Ban Rona, the children are sparated. Janner is alone and lost in the hills; Leeli is fighting the Fangs from the rooftops of the city; and Kalmar, who carries a terrible secret, is on a course for the Deeps of Throg. Meanwhile in Skree, Sara Cobbler and Maraly Weaver care for the broken Artham Wingfeather as Fangs muster for battle across the Mighty River Blap.
Sea dragons lurk in the waters. Stranders crawl through the burrows. Ridgerunners and trolls prowl the land. Cloven haunt the forest. Monsters and Fangs and villains lie between the children and their only hope of victory – in the epic conclusion of The Wingfeather Saga.
I could not put this book down. The problem with that is late nights and anxiety of what is going on in a fictional world. Andrew writes with such passion in both his music and his fiction that the reader cannot help but get caught up in the action and the lives of the characters. His ability to tell a complete story while changing everything at the same time is a gift to fantasy genre.
The only negative I discovered in reading this work is that I forgot to read the first three books again and was therefore a bit lost in the story. Nonetheless, Andrew dropped enough hints throughout the book that I was quickly up to speed on the lives of the characters.
As you progress from page one to page five hundred nineteen, you will not know what to expect. Even the ending of the story is not really an ending. He leaves open the possibility of yet another book in the series but in a way that is unexpected. You will find yourself cheering for the Wingfeathers, crying for the Hollowsfolk, and, in the end grateful to the reality of life this Christian-based work of fantasy depicts.
If you have not read the first three books in the series, you will want to do that. If you have and are eagerly awaiting this fourth book, you will not be disappointed. We are indebted to Andrew Peterson for sharing his gift of story telling with us. This series, now complete, will eventually, as it has already, find its way into the conversation with Lewis’ Narnia, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (a comparison I rarely make), and even the controversial Harry Potter series.