Read the First One – CBBT, North! Or Be Eaten, Day 2

On this Fantasy Friday, it’s a pleasure to continue discussing Andrew Peterson‘s North! Or Be Eaten, second in the Wingfeather Saga.

Second! Ah, apparently this has rub-producing potential for those who have not read the initial book in the series, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

So the easy answer, in my opinion, is to read the first one, first. Here are some fundamental reasons:

  • In book one readers become acquainted with, and eventually attached to, the main characters.
  • The first book introduces the fantasy world, with its history and current political situation, its new and different celebrations, and its creatures.
  • The first book establishes the lines: who is good, who is a betrayer, who do you cheer for, who do you fear.
  • On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness begins building the parameters of the magical. What can the water from the First Well do? Who has power to transform for evil?
  • The first in the series introduces, or at least hints at, the ultimate mission the main characters must undertake.
  • The first book sets the tone: light and fun, intermingled with danger and darkness.
  • Book one of the Wingfeather Saga is an entertaining story, but is really only part 1 of the greater … uh, saga. 😉
  • I’m stressing book one so much because some of the reviews of those participating in the Children’s Book Blog Tour indicated North! Or Be Eaten may have been more enjoyable if the reader came in knowing what all took place in book one. How horrible, I thought, if a reader was put off of this outstanding series simply because they had not read the initial offering.

    So don’t do it!

    Here’s what you’d miss: humor, clever art, entertainment, thought-provoking adventure, artful prose.

    The humor is woven throughout the story. I remember having occasion to smile even during the build up to the climax.

    Drawings. I’ll let this one speak for the others:

    Peets Castle by Andrew Peterson

    Peet's Castle by Andrew Peterson

    Entertainment. This story has something for everyone: adventure, mystery, suspense, romance (?), all a part of an unpredictable story with twists and surprises all the way to the end.

    Thought-provoking. I found myself thinking of the story in the middle of the night and contemplating its truths at odd moments through the day. Nothing is heavy handed, but there is Much to think about.

    Artful prose. Again, I’ll let the work speak for itself. Here’s one passage toward the end:

    Though the sky was unbearably blue and free of a single wisp of cloud, the peak of the Witch’s Nose [a mountain so named because of its appearance in the distance] pinned a swath of ghostly mist to the heavens.

    I’ll give a full review tomorrow. To see what others are saying about the book, check out these blogs:

    The 160 Acre Woods, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Booking Mama, Cafe of Dreams, Dolce Bellezza, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Book Buzz,, My Own Little Corner of the World, My utopia, Novel Teen, Olive Tree, Reading is My Superpower, Through a Child’s Eyes

    And for those of you looking for the CSFF Blog Tour August poll for Top Tour Blogger, I’ll post that next week.


    1. Cool. I need to get this–I really liked the first one!


    2. I just love those illustrations. Picture-story books have great appeal to a wide age-range. AEG have just released my first children’s Christian book, The Pandanus Family, and as I did the illustrations as well as the story I know just how long that can take. They are an integral part of the book as a whole. Congratulations!


    3. okay, i am taking this very intriguing bait. what’s not to like about not ‘heavy handed, but there is Much to think about’? love that. and the depth of field of that illustration…wow. thank you for this review. i look forward to reading your thots of tomorrow!


    4. […] at, A Christian Worldview of Fiction, urges her readers to buy and read the first book, […]


    5. Thank you for the kind words, Rebecca–and for encouraging folks to read book one! I’m a little thrown that someone would review the second book in a series without reading the first. I’ve succumbed to the temptation to read a few of the reviews on the blog tour and have had to bite my tongue (so to speak).

      But you can’t please everybody. I’m grateful to read that the story stuck with you late into the night, and that you found the end moving. I can’t wait to dig into book three. I should also mention that our discussion last year about book one and the use of Christian themes was very helpful and changed the way I describe my role as an author who is a Christian.

      Thanks again,



    6. Cheryl, I’m so happy that The publicist working with this book was willing to give CSFF a chance to feature it next January. We had already set up our schedule when I learned of the release date of North! and I didn’t think a six-month later tour would fly, but they’re willing to work with us. The good thing is, CSFF’ers will have time to read book one before that tour.

      If you’re like me, though, you won’t want to wait until January. 😉



    7. Bronwen, I didn’t mean to give the impression that this is a picture book. It isn’t. But unlike most chapter books, it has these great occasional illustrations, sort of like you find in the dictionary. There are these fun footnotes and some added material in the appendix, and a map and … well, there’s just a lot to love.



    8. Deb, thanks so much for your comments. I’m glad these posts are introducing you to this outstanding set of books.



    9. Andrew, thank you so much for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a comment. God’s grace that something I said a year ago made a difference in your creation of the themes in your story.

      I personally thought they were powerful (which is why I cried in the end), but I’ll elaborate more in my review. 😀



    10. January tour!! Yes!! I can read over Christmas break if I don’t get it done before then. ::woot::


    11. christianity is pure fiction thanks


    12. Judi, what an interesting sentiment. Certainly you can’t mean the existence of Christianity since its beginnings and growth are well-documented historically. You can’t mean Jesus Christ himself, since his life, death, and even resurrection are also well documented. So what makes Christianity fiction in your mind, I wonder.

      If by “fiction” you mean, not true, then how is it pure untruth? 😕 Can it be disproved scientifically that Man is in need of a savior? That Jesus is that person?

      How are you determining the truth or falsehood of a belief about the spiritual condition?

      One little line, but it stirs so many questions.



    13. […] about the book from my fellow participants listed below or from my earlier review and thoughts about the book posted in conjunction with the Children’s Book Blog […]


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