The Wingfeather Saga

Only experiences of intense beauty can wound a person the way these books have wounded me. There comes a time when the golden tendrils of story reflecting the true Story of what Jesus has done can tear gouges in a heart and leave seeds of healing. These books have done that for me.

Read Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga.

The novels are not perfect, as I would expect of any writing not given by God himself. (I have a feeling Andrew would agree.) In particular, I think the first volume, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, is slow. Were I to summarize the saga, the first book would receive a few sentences, while the others would get thick paragraphs. The first book was enjoyable, but it didn’t seize me. However, that slow start, I think, is necessary to allow the characters to develop. If you start and you wonder what the fuss about, trust me, keep going.

I cannot say much about the story, as it would give away the ending. I can describe my reaction to it, though.

I finished the last book, The Warden and the Wolf King, twenty minutes ago. I set the book down and wept. As I said, I had been wounded. Peterson crafts such a marvelous ending, leaving the characters in just the perfect spot. I hope he never, ever writes beyond that ending; it would ruin it. (On the other hand, I would love to return to this world in other ways – perhaps some Wingfeather ancestors have some tales that can be told?)

The tears were cleansing. Some wounds bring joy.

Peterson believes in the power of story, and his books exhibit that power. These are not God’s Words (and again, I think Andrew would agree). Yet, they display an incredible illustration of selfless love – the love of the Maker, and then that love reflected in the actions of those who have been loved by him. Stories like this often fall short in describing what makes that love so miraculous; not here. At one point, one of the main characters recognizes the filth in his soul, and then the amazing love the Maker has for him despite his evil. The shards of this tale reflected the truth of Jesus’s miraculous love for me.

As I finished book 3, The Monster in the Hollows, I had been concerned about some of the spiritual themes running through the series. They were very moral, which is good, but they weren’t necessarily Christian. Ah, but book 4 resolves that. Again, I don’t want to give much away, except to say that Peterson’s labor in ink and blood has produced a work as deep and multifaceted as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, while not stepping into Lewis’s genre of “Jesus’s actions in other worlds.”

Lest you think the tale is “merely” spiritual, these words brim over with a sense of adventure and wonder. Peril comes at every corner, and the characters face incredible challenges. Yet, a sense of humor never seems too far away. After all, one of the fiercest creatures in the books is the fearsome toothy cow!

A friend, when asked what the books are about, answered, “Love.” And it’s true. It’s all about love. That love isn’t mushy romance, though. It is a fierce, maddening love of brothers that protect one another, that hold on in pain, that struggle through storm and darkness. Through battles between armies and dragon’s teeth and vicious Fangs, raging love conquers. But whose love?

Ah, read the books.

Be wounded. Be filled with wonder. See the Story through new eyes.

Read Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga.

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