North! or Be Eaten — Review, Day One

North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson

This book is filled with the brightness of children’s dreams, and the blackness of their nightmares.

Today marks the kick-off of the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour reviewing the young adult fantasy novel, North! or Be Eaten, by Andrew Peterson.

North! or Be Eaten is book two in The Wingfeather Saga, and what a book it is! I enjoyed book one, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, immensely, but book two was even better.

Filled with non-stop action, touching scenes, and the chilling evil of the world, North! or Be Eaten will leave you breathless, teary-eyed, and cheering all at once.

The Plot

How would I describe this book? The quickest way is to call it a cross between Oliver Twist, Goonies, and The Return of The King. Here is my take:

Lost and runaway children are caught in the mechanations of an evil overlord and must escape through wild adventure to the far north where they think they will be safe.

But safety cannot be found when even their friends betray them, and the final, wild ride to the utter end of the earth reveals an evil lurking where they least expect it.

This book is an incredible journey, one not to be missed by young or old alike.

And don’t judge North! or Be Eaten by its cover or title (even though the artwork is great), because you will soon realize that everything you believed about the book is false, and the real truth will shock you. Andrew Peterson spins a tale with beauty, tragedy, triumph, and deep mysteries, and the notions you think are true after reading book one will turn around and bite you in book two.

The Characters

Janner Igiby Twelve years old, Janner is the Throne Warden whose job it is to protect his little brother Tink. Janner is the main character of the book, and he has an incredibly difficult time protecting Tink, because…

Tink Igiby Eleven years old, Tink is the heir to the high throne of Anniera, but deep down he doesn’t want to be. And this reluctance will turn this story inside out.

Leeli Igiby Their brave and crippled nine-year old sister, she is the Song-Maiden of Anniera, and is somehow able to talk to the sea-dragons through song.

Nia Igiby The children’s wise mother, who must see them safely to the Ice Prairies of the north.

Podo Helmer The children’s grandfather, whose past will haunt them throughout the book in a very surprising way. Just when you think they’re safe, Podo causes them to get into the worst scrape yet.

Oskar Reteep The bookstore owner from book one, he journeys with them, providing wonderful comic relief.

Artham Peet Wingfeather The children’s uncle, and the older Throne Warden. The journey he takes is as important as any one else’s in the book, and you will learn the answers to the many riddles about his past.

Gnag The Nameless The evil over-lord who seeks to capture the children. Now remember, Gnag has no name!

The Green Fangs Ah, but you already know about these slimy monsters from book one, right?

The Grey Fangs Oh, but these are new, and I won’t say a word more, or you might not get any sleep tonight!

The Florid Sword Ah, my hero! This man brings some comic relief to the story, but also plays a key role, so keep your eyes peeled.

Gammon The leader of the resistence in the north … but all is not as it seems.

The Sea Dragons Mysterious, powerful beasts who lurk the waters seeking revenge against the greatest evil in the world.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

The Writing

Overall, EXCELLENT! A few minor spots here and there could be improved, but nothing even worth mentioning.

Andrew weaves the tale so brilliantly that, as an adult, I often forgot it was a YA novel—the dark parts can be really dark, and Andrew doesn’t pull his punches.

These Igiby’s get themselves into heaps and heaps of trouble, is all I can say, and Andrew knows how to move the action along, yet keep the themes prominent of family love, judgment for sin, and the need to fight against evil. And remember, there is ALWAYS A WAY OUT!

The amazing thing about these novels is that even though there is a lot of fantasy spoof and good humor present, the writing is actually very serious.


Highly recommended for all ages except the very young. If your reading tastes include Auralia’s Colors, The Wilderking Trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia, or even The Lord of The Rings, you will not be disappointed in these novels.

Great job, Andrew! I eagerly look forward to book three!

Come back for Day 2, when I will talk about the author and give a peek at some of the scenes that touched me in North! or Be Eaten.

CSFF Blog Tour

And be sure to check out the other tour members’ reviews:

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Amy Browning
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
James Somers
Steve and Andrew
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Jason Waguespac
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams
KM Wilsher

6 thoughts on “North! or Be Eaten — Review, Day One

  1. I’d add a splash of The Princess Bride to the mix.

    Good overview! I was going for the short and catchy post today, but yours is a very good introduction. I enjoyed it very much as well. I’m glad we have good taste! ;)

  2. Tim, thanks for stopping by!

    Brandon — I completely agree! The Man In Black! Of course, Zorro might have worked as well, but the spoofiness points squarely to The Princess Bride.

    Phyllis, thanks for that analysis … I hadn’t really thought about the characters vs. the plot issue, but you are right.

  3. i have a cupple ideas for some drawings send me back if you want to see them


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