Wednesday, January 13, 2010

a review North! Or be Eaten

North! Or Be Eaten

I love stories. I love stories that have fantastical elements. I do not love fantasies.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Andrew Peterson’s first novel, was an excellent story. It’s characters were totally believable yet fully fictional. It’s villains were horrible, like the nameless evil named Gnag the e and the horrid Fangs of Dang. Dang. It was laugh-out-loud funny more than 20 times. The insights one knowing APs music would expect were all over. It was a great story that included fantastical elements.

In North! Or Be Eaten, Andrew seemed to tinker with his winning formula some. It became a fantasy with good elements, instead of a novel with good elements, one of which was fantasy. Also, the story felt a bit too action-packed. There was danger at every turn, but I found that the characters were not given enough time to breathe and pick up the pieces between near-death

I mentioned the insights that APs consistently delivers in his music or books. I wanted to share one from North! that hit me hard as a I read.

One of the characters is Artham P. Wingfeather, whose job is that of Throne Warden. His purpose is to protect the true King of Anniera, who at this point in the Wingfeather Series is his little boy nephew. At an earlier point in his life Artham has been tortured and inculcated with lies about himself. The following is written as Artham is being tortured again and ready to give in to his captors, but then has an awakening:

The voices in his head that cried "coward: and "weakling" drew back into the shadows. He knew he was those things but feared them no longer. Then another voice spoke. It called him "throne warden" and "protector" and "uncle," and at last he believed it.

It was resounding insights like these and a relationship I now have with the characters that kept me going, even though the fantasy elements don’t suit my fancy.

I did enjoyed reading North! Or be Eaten, but I hope he goes back to his Dark Sea of Darkness ways for his next addition to the Wingfeather Saga.

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