Fiction Reviews, The Top Shelf: YA or Adult

{Book Review} North! Or Be Eaten

Yer the High King, which means ye’ve got to start thinking of more than yerself.”

North! Or be eaten by Andrew Peterson

About the book…

The second installment of the literary and imaginative masterpiece: The Wingfeather Saga, the Igiby family has been forced to leave the quiet Glipwood Township and flee from the dreaded Fangs of Dang that are seeking the Lost Jewels of Anniera, which have turned out to be Janner, Tink, and Leeli themselves. Plans fail, tension grows, responsibilities are forsaken, and guilt wages a war on the strong. Can hope and loyalty survive the attacks, the separation, the fear, and the setbacks? Can the age old duties of the three royal children remain, and bring a glimmer of hope to the darkening world?

About the author…

Andrew Peterson is a man of many talents. His music is well known, especially his most recent album, Resurrection Letters, Vol. 1. He is also the proprietor of The Rabbit Room, husband to Jamie and father to Aedan, Asher, and Skye. They live near Nashville, TN.

Some personal thoughts…

Duty. Bravery. Devotion. Brothers.

This is one of those stories that gives me the urge to say so many wonderful things about it, yet when I go to do so, I find myself utterly speechless. Such is the trademark of any magnificent story.

In the series, the last two books (Monster in the Hollows and The Warden and the Wolf-King) are my favorites. But they wouldn’t be what they are without their forerunners, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and North! Or Be Eaten. 

Reading this book feels like journeying through the wardrobe or into the Shire. Magical descriptions, more than realistic characters, and heart wrenching twists and turns, makes this book truly come alive. 

Peterson’s storytelling abilities are astounding. His work is simply a delight to read. His imagination is well developed and the way he interweaves deep truths is engaging and thorough.

What would you do, if one day your Mother sat you down to tell you that you were of royal blood, but you weren’t the King. In fact, your little brother was, and your job was simply to do whatever it took to protect him?

As an older sibling I can strongly relate to Janner. We are created with an incomprehensibly intense desire to protect those in the world who bring us the most irritation. The ones we wake up beside, work with throughout the day, and bid farewell too just before we climb into our beds. 

Janner is given the role of a hero that is foreign to stories. He is not called to rescue a damsel in distress, or to save a village or kingdom from destruction. Janner was born the Throne Warden. He has one purpose: protect the High King. Who happens to be his thrill seeking, irresponsible, and stubborn little brother. 

This is where I could go on and on and on about how much I love this tale. A brother and a brother. Following the one you know better than any other human. Loving the one who has proved himself to be unlovable more times than not. Protecting the one who wants nothing you have to offer.

Selflessness. Loyalty. Brotherly love.

This book, this whole series, is a beautiful example of what it means to lay down your life for your friend. To live the life of silent valor, and selfless service. To do what’s right, simply because it’s right. Not because it is glamorous or fun. 

Once again, I cannot recommend it highly enough, to any girl or boy, man or woman. 

Things worth mentioning…

Toothy Cows, Fangs of Dang, Stranders, Gnag the Nameless and Sea Dragons are no strangers to this tale, which could frighten sensitive little ones. In our family, we all (ranging from ages 40 to 2) read them, and no one seemed to be bothered, but if you have a little one who is especially sensitive to scary content, you might want to read it first. 

There are a few deaths described, and fighting. Lots of fighting and wounds. This is a story about tension rising and war coming, so that is to be expected. 

Here at The Corner Shelf you’ll find North! Or Be Eaten on The Top Shelf.

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