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519WMv+OX5L._SL160_You learn a valuable lesson growing up in Glipwood playing Ships and Sharks.

Glipwood is a small, relatively quiet (although enemy occupied) township in Aerwiar, a world created by singer/songwriter/author Andrew Peterson. Recently I spent about a week devouring the first two books in Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and North! Or Be Eaten.  This post is intended (more or less) to be a review of book two of the still unfinished trilogy.

Aerwiar is home to an interesting cast of creatures—horned hounds, quill diggles, toothy cows, and rockroaches, for starters; and an even more interesting cast of characters—the three Igiby children, Janner, Tink, and Leeli, who spend their days playing Ships and Sharks and Zibzy, and working on T.H.A.G.S. (when they’re not fleeing for their lives, that is); Podo Helmer, their brave but aging and somewhat mysterious ex-pirate grandfather; Oskar N. Reteep, a bookworm and true believer in the old legends; Peet the Sock Man, a very strange (some say crazy) loner; Fangs of Dang; trolls, and more.

I seldom read fiction any more.  Maybe I was overdue for some good fiction, maybe this was just exceptionally well-written fiction, maybe both, but I had a hard time putting either one of these books down.

At one point, about 50 pages from the end of North! Or Be Eaten, I was so gripped by suspense that I had an almost irresistible urge to skim through the rest of the book, lest the suspense kill me.  Thankfully, though, I resisted the urge.  As I continued to read I found myself at times deeply moved, and had to wipe a tear from my eye more than once.

Courage, danger, adventure, loyalty, laughter, tragedy, sorrow, failure, and redemption—you’ll find them all in the Wingfeather Saga.  And that’s all I’m going to say about the books, except for this:  Do yourself a huge favor, and get them right away.

I am faced with a dilemma now, though.  I’m not sure whether I should read the books out loud to my 9-year old—something he and I both enjoy—or simply allow him the pleasure of reading them for himself.  What do you think?

Oh, I almost forgot… What about the lesson you learn growing up in Glipwood playing Ships and Sharks?  And perhaps, of even greater importance to the Igiby children, is it true?  Well… maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  You’ll just have to read the books to find out.