It is difficult to read The Wingfeather Saga and not compare it to Narnia and Middle Earth. Each was written by a man devoted to following Jesus. Yet none of the stories are so overtly Christian that they are inaccessible to non-believers. And they certainly don’t beat you over the head with their faith. Instead, spiritual themes are deftly woven into the story, and you are left with a field of jewels to be discovered over and over as you read.
This is probably going to sound crazy, but The Wingfeather Saga is higher on my list than The Chronicles of Narnia. I love both series. I have read each numerous times, and cannot wait until my boys are old enough for us to start reading them together. But there is a thickness to the world of Aerwiar that I find missing in Narnia.
The Warden and the Wolf King is the conclusion of the Wingfeather children’s journey, and it is bittersweet. It is bitter because it is over, but sweet because it is a fitting end to a wonderful series. This fourth and final book continues the themes started early in the tale. More than anything I read this series as a story of identity. Who are you? Who am I? Who did the Maker create me to be? This is the defining question for each of the children. We watch as they journey to discover and accept who they are. Throughout the series we see the impact of this question of various characters. When one accepts who he was created to be, he thrives. When he does not, he becomes something hideous and dangerous.
I once heard someone say Good Will Hunting is a great film because each person walks out of the theater thinking it was about him or her. Each character has moments the audience can relate to throughout the film. The Wingfeather Saga is like this. Over and over I found my experience reflected in the lives of Peterson’s characters. I am convinced, if you read these books, you will find your experiences in these characters as well.
As we move through the books, Peterson’s writing gets better and better. The story builds and the pace quickens to an incredibly emotional and redemptive conclusion. The Warden and the Wolf King continues the emotional resonance of The Monster in the Hollows. I wept with Janner and Kal in the cave outside Clovenfast and am holding back tears even now thinking about Janner running into fray with Artham’s words echoing in his mind. These books are a gift, and I could not recommend them more highly.