For young readers looking for a new and fun fantasy series to launch into, Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga might be a perfect fit. Goofy and adventurous, the first book in this quartet, At the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, has lots going for it.
Set in the land of Skree, overtaken in recent years by Gnag the Nameless, our main characters are three siblings: Janner, Tink, and Leeli. The narration mostly follows Janner, the eldest brother, who both wants more freedom and revolts against being responsible for his younger brother and sister. It doesn’t take long for the three siblings to run into trouble and begin to discover that there are more secrets in their family and their seemingly quiet town than they thought.
This series seems like a great fit for kids approximately aged 9-12. I think most kids will enjoy the goofy names – the villains are called the Fangs of Dang, for example – and the elaborately created world. I found the book had perhaps too much self-awareness of its own goofiness, as if Peterson kept glancing at the reader to say, “Isn’t this hilarious?” but that’s less likely to be an issue for young readers.
While I can see why some have made comparisons to the Chronicles of Narnia, after reading the first book, I would say the Wingfeather Saga is not quite there. But for kids who have already read Narnia then this could be a great series to move on to. Peterson offers a detailed and engaging world and a decently interesting story.