Bonita Jewel’s Review
Through the dangers of Glipwood Forest, across the Mighty River Blapp, and toward the Ice Prairies, Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby – along with their mother Nia, their ex-pirate-grandpa Podo, and the quote-speeling Oskar N Reteep – race northward to escape the deadly pursuit of Fangs.
Yet the danger from within is nearly as poisonous as the Fangs’ fangs.
Janner’s resentment of his younger brother, Tink, grows as Janner notes his brother’s immaturity and recklessness. His overwhelming emotions oscillate between an ingrained need to protect, protect, protect … and a frustrated desire to let go.
Joined by unseemly friends and confronted by unexpected enemies, the young Igibys encounter betrayal, loss, sacrifice … and the fierce love of those devoted to protect the Jewels of Anniera. As Andrew Peterson’s On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness rang with humor and depth, North! Or be Eaten resounds with a clarion cry: Remember who you are.
Recommended age: 10 to 103 (or older)
Re-readable: Definitely (just ask my daughter … comments below)
Jessica Rose’s Review
North! Or be Eaten begins a few weeks after On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness left off. It has many interesting pictures showing creatures such as the Quill Diggle (whose quills make petting most unpleasant), and the hairy Bomnubble (Bomnubbles! Woe!). It follows the young Igibys, who just found out that they are heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and that their unknown father was the High King of the Shining Isle of Anniera.
Janner faces jealousy and regret because the ancient law of Anniera makes his younger, trouble-making brother king, and Janner becomes a Throne Warden whose job is to protect Tink. Tink also wishes that he does not have to be a responsible and mature king, which enables him to make some bad decisions. While the young Wingfeathers are making their way to the Ice Prairies with their guardians, they meet up with people or things of many types, some heart-broken, some brave, and some more villainous than the Fangs of Dang themselves.
North! Or be Eaten shows very important principles and lessons the characters themselves need to learn. It is a picture that betrayal, shame, jealousy, and regret can only be conquered by forgiveness – both to others and to yourself – love, and sacrifice.
Recommended age: 10 to 100
Re-readable: Most assuredly yes. I personally have read it fully four times since 2015’s Christmas.