edited by Andrew Peterson
**This review was originally written for Netgalley, which is why it is formatted differently than my regular reviews**
If you are a fan of the Wingfeather Saga, you will love Wingfeather Tales.
Wingfeather Tales is a collection of seven stories written by various authors that all take place in the world of Aerwiar. The stories take place before, during, and after the Wingfeather Saga. But if you’re trying to find out more about what happens to the Wingfeather family after the ending of The Warden and the Wolf King, you won’t find it in Wingfeather Tales! The stories that take place after the Wingfeather Saga and feature familiar characters make no mention of what may have happened after the ending of The Warden and the Wolf King. At the opening of Wingfeather Tales, Andrew Peterson himself explains why none of the stories add more closure to the Wingfeather Saga.
Now, onto the stories!
The first story is “The Prince of Yorsha Doon”, written by Andrew Peterson. It is about Safiki, a young boy in Yorsha Doon who gets mixed up with a book revealing secret passages into the palace of Yorsha Doon. This story was a fun one. Safiki had a feel sort of similar to Aladdin, in that he’s a street kid with a good heart. And as to be expected since it was written by Andrew Peterson, the story has the same feel as the Wingfeather Saga does.
The second story is “The Wooing of Sophelia Stupe” by Jennifer Trafton. And oh my, this story was hilarious. It had all of the humor and wit classic to the Wingfeather Saga. The characters were awesome. This story actually takes place in Glipwood years before the Wingfeather Saga, and it is really fun to see an early Glipwood. Also, more explanation is provided about some of the people and places in Glipwood. You might be able to guess who we learn more about from the title.
The third story, “Willow Worlds“, is by N. D. Wilson. We get to see a young Podo Helmer, back during his time with the Stranders, in this one. “Willow Worlds” is a little bit of a cross over between the Wingfeather Saga and Wilson’s 100 Cupboards Series. The nods to 100 Cupboards in “Willow Worlds” and “The Wooing of Sophelia Stupe” have me itching to reread the 100 Cupboards books.
We continue to see more of a young Podo Helmer in the fourth story, “From the Depth of the Dragon King” by A. S. Peterson. And this story takes place in Podo’s days of hunting dragons. One of the neatest things about seeing young Podo is being able to see a fuller picture of his character arc through the Wingfeather Saga. In “From the Depths of the Dragon King“, we learn how Podo lost his leg, and why Yurgen hates Scale Raker so much.
The fifth story is another hilarious one, “The Ballad of Lanric and Rube” by Johnathan Rodgers. The ballad is the one that Armulyn the Bard sings in On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. This one was so fun, and so Wingfeather-Saga-esq feeling.
The sixth story is something completely different from the rest–a comic book! “Shadowblade and the Florid Sword” is another one by Andrew Peterson, recounting a day in the life (night?) for Maraly and Gammon after the events of the Wingfeather Saga. It was really fun to see it presented in a comic book format. The only downside to this story was that it was a little small on my Kindle screen, but still fine to read!
The final story is by Douglas McKelvey, and accounts for about half the length of Wingfeather Tales. “The Places Beyond the Maps” is about the length of a novella. This story is about a father’s drive for justice after his child is taken by the Black Carriage, and his eventual redemption. I did have a little bit of trouble connecting with the main character of “The Places Beyond the Maps” because his name isn’t revealed until the very end of the story. Until then, he’s called “the man”. Not knowing who the man was though made it a little bit more fun since I tried to guess who he was. I had a couple of guesses (some of which were completely wrong because I had my timeline messed up), but I did end up guessing who the man was!
“The Place Beyond the Maps” has a very different feel from the Wingfeather Saga and the rest of the stories in Wingfeather Tales. It doesn’t have the fun humor and Aerwiar-feeling found in the rest of them. Also, McKelvey has a very different writing style from the rest of the authors. It has a much more poetic feeling, which led to his sentences being a lot longer. Honestly, there were times when I had practically only one sentence showing on my Kindle screen. The long sentences and poetic feel made the story a little hard to follow at times. But “The Places Beyond the Maps” was still an enjoyable and beautiful story. It just has a very different feel from the rest of the stories and books.
If you enjoyed the Wingfeather Saga, you’ll want to read Wingfeather Tales. It is a wonderful addition to the world of Aerwiar.
Cautions: light romance; brief, moderate-heavy, non-graphic violence