There are ninety-six chapters in The Warden and the Wolf King.
And there are five hundred nineteen pages of story.
Well, five hundred twenty, to be more precise.
Such a book may daunt some readers, but this is one fast read. I knocked out several chapters in each sitting, and didn’t realize it until the time came to replace the bookmark and go about the rest of my day.
I love it when that happens. It signals a great story and excellent writing, and a mind so absorbed that I forget the world around me. The first fourteen chapters were read at the dentist’s office as I anxiously awaited a procedure involving large steampunk needles and growling drills. However, the characters and the writing in this wide, engaging fantasy novel helped me relax, forget about what was coming, and actually become impatient for pauses between steps in the procedure so I could read more.
Stuff like this:
The little men and women sneaked toward the house as silent as the snow, then they divided into two groups. One group skittered like thwaps to the roof of the house and unfolded a large net while the others huddled against the side of the cottage. One of the Ridgerunners dangled from the eaves and nodded to one on the ground. It coughed conspicuously and then stomped noisily through the front door.
The silence was shattered by the troll’s terrible roar and Janner nearly jumped out of his cloak. The ridgerunner dashed out of the house with a shriek, and the troll emerged and stooped on the porch. The troll was smaller than the others Janner had seen. This one had a little tuft of black hair and was only as tall as the roofline, though its bare chest and shoulders were so massive they barely fit thorugh the doorway.
“Leave me ALONE,” the troll said, shaking its fist and stepping down from the porch. (p69)
Not to give away the future, but the young troll (Oood) and the teenaged Throne Warden (Janner) become friends.
Hey, a friendly troll can come in handy. Especially during trouble.
One of my favorite characters is Gammon, the Florid Sword. Think Zorro or the Scarlet Pimpernel or some other masked or caped or secret hero with a noble soul and a comic flair for the dramatic.
Suddenly, a dark figure burst into the tavern. All conversation ceased. Patrons peered at the caped man silhouetted in the light streaming through the door.
With a flourish of his cape, the man leaped ino the center of the room, struck a pose, and said, “Aha! Avast! ‘Tis I, the Florid Sword, and I seek Maraly Weaver with mine own eyes and noble intent!” (p132)
“We fly! Aha! Away!” cried the Florid Sword. He swished his blade through the air thrice, then removed his wide-brimmed hat and bowed low. “Resume the consumption of thy eggish scrumption!” He smiled. “I believe I made that word up. And it rhymed! Gleeful are the delights a new day bringeth!” (p133)
As one can see, this is not a tale for the somber and unamused, or the too-grown-up.
I’ve said it many times before, and I’m saying it again: If I can pick up any book in a series but the first one, and still be drawn in to the story and not lost, that bodes well for the rest. And to think that there are three other books in The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson? Awesome.
Read more about it at other stops on the CSFF Blog Tour:
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson