Finally! A land free of Fangs! Well, almost…
After a harrowing journey across the Dark Sea of Darkness, the Wingfeathers arrive at last in the Green Hollows, safe and sound. But there is one slight problem. The Hollowsfolk make it very clear that Kalmar, now possessive of whiskers and a tail, is not welcome.
As the Throne Warden, Janner is pledged to protect his younger brother. In school, at home, on the playing field. Each day presents new challenges as he and his siblings adjust to life in the Hollows.
What is a Throne Warden to do when he doesn’t want to be the Throne Warden? And how does he protect a King who doesn’t want to be the King? Bullying classmates are the least of Janner’s troubles, however, for whispers of a monster in the Hollows threaten to bring the fear of the Fangs back into their new life.
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Since reading the first two books in the Wingfeather series, I eagerly awaited the release of book number three: The Monster in the Hollows. It was with a great sense of excitement and trepidation that I first cracked open the cover a few weeks ago and peered at the tale penned upon the pages within.
True to form, Andrew Peterson once again weaves a tale of incredible beauty and depth, wrought with themes of love, loyalty, family, and self-sacrifice.
Peterson’s characters talk and act true to life, so much so that at times it seemed like they were in reality, living breathing human beings who might at any moment step off the pages of the book and into my backyard. I half wished they would! Who wouldn’t want a visit with Janner, Leeli, Kalmar, and Nia, not to mention ex-pirate Podo and dear Oskar Reteep? The Fangs, however, I am more than happy to leave inside the book!
The Monster in the Hollows presents a plot that is unique and original and resorts in many paper cuts from speedy page turning. While the action is not quite as intense and dark as in the previous tale, the story draws you in like a fish on a line until you are hooked and cannot get away. The last page left me longing for more and eagerly anticipating the arrival of Book 4: The Warden and the Wolf King!
The Beauty and Glory of Fantasy:
Since Peterson’s books have become some of my all-time favorites, I thought it would be worthwhile to explore just what quality these books possess that causes them reach that ranking. And it came down to something that I mentioned in my previous blog post: the story rings true.
The phrase “ring true” implies the testing of metal to check for soundness, like the striking of a bell to test for a pure note. Something that rings true reflects this soundness, this purity.
In my view, this is the absolute beauty and glory of fantasy and speculative fiction. The ability to take truth and present it in a different way. To reflect truth. To reflect the glory of God, His character, and His love, in ways that are new and unique and ultimately accessible. To reflect eternity.
It is like a glimpse of a star in the bottom of a well, pure crystalline beauty embedded deep in the shades of night. Although you cannot physically touch the star any more than you can when catch a glimpse of it in the night sky, it is closer and easier to see and understand, though you must not forget that it is just a reflection and not the reality itself!
In the same way, fantasy presents the opportunity to reflect great truths. And this property is what makes a story worth reading again and again and again!