Horned Hounds, Stranders, and a Dreaded Fork Factory

A review of North! Or Be Eaten, by Andrew Peterson

On the Outside:
The cover promises, “Wild escapes. A desperate journey. And the ghastly Fangs of Dang.” So…does the story deliver?

First Lines:
In this sequel to On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, we get no introductions to the world of Aerwiar but instead jump right into the story with this opening:

“‘Toooothy cow!’ bellowed Podo as he whacked a stick against the nearest glipwood tree. The old pirate’s eyes blazed, and he stood at the base of the tree like a ship’s captain at the mast. ‘Toothy cow! Quick! Into the tree house!’”

Plot Lines:
North! Or Be Eaten picks up just a few days after the ending of the first book. I don’t want to give away details from the first book, so I’ll try to be careful here. Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby have found out that they’re not who they thought they were, and who they really are places them in great danger. They have fled to the Glipwood Forest, where they are under the protection of Peet the Sock Man (who is my favorite character in the whole series). And, if the monsters of Glipwood Forest weren’t enough danger (Horned Hounds, Quill Diggles, and Gargan Cockroaches, to name a few), the Fangs of Dang are on their trail. The Igiby’s must flee to the north, where the cold climate will keep away the Fangs. On their journey they meet all sorts of people who help them or harm them, but the greatest danger comes from the jealousy and bitterness that threatens to tear the family apart.

The Bottom Line:
I loved this one more than the first! The first several chapters are so fast paced that I was out of breath just reading them. The characters are more developed, and the relationships between the siblings, especially between Janner and Tink becomes more interesting. Overall, the story takes a darker turn than the first (although there are still plenty of laughable moments). I think it’s the darker overtones that make me love it more. Things happen to Janner and Tink both that are unimaginable, and as I finished this book, I was anxiously looking forward to the next to see how those things would be resolved.

This review is also posted