Summary: The conclusion of the series.
As I read The Warden and the Wolf King, the last of the series, I kept thinking about how it is impossible to communicate an epic fantasy story without intentionally or unintentionally referencing other stories. The very act of creating an epic fantasy book, whether young adult or not, means both either following some conventions or breaking some conventions in a way that acknowledges the conventions.
I very much enjoyed the series (reviews of book 1 and books 2 and 3.) Peterson has created a world that is internally coherent, that still is new and creative, while referencing older stories. His faith is present in his writing without being too direct or only allegorical.
The children both have real roles to play in the story without being too far beyond their place as children. The fantasy aspects are real, but the magic does not go too far and circumvent reality and struggle. Suffering is not upheld as a value by itself, but there is real conflict that drives the story toward the conclusion. There is good and evil, but the evil has motivation, even if twisted, and the good is not perfect.
The ending of The Warden and the Wolf King has tragedy, but also hope. As a young adult/middle grade series it was very good. I look forward to reading these some day with my own children.