I don't recommend the entire "Wind on Fire" series that this book comes from. I didn't enjoy the second or third book nearly as much, but the Wind Singer was different. It was an excellent piece of fantasy. I already wrote about my favorite book, The Phantom Tollbooth, in an earlier post and when I read this, I was reminded of that story. Both stories are great quest tales. Their plots aren't that similar, but they each have that something special in common. I really feel that I learned something from each of them, Mumpo included. Actually, Mumpo the most.
One of the charms of this story is that despite the constant peril for the characters, the author never falls in love with killing off characters. Unfortunately, he does just that with the rest of the series. However, The Wind Singer is practically perfect. I heard from another reader that they didn't care for the 'death chant' of the terrible Zars, but so long as the three of them managed to stay ahead of them and avoid confronting them, I was okay with that.
Now, I don't know if that was just the masterpiece Nicholson had up his sleeve because I was so put off by the books that came after that I kind of went cold on his subsequent series, but even if that was his opus it's fine by me. I loved The Wind Singer. It was a fun read and I've actually done a few rereads and it maintains its charm. That's something that not too many other books can claim.