Wings of Fire: the Dragonet Prophecy
Tui T. Sutherland
Scholastic, 2012 304 pgs.
Wings of Fire series #1
Our story begins with a prophecy concerning five dragon eggs from different warring factions brought together by the Talons of Peace in order to stop the great war, which is killing their families and friends and destroying their way of life. Unfortunately, one of the eggs is demolished and another egg from a faction not included in the prophecy is substituted. Forward fast to the present: Clay, a gigantic Mudwing dragon is suppose to be a fierce warrior. Unfortunately, he is a gentle giant and refuses to hurt his fellow dragonets being raised to stop the great war. The dragonets hate their lives, trapped in a cave and constantly training to save to the world by their grouchy and demanding masters. Finally their chance arrives and the five dragonets escape, only to be captured by the evil Skywing queen. In the queen's prison they meet Peril, the queen's champion who can burn a dragon to death at a mere touch. Peril and Clay become friends and together they discover a secret ability that Clay didn't know he possessed. Meanwhile, the action heats up as the queen demands that the dragonets of the prophesy fight to the death. Their wish is to escape in order to find their families from which they were stolen from as eggs. After a hair-raising escape, they find the mother of one of the dragonets, but the reunion does not go as planned. Will they fair better in another dragonet's land? Find out in the next installment of the series: The Lost Heir.
Kids love dragons. Heck, I love dragons. Sutherland produces a series perfect for youth not ready Eragon, but more advanced than Jane Yolen's dragon books. They are on the same level, more or less, than the Rick Riordan books and contain the same level of violence, which in my opinion is too much, but kids eat it up. Sutherland produces a fully realized Dragon society and does for dragons what Rowling did for wizards. The book begins with a map of the land, which kids enjoy pouring over, and a guide to the different kinds of dragons and who they support in the war. This guide was very helpful as I kept getting the dragons confused. Sutherland further helps to ease confusion by making the names of the dragons correspond somewhat to the nature of their breed. All the dragons have distinct personalities and the main characters exhibit character growth as the book progresses. The story ends with a cliff-hanger and a sneak peek into the next installment, which will have readers running to the library to obtain it. I know this to be true because this is currently the most popular series of books in my library and I had to buy multiple copies of the titles. Appealing to lovers of fantasy and adventure, the Wings of Fire series is both a quality and entertaining read.