Book Review: “Wings Of Fire: Talons Of Power” by Tui T. Sutherland


Cover of "Wings Of Fire: Talons Of Power" by Tui T. Sutherland.
Cover of “Wings Of Fire: Talons Of Power” by Tui T. Sutherland.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Wings Of Fire: Talons Of Power” by Tui T. Sutherland! I’ve been a little disappointed with reading the past two books, so I hope that this one redeems the series so far. Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“The war is over. The false prophecy has been fulfilled. But the dragonets still have enemies. A dark evil, buried for centuries, is stirring.

And a young NightWing may have had the first true prophecy in generations . . .

Something is coming to shake the earth
Something is coming to scorch the ground
Jade Mountain will fall beneath thunder and ice
Unless the lost city of night can be found.”

Content Warning:

This book contains descriptions of mind-control, mentions of character death (though no graphic descriptions), unhealthy relationship development between some of the characters (as in, manipulative and toxic). If you are uncomfortable with this sort of content, you may want to skip reading this book.

Plot Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I think this might be one of the first books in the series where there are no graphic deaths. However, it makes up for it with many minds and relationships being manipulated throughout the entire book, as well as mentions of terrorism and plague/sickness at the epilogue. I thought the overall plotline made sense, especially when taking the worldbuilding into account.

However, I was disappointed by the ending. If this is how the second arc of the series ends, it felt rather lackluster, even if it was meant to be a shock cliffhanger-ending. I am interested in learning what happens in the next arc of the series, however, with all the sudden events happening during the cliffhanger. How did the illness happen among the ice dragons? Why are there now dragons going around terrorizing others? I’m curious to learn more.

Worldbuilding Development: 5 out of 5 stars

Good news: The book immediately explains how Darkstalker was freed from his underground prison in the very first chapter! As a reader, I was relieved to finally understand what was going on there.

As for the rest of the book, I thought it was interesting to learn more about the animus magic, as well as Darkstalker’s ability to seemingly give any dragon any powers they want. I can’t discuss this part too much here, since that would lead to spoilers, but I love how Darkstalker used that ability to shake up things in his favour around the other dragons.

Character Development: 3 out of 5 stars

Darkstalker should have been the star of this book. Why? Because he was the most active character, even more so than the protagonist, Turtle. I loved reading Darkstalker; he comes off as morally ambiguous. He both acts as an ally to others but also serves himself. It’s hard to tell whether he tells the truth at times, but his being the unreliable narrator of past and present events is fun to read. Also, his pining for Clearsight, as well as his attentions on Moon (even if it might teeter towards the unhealthy and/or manipulative side) give him some more depth as a character.

Meanwhile, Turtle did not have nearly as much development and intrigue as Darkstalker. He did a lot of observation and followed Darkstalker around to learn more of his plans, but it wasn’t like he did much until maybe the last third of the book when he finally let himself be exposed as an animus-magic-wielding dragon and stopped Anenome (controlled by Darkstalker) from killing Queen Coral.

Anenome, even though she was controlled by Darkstalker (whether this is the case is kind-of ambiguous closer to the end of the book), felt incredibly unsympathetic. I honestly didn’t care for her as a reader, especially after she went as far as trying to enchant Darkstalker himself (though that failed horribly considering that he overheard her ranting about her plans).

Overall, I’m rating this book 4 out of 5 stars!

This was definitely one of the better books within the second arc. It’s not the strongest book in the series, but it’s definitely better than the past few books in this series.

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