Book Review: “Wings Of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy” by Tui T. Sutherland

Cover of "Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy" by Tui T. Sutherland.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reading “Wings Of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy” by Tui T. Sutherland! I came across this book recently and figured it was worth trying because 1. I’ve never read a book were literal dragons were protagonists before and 2. It’s been a while since I’ve read and reviewed a book in a targeted age range for children as opposed to Young Adults or Adults. Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy — a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice.

Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war.

But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the revolutionary planners intended . . .”

Sidenote that isn’t counted in this review, but probably handy to know for anyone interested in reading:

There are at least FIVE death scenes with notable violence/murder as its cause in the book, not counting the ones spoken of in conversation that occurred prior to the current events of the book. Three of those deaths alone are in the first half of the book. I’m going to be honest: Given that this book was in the 9-12 age range when I found it, I’m surprised at how many deaths there are, especially with how much detail there was for each death. Granted, the details aren’t too graphic, probably due to the audience this book was written for (9-12), but I still find it to be a jarring amount of death to read within one book (especially one meant for kids to read).

Worldbuilding Development: 5 out of 5 stars

The worldbuilding itself is complex, but easily broken down to be understandable. As the main characters discover more of the new world around them (they were previously isolated from the world for the first years of their life), the reader also discovers more of that same world as well. I also appreciated the map and dragon-type guide given at the beginning of the book to read through, because that helped me understand the types of dragons and what they could do. Given that the main cast is full of different types of dragons on a biological level, this also helps me understand the dragonets (basically the term for ‘dragons that are still kids’ for those wondering) more. However, the worldbuilding and perceptions of types of dragons doesn’t end there: it also comes from how each of the dragons treat each other. For example, Glory is shunned for being a RainWing, due to a RainWing not being part of the prophecy, and she suffers from being stereotyped as lazy and sleepy all the time when, in fact, she’s one of the hardest-working main characters and subverts those expectations of her. Moments like this helped me understand more of the world and the characters that live in it, and I appreciate that.

Main Plot Development: 5 out of 5 stars

Character Development: 5 out of 5 stars

The main plot of the book was interesting and had several plot twists and sideplots that helped supplement the main plot’s development and the development of all the main characters. I liked the idea of the prophecy and the war, as well as how that got fleshed out for all the characters involved. It’s a little slow in the beginning, but it helps set up the exposition and background that all the main characters live in and how it affects them.

All the main characters (Clay, Glory, Sunny, Starlight, and Tsunami) all had their interesting quirks to differentiate them from each other, other than just their biological differences due to them being different types of dragons. Even though some are more favoured than others by the other dragons (Starlight is seen as more important to Morrowseer due to his biological origins as a NightWing while shunning Sunny for being a RainWing and deemed unnecessary to the prophecy for example), all five of the group still remain friends and stick up for each other. It’s only through all of them working together that they achieve their goals (one being to sneak out of their underground cave so they can finally see the war for themselves and figure out who should be the next SandWing Queen, another goal being to find the families they were separated from prior to birth). It was all of their actions (though mainly Clay’s due to the main plot focusing on him) that brought the development of this main plot, and I loved how all of them had their resourcefulness of knowing their own and each other’s skills to solve what situations they got into.

For Clay individually, given that he was the main character and we saw everything through his eyes, I thought he was fun to read. He learns to be his own sort of person, and not the person that others tell him to be, and I love how he grows into being more of who he feels is his authentic self, while dealing with several moral issues along the way. Also, remember that I mentioned that one of the dragonets’ goals was to find their families? Clay found his by the end of the book. Unfortunately, for plot-related reasons I won’t get into, it’s not the best reunion (though there are a few heartwarming moments to be found). This really helped me connect more to Clay as a character and it helped his development a lot.

Out of the two mentors for the dragonets, Webs and Kestrel, Kestrel had more development which actually feeds into a sideplot for Peril that I’ll elaborate on in a later paragraph. As for Webs, we didn’t see much of him after the first half of the book (although I did enjoy what I read of him), but I hope he returns in later books so we see more of him and his development.

Sideplot Development: 5 out of 5 stars

All the sideplots were well done, and added to the character development and main plot development as I mentioned earlier. For example, Peril’s known backstory of her mother being killed by Queen Scarlet? Turns out Peril’s mother is 1. Alive and 2. That mother is Kestrel, the mentor of our main characters! Not only do we get to see Kestrel in a new light, knowing that she already was part of the Talons of Peace, but we also get to see her relationship with Peril. Unfortunately, we won’t have the opportunity for Peril and Kestrel to have more interactions with each other due to character death and main plot development reasons. However, I do wonder if we’ll see Peril again or have at least some mention of her later in the series.

There’s also one plot twist I didn’t expect: The NightWings (or at least Morrowseer) ultimately sided with Blister, one of the three SandWings (the other two being Blaze and Burn) warring against each other for the throne, and planted Starlight back into the main group to be a ‘traitor’ in some form. It seems that Blister wants the dragonets to work for her, and Morrowseer is all too interested in helping her with the plan. But why is this the case? Is it because Blister already has SeaWings on her side and the NightWings think they can help her win the war by siding with Blister, or do they have another agenda in mind? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens!

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

I definitely look forward to reading the next book in the series, and if you like prophecies and dragons as the main characters, you’ll like reading this book for sure!

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