Darkness of Dragons, by Tui T. Sutherland

I have, ever since the first book of Tui T. Sutherland's Wings of Fire series came out back in 2012, been a big fan of these books, pushing them at people right and left, saying that the force of kid appeal is strong in them.  It is true that when I got an ARC of the very first book I looked at it with doubt--"baby dragons of prophecy?" I thought skeptically, and than sat down to read.  When I got up again, having finished the book in a single sitting, I was a fan. Here's a snippet of my review of that first book, which still is a pretty good expression of my feelings for the series:

"I must confess I was doubtful at first, a bit condescending even, but once the dragonets had escaped from their cave, it was a page-turner! It helped that the various dragons were sufficiently characterized to be interesting, and that the world building of all the different kinds of dragons was fascinating. It helped even more so that the fights to the death in the Skywing arena weren't sugar-coated, but deadly serious, and that the Skywings champion was a surprisingly sympathetic character. It also helped that I, in general, am a fan of plucky orphans with interesting skills raised in miserable circumstances but making good, and as these dragonets are de facto orphans, they fit the bill nicely.

But even beyond those details of story, what pleased even cynical me most was that there were themes here that I was happy to have my son think about--loyalty to friends transcending blind loyalty to tribe, the need to empathize with other points of view, the need to try your best to shape your own destiny, and not be someone's tool, and the senselessness of war.

The sensitive young reader might be troubled by some of the violence--dragons really do kill other dragons. But no beloved characters die, so it's not too upsetting."

Now, a mere five years later (thank you Tui for your hard work!) Darkness of Dragons (Scholastic July, 2017) brings to a close the second five book Wings of Fire series.  Darkstalker, legendary magic-wielding evil dragon, has returned to threaten the tenuous new peace of the various dragon kingdom, and it's up to a ferociously smart young dragon, Qibli, to try to foil him.

Qibli feels pretty powerless against the tremendous powers wielded by Darkstalker.  The only magic Qibli has on hand are objects enchanted by his friend Turtle.  But (as readers of the series will expect), Qibli's wits and the help of loyal friends are enough to ensure a happy ending.  I could put in more plot details, but I won't.  Fans of the series will be wanting to read the book for themselves (if they haven't already in the two days since they were released), and those who aren't fans should start with the first book of the first series.

Instead I'll just mention a few things I particularly liked about this book and the series in general.

--There is So Much Story here!  The Wings of Fire world adds interesting new characters and bits of backstory and dragon history with every new book.  Depsite the richness of the details, there are so many small bits in this big world that there's tons of room for the imagination of the reader to play in.

--There are so many characters to care about!  Because each book has a different main point of view character, we see old friends through a fresh lens each time, understanding the dynamics of their relationships afresh with every book.  The dragons get to change, and grow, and their opinions and perspectives shift in a very lovely way.   And we meet new dragons too in every book.

--There's adventure, but not so much of it that the character arcs get overwhelmed.  That being said, Darkstalker is too horrible for my reading comfort, and it's most horrible of all that one can almost sympathize with him.  The end of the book set my mind at ease, though (though I won't say more about that!).

--this world now has LGBTQ dragons in it!  Just a minor touch of romance at the end, but it broadens the possibilities beautifully.

And yay!  Another five book series is on its way...

disclaimer: thank you, Scholastic, for the past five years of review copies!  Best book mail ever.


  1. I love your enthusiasm! I have grandkids that love fantasy much more than I do. I will have to show them the way to these books. Thanks for telling me about them.

  2. I have kids who absolutely love these and they do sound wonderful (I'm not a fantasy epic reader though...) but part of me is like omg ANOTHER SERIES?? Sigh. Just so you know, a graphic novel is coming out in January of Dragonet Prophecy.


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