Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland
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.
There are fantastic drawings and descriptions of each of the dragon tribes at the beginning of the book that made for a necessary reference when trying to keep the characters straight while reading. The dragons have human-like personalities, especially the dragonets, raised to bring peace to the world. The young dragonets have good hearts and not at all violent. Even the central character Clay, a MudWing, who supposedly attacked his peers’ eggs as soon as he hatched – can’t seem to bring forth that fury within himself again. So, when the dragonets emerge from their secluded place of protection and training, none of them are prepared for a world where dragons have lived in war for ages. The dragons on the outside are hard, violent, and cruel – with a vastly different set of moral conduct.
I absolutely fell in love with Sutherland’s world of diverse dragons, intrigue, and prophecy. But the highlight of the story is certainly the five young dragons, and Clay in particular. Their bravery, selflessness for each other, and innocence is heartwarming in the midst of their dark surroundings. Wings of Fire is the first in the Dragonet Prophecy series with plenty of promise. The series is marketed for middle readers, but can be enjoyed by fantasy fans of all ages. Though it is somewhat dark and could be a bit violent at times for younger children. Full of adventure, suspense, fascinating characters, and plenty of surprises along the way – this novel was impossible to put down. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the sequel, planned to release in January 2013.