I read Wings of Fire along with my fourth-grade son’s lunchtime reading group, and the boys loved the story. I hated it…intensely. To split the difference between the boys’ positive opinion of the book and my negative one, I’ve given the book three stars.
Wings of Fire is the first in a series of books by Tui T. Sutherland set in Pyrrhia, the land of seven warring dragon tribes. Three sisters—Burn, Blister, and Blaze—are fighting to succeed their dead mother as queen of the SandWings. This war has spread throughout Pyrrhia, and individual sisters have made alliances with other dragon tribes in order to conquer.
Meanwhile, a prophecy says that five dragonets will establish peace in Pyrrhia, with one of the sisters becoming rightful heir to her mother’s throne. The book opens with these five dragonets in hiding, being trained in warfare and dragon lore. The dragonets names are Clay, Tsunami, Starflight, Glory, and Sunny, each of whom comes from a different tribe.
Like I said above, the boys loved the book, especially the violent action sequences. That’s one of the reasons I disliked the book. To my mind, it’s too graphic for fourth graders. Additionally, I thought the plot was anticlimactic, insofar as it involved the five dragonets, as if Sutherland were just setting up the story for future books, rather than letting each book stand on its own.
Finally, I thought the book’s conclusion—at least as it involved the adult dragons—was incredibly cynical. Basically, the “prophecy” is really cover for one allegedly neutral dragon tribe to push its covert alliance with one of the SandWing sisters. The prophecy isn’t a prophecy, the good guys aren’t good, and the dragonets have been raised to believe they have a destiny, but it’s all just made up for political purposes. Cynical.
So, like I said, I hated the book intensely, but the boys loved it, which is probably why Scholastic keeps cranking out successive volumes in the series.
Tui T. Sutherland, Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy (New York: Scholastic, 2013).
P.S. If you found my review helpful, please click “Helpful” on my Amazon review page.