The Dragonet Prophecy: Kind of like ASOIAF for kids

Wings of Fire by Tui T. SutherlandWings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland

The Dragonet Prophecy is the first in the new series WINGS OF FIRE, by Tui T. Sutherland. It’s set in a world where dragons are the dominant species; humans are present but are called “scavengers” and seen as an occasionally dangerous nuisance. The prophecy concerns five young dragons who, it is foretold, will end a long and ruinous war. The five are hidden away and raised by a small rebel underground.

Sutherland quickly takes this plot in a couple of unexpected directions that hooked me right away. The rebels are not particularly good people — er, dragons — and don’t necessarily have the dragonets’ best interests at heart. And one of the five dragonets thought to be mentioned in the prophecy was killed in the egg, so another was substituted: Glory, who comes from the much-despised RainWing tribe. These two factors come together to pose a deadly threat to Glory.

It’s this threat to Glory that inspires the dragonets to defy their guardians for the first time, and sparks the coming-of-age adventure of Clay, the MudWing who is our point-of-view character and protagonist. The dragonets must escape and save Glory — and if they manage that, they will find themselves in the outside world and in the midst of the dragon war.

The Dragonet Prophecy is pretty violent for a middle-grade book; it depicts war and gladiatorial combat without pulling a lot of punches. For this reason, I think it’s best suited for the upper end of the middle-grade range. However, the dialogue and humor feel “young” in a way I’m hard-pressed to put my finger on, and so I don’t think WINGS OF FIRE is going to be one of those kids’ series that gains a huge cult following among adults.

Which is kind of a shame, actually, because Sutherland spins a good plot with lots of twists and betrayals and shades-of-gray morality. It felt kind of like reading A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE for kids, though of course much shorter and with dragons in the speaking roles. So far I’m really intrigued, and I plan to look up the second book, The Last Heir, when it comes out in January.


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KELLY LASITER is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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2 comments

  1. Sarah /

    I will have to check this out. Always on the lookout for a book with dragons.

  2. The title of the sixth “Shadow Lord” book is “Dragons”, if you look at my cover art, there is a baby dragon sitting on his shoulder… Check out the blurb for the first book too…

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