December 7, 2012
Wings of Fire
by Tui T. Sutherland
First sentence: "A dragon was trying to hide in the storm."
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The dragon war -- the fight between three sisters for the Sandwing crown -- has been going on for years, wreaking havoc on the kingdoms. The only dragons -- as far as the prophecy goes -- that can change everything are the five dragonets spoken of in the prophecy. Who have, conveniently, been in hiding, guided by members of the Talons of Peace, for the past six years.
Clay, a Mudwing, is one of those dragonets, and he (for better or worse) has no desire to be a fighter, or to Change the World. He just wants to be with his clan -- Tsunami (Icewing), Sunny (Sandwing), Glory (Rainwing), and Starflight (Nightwing) -- and to hide from everything. Well, maybe he does want to meet the parents he was snatched from all those years ago. But when things come to a head in the underground caves, and Tsunami propels them into escape, Clay (and his clan) will find out that things are a lot more Dangerous and Ominous than they thought.
This was a lot of fun. The whole prophecy-as-a-copout thing aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the world that Sutherland created. There's some very despicable dragons to root against, and the dragonets (collectively, though I really liked Clay) are worth rooting for. I liked the complications of politics, the throwbacks to Roman times, and just the whole dragon thing. It's not as good a dragon book as, say, Seraphina, but then it's aimed at an entirely different audience. And for that audience, it works immensely well.
(Just for the record: because this is a Cybils nominee, I've been asked to make sure y'all know this is my opinion only, and not that of the panel.)