Caramel reviews Dragonslayer by Tui Sutherland

Caramel loves all things dragon, and has read and reviewed all fifteen books in Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series. (His review of the fifteenth book, The Flames of Hope, contains links to all his reviews of the previous books.) Last week, he reviewed Darkstalker, the first of Sutherland’s “Wings of Fire: Legends” series that recounts some of the backstories and the legends of the world of dragons, in a way explaining and interpreting the events of the original series. Today he talks with Sprinkles about Dragonslayer, the second book in the Legends series, which was published, in 2020, in between books thirteen, The Poison Jungle (2019), and fourteen, The Dangerous Gift (2021).

Caramel reviews Dragonslayer by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel reviews Dragonslayer by Tui Sutherland.

Sprinkles: Caramel, last week you reviewed Darkstalker by Tui Sutherland, tbe first book of the “Wings of Fire: Legends” series, and here we are today, with the second book. What do you want to tell us about it?

Caramel: It is as good as Darkstalker, but it is very different from all the other Wings of Fire books because its main characters are humans this time, and not dragons.

S: That is interesting! The dragons call humans “scavengers”, right?

C: Yup.

S: Why is that?

C: I don’t know. They never really explain.

S: Maybe it is a way to show us how the dragons see humans, as weak creatures skulking about, and trying to steal treasure or food when they can.

C: Maybe.

S: Okay, sorry for the distraction. Tell me more about Dragonslayer.

C: Okay. There are three main characters in this book, just like in Darkstalker. They are called Ivy, Leaf, and Wren. My favorite is Wren, because she is a strong female character, and she can talk to dragons, which I think is awesome.

S: I think she is abandoned by the other humans so makes friends with a dragon, right?

C: Yes, that’s more or less accurate. And Leaf is Wren’s brother but thinks she is dead. Everyone thinks Wren is dead. They tried to feed her to the dragons, but they messed up.

S: So they wanted to sacrifice her somehow?

C: Yes, exactly. So the humans live in villages, and they end up causing the war that was the main topic of the first five books in Wings of Fire. They kill the SandWing queen Oasis, and so a war begins among the SandWings to choose a new queen between her three daughters, Blister, Blaze, and Burn.

S: I remember that was the main problem in the Dragonet Prophecy story arc.

C: We even see the dragonets in their cave in this book! In fact we even see Kestrel, the female SkyWing who was one of their guardians. And we see Kestrel’s other child, Peril’s brother. It’s pretty cool.

S: So you would benefit from having read the first five books before reading this one, right?

C: I guess. But I think you could even start with this book if you wanted to. It does not say anything about the prophecy.

S: But I guess if you started the Wings of Fire series with this book, you would probably get the wrong idea. Because this one is all about humans and told from their perspective. And all the other books are about and from the perspective of the dragons. So Dragonslayer is in some ways quite peculiar among all the other books, right?

C: Yes. And I am not sure I love that it is about humans. I do like the series because I really like the dragons and I want to learn about their world.

S: Still, maybe one book out of seventeen so far being centered around some human characters might be acceptable?

C: Yes. I am not really complaining. I like the book. But maybe I like the ones told from the dragons’ points of view a bit more.

Caramel is reading Dragonslayer by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel is reading Dragonslayer by Tui Sutherland.

S: So you told us a bit about the main characters, and you told us that one could read it any time in parallel with the other books in the series —

C: Well, they should probably read it before the fourteenth book, The Dangerous Gift.

S: Why is that?

C: Some of the characters show up as important characters in the last two books, and so it would be helpful to know their backstory. And actually, some of them apparently show up even earlier, in The Brightest Night, the fifth book. But I read the whole series before the Legends, and that worked well, too.

S: I see. So can you tell me in one sentence or two what the story is about? What are Ivy and Leaf and Wren doing?

C: The story tells us the human version of the events in Pyrrhia. But also Leaf and Ivy are looking for Wren, because at some point Leaf realizes Wren is not dead.

S: Who is the Dragonslayer in the title?

C: It is Ivy’s father. He is known as the dragon slayer because he apparently has slayed dragons in his youth, but Ivy eventually learns a lot more about him. We also read about how Wren learns to communicate with a dragon so that there might be some hope for humans and dragons to live in harmony.

S: Hmm, so this could eventually merge with your other favorite dragon story, the How to Train Your Dragon series, where humans and dragons are living in some sort of cooperative relationship, at least the TV series version?

C: Well, I think that could be neat. But then again, I also like that the dragons in Pyrrhia and Pantala can tell their stories independent of the humans. So I don’t need that to happen; I don’t need dragons and humans to become friends. The dragons are cool the way they are. But maybe they could be less cruel to humans.

S: I agree. So let us wrap things up with your three words for this book.

C: Human, amazing, funny. Human because there are humans as main characters now. And all the books in the series are amazing! And they are funny!

S: Those will work. What do you want to tell our readers now?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading and rereading Dragonslayer by Tui Sutherland so many times, the book is already showing some wear-and-tear, but it is clear that even this will not stop him from continuing to read and reread his favorite series over and over again.
Caramel enjoyed reading and rereading Dragonslayer by Tui Sutherland so many times that the book is already showing some wear-and-tear, but it is clear that even this will not stop him from continuing to read and reread his favorite series over and over again.

Caramel reviews Darkstalker by Tui Sutherland

Caramel is a big fan of Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series and has already read and reviewed all fifteen books in the series. [In fact, he reviewed some of them twice! See his review of the very first book of the series, The Dragonet Prophecy, and then its graphic novel version, The Dragonet Prophecy.] Today he reviews Darkstalker, a book in Sutherland’s Wings of Fire: Legends series, that was published in 2016, in between books eight (Escaping Peril, 2015) and nine (Talons of Power, 2016). As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Darkstalker by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel reviews Darkstalker by Tui Sutherland.

Sprinkles: So here we are again, back with the dragons of Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series. Please tell us a bit about this book, Caramel.

Caramel: This book is about Darkstalker and his friends Fathom and Clearsight. He is a half-NightWing, half-IceWing hybrid.

S: I did not know there were hybrids in this world That’s cool.

C: Well, he is one of the very few that we saw so far.

S: I see.

C: Fathom is a SeaWing and was born in the Sea Kingdom. Clearsight is a full NightWing, born in the Night Kingdom, and she has the ability to see the future. Actually she does not see one future, but every single possible timeline in the future.

S: Well, does she know which will come to happen?

C: No, because a tiny tweak in an event today can change the future.

S: So the future is not determined yet.

C: True. What I say today, say I like pizza, maybe that will change someone’s view and that will change the future, because that person will decide to go out for pizza one day instead of something else. And see, I just changed the world.

S: Hmm, I see. It is cool. But so she does not quite have the sight, but can see all possible consequences. Like a really good chess master.

C: Kind of. Back to Darkstalker though. He also has a sister, named Whiteout. She is a hybrid too but looks a lot more like an IceWing. And she plays a big role in turning Darkstalker evil.

S: Yes, I seem to recall this Darkstalker, and he was bad.

C: Yes, he was mentioned in the fifth book, The Brightest Night, and showed up for real in the books of the second arc. He is only mentioned in Moon Rising, but rises from the ground in Winter Turning, and then he is present in the rest of the books of that story arc. And he is evil.

S: So the main character of this particular book is not a nice character.

C: Well, his friends Fathom and Clearsight are also main characters, and they are much better.

S: But the book is named after Darkstalker, so we learn a lot about him in it, right?

C: Yes, we see his rise and fall, how he becomes very powerful and then loses it all. He can’t die, he makes himself unhurtable, and then makes himself immortal. But the good dragons figure out a way to neutralize him and it involves Jade Mountain. But I won’t say more.

S: Maybe it is good because you are already giving away a lot of plot clues and spoilers!

C: Okay, so I will stop talking then.

S: No, don’t stop talking. Let us just move away from the plot and onto other things.

C: Sure.

Caramel is reading Darkstalker by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel is reading Darkstalker by Tui Sutherland.

S: Remember this book got out in between books eight and nine. Is the story happening in the time between those two books?

C: No, it is more like a backstory. The events in Darkstalker happened two thousand years ago and they explain his origins.

S: That is interesting. So is he at all a likeable character?

C: Well, he is evil, and he kills his own father, so I don’t think so. But we do learn his part of the story, and you can see how he slowly gets worse and worse as he becomes more and more powerful.

S: I see. Then if you had read this before reading Moon Rising, too much would be spoilt, because there, at least in the beginning, Moon does not yet know Darkstalker is evil.

C: Well, actually he makes himself look like he became good.

S: I can see how readers of the regular series might like to learn more about this ancient evil character. So did you enjoy the book?

C: Yes. Without a doubt. These legends books are neat. You get to learn a lot more about the world of the dragons.

S: So maybe you will tell us about the other legends book some time.

C: Yes, I had to read it as soon as I finished this one. So maybe we can talk about it next week.

S: We will see. But now it is time to finish this review. Can you give me three words to describe the book?

C: Handy-dandy. That means convenient and useful. It tells you how Darkstalker became evil so it is informative. And very interesting.

S: Okay, those are good words to summarize your thoughts and feelings about this book. Thank you. What do you want to tell our readers as we wrap things up?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Darkstalker by Tui Sutherland and learning some more of the backstory of the characters of his beloved Wings of Fire series. He's clearly not done with this series!
Caramel enjoyed reading Darkstalker by Tui Sutherland and learning some more of the backstory of the characters of his beloved Wings of Fire series. He’s clearly not done with this series!

Caramel reviews The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland

And the book bunnies are back! Caramel starts the new season with the last book of Tui Sutherland‘s Wings of Fire series: The Flames of Fire. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviewed the first fourteen books from the series for the book bunnies blog. Before moving forward with his review of this fifteenth book, you might like to check out his reviews of these earlier books:

Caramel reviewed both the original version (The Dragonet Prophecy) and the graphic novel version (The Dragonet Prophecy of the very first book. He reviewed only the graphic novel versions of the next four books: The Lost Heir, The Hidden Kingdom, The Dark Secret, and The Brightest Night. These five make up the Dragonet Prophecy story arc.

Here are Caramel’s reviews for the five books that make up the second story arc (the Jade Mountain): Moon Rising, Winter Turning, Escaping Peril, Talons of Power, and Darkness of Dragons.

Finally here are Caramel’s reviews of the first four books making up the third story arc (the lost continent prophecy): The Lost Continent, The Hive Queen, The Poison Jungle, and The Dangerous Gift.

Readers should be warned that there may be more spoilers in this review than usual. 

Caramel reviews The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel reviews The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, here we are, about to start yet another school year, and another season of books and book reviews! You have in your paws the fifteenth and currently the last Wings of Fire book: Flames of Hope. Are we finally done with this series? 

Caramel: Hopefully not. 

S: You mean the book ends with a cliffhanger?

C: To me yes. I’m not sure others would see it as a cliffhanger. I want to see the new world that Luna and Swordtail live in. 

S: Wait, that sounds like a spoiler.

C: No, I think it is already obvious that they would win. But to Tui Sutherland: if you are reading this, please write a sixteenth book. I want to know what happens next. 

S: Okay, let us slow down a bit. I recall that this fifteenth book is the fifth and final book of the third story arch: the lost continent. So is that arc completed and tied up nicely?

C: Yes, I think so. But these dragons will go on and live and do other amazing things, and I want to see them! 

S:  I think you mean that you like this world that Sutherland created and you are not ready to let go. 

C: Yes, exactly.

S: That is sweet. We started listening to the series as an audiobook, and I am already quite amazed at how complete this world that the author has created seems to be. So I understand why you don’t want to leave it just yet. 

C: And you know, we just are listening to the first book, and it gets better and better.

S: Cool. So would you then say that this fifteenth book is just as good as all the previous ones? 

C: Yes. 

S: So tell me what happens in it. Who is the main character this time?

C: Luna. We met her a while ago, first in book 10, The Darkness of Dragons. She is a SlikWing from Pantala.

S: So what is the main narrative arc of this book? What is the main event or challenge or conflict?

C: The main thing is that she battles the Other Mind.

S: What is the Other Mind?

C: It is the Breath of Evil, who took over a dragon and a human, and is using their minds for planning and stuff. 

S: Is the Breath of Evil a plant? I seem to recall that on Pantala there were evil plants. 

C: Yes. Exactly. The Breath of Evil is one of them. It tries to take over the entire world and Luna has to fight it. 

S: She has help from friends too, no?

C: Yes, but only Luna can do the actual thing. Only she can defeat the Other Mind. 

S: This story line sounds a bit creepier than the previous ones. 

C: But it is just as funny. There is an entire page of comic relief. Complete funniness. Pure hilarity. 

S: I see.

Caramel is reading The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel is reading The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

S: So do we see our friends from the first books? Tsunami? Clay? Peril?

C: We don’t see Peril I think, but we see the others. 

S: So do you think this is a clean and tidy ending for the series? 

C: Yes but –

S: Of course I understand you want more …

C: Yes, please Tui Sutherland, please, please, please, write more books about these dragons and their world!

S: I don’t know if she reads our blog, but I can see you feel very strongly about this. That is really neat! I think these books will be with you for a while. 

C: Yes. I will keep reading and rereading and rereading them. For a long time. 

S: I can see that. But for now, this series is over. We are done. Now looking back would you recommend this whole series to other little bunnies? 

C: Yes, of course, without a doubt. I think the first few books have some violence here and there, but overall, I love the world and the characters and everything in these books. 

S: How wonderful to have such a series that you are so fond of! So overall what three words would you use to describe the full series?

C: Hilarious, dragon awesomeness, and adventure, and friendship, and pure amazingness. 

S: Those are a little bit more than three words, but then again, they are about fifteen books. So I guess that is fine. This seems like to good place to wrap things up. What would you like to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews! 

Caramel loved reading The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland, but he thinks he will need a lot more books in this world to be completely satisfied.
Caramel loved reading The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland, but he thinks he will need a lot more books in this world to be completely satisfied.

Caramel reviews The Dangerous Gift (Book Fourteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland

Caramel has spent most of this year reading and reviewing books about dragons. Today, for his last review before the bunnies take off for the month of July, he talks about The Dangerous Gift, the fourteenth and currently the penultimate book in the Wings of Fire series by Tui Sutherland. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews The Dangerous Gift (Book Fourteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel reviews The Dangerous Gift (Book Fourteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

Sprinkles: Book Fourteen. Here we are. What can you tell us about it?

Caramel: This one is about Queen Snowfall of the IceWings.

S: Is she the main character?

C: Yes.

S: But the queens are typically bad in this book series, no?

C: Not this one. Burn, Bister, and Blaze were bad, and so was Scarlet. But there is Ruby, and she is not that bad. And Snowfall is really not bad.

S: I see. So how does she fit into the storyline of the Lost Continent?

C: Some dragons from the tribes from the lost continent come over to the Ice Kingdom, though they were not intending to, and they ask for help. So the IceWings get involved.

S: I see.

C: Technically only about twelve IceWings get involved. Queen Snowfall orders ten guards to come with her, and Lynx, another IceWing, comes along, because she is not going to take no for an answer.

S: Hmm, is Lynx Snowfall’s friend?

C: They are technically enemies. Or they were, until Snowfall became the queen. Before her, the queen was Queen Glacier, who was Snowfall’s mother.

S: So what happened to her?

C: She died. Of a plague, sent by Darkstalker.

S: Oh, I remember Darkstalker, who was the bad guy from the second story arc, the Jade Mountain arc.

C: Yep.

Caramel is reading The Dangerous Gift (Book Fourteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel is reading The Dangerous Gift (Book Fourteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

S: Okay, so Snowfall is the main character of this book, right?

C: Yes. I like her. In the beginning she is kind of annoying but then you start to actually like her.

S: Do the IceWings decide to help the dragons from the other continent?

C: They have to. Because the new dragons have to get to the Sanctuary. That is the place that the Talons of Peace created after the war, at the end of the first five books. Did I tell you about the Talons of Power?

S: No, I don’t think so.

C: Well they come up in the tenth book.

S: Well the ninth book is called the Talons of Power?

C: Yeah, but you actually learn who they are in the tenth. They were created by Quibli’s grandpa who thought the Talons of Peace were too weak and so he created the Talons of Power.

S: I see.

C: But who is important in this book is the Talons of Peace, and the Sanctuary they created. The dragons from the other continent want to go there.

S: Why?

C: That is a safe place. They are running away the Hive Queen. That is Queen Wasp, who can control all the HiveWings. Remember?

S: Yes, I do. So our friends from the earlier books, Blue, Cricket, and Luna, are they among the dragons from Pantala who came over?

C: Luna had come over already in the tenth book. She was stuck in Pyrrhia, and when Queen Wasp attacked and took over a large part of the LeadWings, our friends escaped. It is now impossible to attack Queen Wasp because she now can control a lot of dragons.

S: I see. So does this book have a neat ending that ties things together? Or is everything going to have to wait till the fifteenth book?

C: It ends in a cliffhanger. I have to, have to, have to read the fifteenth book!

S: I know. Okay, let us wrap up this review so you can get your paws on the next one then.

C: Yay!

S: But our readers will have to wait till August for your review of it.

C: That’s true! This is our last review before we take off the month of July.

S: Yes. I hope we will be reading a lot this month, and by the time we get back to the blog, we will have a lot to talk about.

C: Yes!

S: So would you do the honors and say your words to the readers to wrap up the review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews! Coming back in August 2022!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Dangerous Gift (Book Fourteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland, and is eager to dive into the fifteenth book. But the readers of the blog will need to wait until August to read his thoughts about that book.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Dangerous Gift (Book Fourteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland, and is eager to dive into the fifteenth book. But the readers of the blog will need to wait until August to read his thoughts about that book.