Caramel has gone through almost all the books written by Tui T. Sutherland, including all fifteen books of her Wings of Fire series. Today he is talking about The Winglets Quartet: The First Four Stories (2020). As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, you managed to find yet another Wings of Fire book to review.
Caramel: Yup! Heh heh heh!
S: So this looks like a collection of four stories. Right?
C: Yes. There is one about a NightWing named Fierceteeth (“Prisoners”), another about the NightWing assassin named Deathbringer (“Assassin”), another about a SandWing named Six-Claws (“Deserter”) and another about an IceWing named Arctic (“Runaway”).
S: I remember Deathbringer! We met him in the third book, The Hidden Kingdom, right?
C: Yep. But in the story about him, we learn more about Deathbringer’s life, how he became an assassin and so on. It is called “Assassin” after all.
S: I see. So are all four stories about characters that show up somewhere in the fifteen main books of the series then?
C: Yep. Fierceteeth shows up in the fourth book already. That is The Dark Secret. Six-Claws shows up in the fifth book, The Brightest Night. And we first hear about Arctic in the sixth book, Moon Rising. Though Arctic’s story is more like the story of Darkstalker, because he lived many many years ago. In fact he is Darkstalker’s father. But Moonwatcher starts to learn about Arctic from Darkstalker when he communicates with her through her mind. So that happens in the sixth book.
S: So let me get this straight. Three of the main characters of these stories are contemporary characters that we meet in the main series, but we learn a lot more about their backstories. And the fourth, Arctic, is a significant character mentioned in the books, but one who lived many many years before the events of those books took place. Right?
C: Yup, I think you got it.
S: So tell me more. I do not remember you reading too many short stories. How did it feel to read these ones?
C: They are fun! I loved to learn more about these characters and their stories. And you know, anything more Tui T. Sutherland can tell me about the world of these dragoons, I’m eager to read.
S: I know. So since we are listening to The Hidden Kingdom at the moment, and we have met Deathbringer already, I am curious about that story myself. Would you say that reading that story (“Assassin”) would help me understand The Hidden Kingdom better? Or maybe at least understand Deathbringer’s motivations?
C: Yes I guess. But the stories are just fun no matter what.
S: From what I can gather looking at the dates when these stories were written, or at least published, the author seems to have already gotten all of the first arc done and was more or less in the middle of the second arc. So it is kind of neat to think about how she was knitting this world up all together, but along the way, she went back and told us a nit more about some of the incidental characters, and made the world a lot richer.
C: Yes. I guess. So for example you can understand Deathbringer’s psyche much better after reading “Assassin”.
S: Wow, Caramel, psyhe is a big word!
C: But it is the right word here. So you understand him a lot better because you learn that his mom died when he was very young and that is one of the reasons why he does not like Blister —
S: Wait, don’t give away too much! I think I want to read that story myself!
C: You should. I think it might be one of my favorites among the four. Then again they are all pretty awesome!
S: So are they as funny and violent as the main books?
C: They are funny but maybe not as violent. They are a little less bloody.
S: Okay, I think I might borrow the book for a bit then.
C: Sure. But we should probably wrap up this review before then.
S: I agree. So describe the book to me in three words then.
C: Descriptive, funny, and biographical. Because the stories are kind of like little biographies of the four dragons.
S: Makes sense to me. So what would you like to tell our readers next?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!