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).
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?
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.
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.
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!