Today Caramel reviews the ninth book of Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series: Talons of Power. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.
Before reading this review you might wish to check out Caramel’s reviews of the graphic novel versions of the first five books (The Dragonet Prophecy, The Lost Heir, The Hidden Kingdom, The Dark Secret, and The Brightest Night), as well as his review of the very first book (The Dragonet Prophecy, the sixth book (Moon Rising), the seventh (Winter Turning) and the eighth (Escaping Peril).
Sprinkles: So we are in book nine. Tell us about it!
Caramel: This one is about Turtle, who is a SeaWing. He has a secret power which he does not want others to know about. He is an animus, that means he has magic.
S: What kind of magic?
C: He can enchant things. For example he made a bowl that multiplies things, kind of like a Star Trek replicator. But he doesn’t want others to know he can do this.
S: Do his friends know?
C: Yes actually all his friends know. But he does not want other dragons to know. Because he is afraid. And then Darkstalker, the evil dragon we met before, comes and tries to convince others that he has become a good dragon. And this is a lie, of course.
S: And Turtle knows this?
C: Yes, and he even made himself invisible to Darkstalker. Darkstalker cannot see him or remember him. He can’t even hear him.
C: Because he is scared. He is a scaredy cat, but for a good reason. Because Darkstalker is actually still evil and has terrible plans to take over the whole continent.
S: That sounds serious.
C: It is! And all the other dragons believe Darkstalker, so Turtle has to save the day himself.
S: Hmm, that is a good synopsis Caramel so let us leave the plot here before we go into spoiler territory.
S: So let us think more generally about the book. Turtle was a character we met before, but this is the book where he becomes the central character, right?
S: Do you like him?
C: Yes. And actually I like him more now that I understand what is going on in his mind. And he is a good dragon, and his super secret power is really cool.
S: What would you do with that power if you had it Caramel?
C: Well, I am not sure I’d use it, because each time you use your super powers, it drains a part of your soul. It makes you less of yourself somehow.
S: Ooh, I did not know that! So maybe it makes sense that Turtle doesn’t want others to know he has super powers.
C: Yes I think so, too.
S: Okay, is that why Darkstalker is bad, because he keeps using his power?
C: No, he actually protected his soul because he learned how to. But his soul is not so nice, he was originally evil, so there is that.
S: Hmm, why can’t Turtle protect his soul?
C: Well, I guess he could, too, but he is still scared of using his powers.
S: I see. Then how about we move on? So what three words would you use to describe this book? How about we try to think of what distinguishes this book from the earlier ones?
C: There is more treachery in this one, so how about “treacherous”?
S: That is a good word! What else? You need two more ideas or ways to distinguish this one from the earlier eight books.
C: We knew the inner thoughts of almost everyone from the sixth book because Moonwatcher could read their thoughts. Everyone except Peril and Turtle. But Peril we learned about her thoughts in Escaping Peril, so only Turtle’s inner thoughts were unknown. Till this book.
S: Hmm, so is there a word that could help you capture this?
C: Revelation! This one reveals Turtle’s thoughts!
S: Yes! That is a neat word Caramel. I think a related descriptive adjective would be “revelatory”.
C: Okay, so my second word is “revelatory”.
S: How about your third word?
C: Well, I found it interesting that Turtle was afraid of becoming a hero.
S: Hmm, how about calling him a “reluctant hero” then?
C: Yes. I think that describes him well. Would that count?
S: Well, it is not quite a descriptor for the book, but let’s say it will do.
C: Yes, so can we wrap this up so I can move on to the tenth book?
S: I think we can Caramel.
S: But before that, what will you tell our readers?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!