Wings of Fire #8. Author: Tui T. Sutherland.
Peril has been loyal to Queen Scarlet, who used her fatal firescales to kill countless dragons in the SkyWing arena. Now, Peril is loyal to Clay, the only dragonet who has ever been her friend. So when Scarlet threatens Jade Mountain Academy, Peril sets off to find her former queen, stop her, and save the day, no matter what it takes. There’s just one problem: a strangely persistent SeaWing, Turtle, insists on coming along, too. Turtle is worried about his friends, who left to search for Scarlet and haven’t returned. Peril is worried that she might accidentally burn Turtle — or burn him on purpose, for being so annoying — and frustrated that she keeps saying and doing the wrong things. She can’t escape her firescales, and she can’t escape her reputation as the deadliest dragon in Pyrrhia. So when she’s offered a chance to trade everything for a second chance, Peril has to decide who she’s really loyal to . . . and whether her own scales might actually be worth saving.
The Wings of Fire series seems to be aiming higher in its age range, and the result is even more interesting – and heart-wrenching. Peril, our point-of-view main character, still speaks and thinks like a young dragon, with uncertainty, humor and slang.
Yet mixed in with her guileless thoughts are constant, glancing thoughts of how she would kill the dragons around her if needed, how she would escape, and when she gets mad she longs to set her companions on fire. The youngster has been mentally twisted and maimed by Queen Scarlet raising her, used as a weapon since she was born, never knowing anything but killing. This is harshly evident in such scenes as when a mind-reader is horrified at her thoughts – and Peril is only confused, for doesn’t everyone plan how you would kill a dragon when you first meet them? What if you need to? Yet despite her upbringing, despite everything Scarlet ever taught her and did to her, she’s struggling for the right path. She’s careful around other dragons. She tries to stay out of the wooden towns. She tries not to attack even when provoked. In a word, she’s fallen in love with Clay, and she would do anything to win his approval.
But it’s more than that… even when she loses her memory of him and everything he said to her, she still hesitates to follow Scarlet again, something tells her what they do is wrong, and she resists. Queen Scarlet’s notorious death monster has changed forever.
Sexual content: Dragon says he ‘was a full Skywing when he fathered’ his child.
Violence: A cactus explodes, and several dragons are minorly hurt by flying, burning spines. One dragon is severely burned, but subsequently healed by magic. A decapitated dragon head is seen. A dragonling is kidnapped. Two dragons fight to the death, one has its neck broken. The POV character often fantasies about setting dragons on fire, how to kill dragons she meets, and makes multiple threats (please see opinions section before decision). The POV character has killed many dragons in the past, and once or twice references gladiatorial events where she fought dragons.
Love Triangle: No.