Tui T. Sutherland has created a Wings of Fire world that currently spans 12 books and is growing. The entire series can be broken down into miniseries, the first five books being one.
Book 1:The Dragonet Prophecy
Book 2: The Lost Heir
Book 3: The Hidden Kingdom
Book 4: The Dark Secret
Book 5: The Brightest Night
Synopsis: The land of Pyrrhia is made-up of seven Kingdoms each inhabiting different clans of dragons. These kingdoms have been at war with each other for decades. An organization called the Talons of Peace believe a prophecy that five eggs hatched on the brightest night contain Dragonets that will end the war. The Talons of Peace steal these five eggs and raise the dragons under a mountain preparing them for war. These five dragons grow very close like a family. When the Talons of Peace threatens one the Dragonets work together and escape. Once free they want different things: to find their families, revenge on their captives, to fulfill the prophecy, end the war, be left alone. Where they end up is right in the middle of the war.
Parental Thoughts on Wings of Fire Books 1-5:
Caution: Violent! These books are VERY violent. A war is going on and dragons fight, kill, die, etc. You may want to avoid these books if you have issues with extreme violence.
Positive: I really enjoy the writing style of Tui T. Sutherland. Each book is written with an emphasis on one of the Dragonets which changes the tone of the book depending on the personality of the book’s main Dragonet. This is not easy to do and Sutherland pulls it off very well. This gives each book a different feel which makes each one feel fresh and new (except she does use the phrase, “On the one talon . . . , but on the other talon . . .” too many times throughout the series). I also enjoyed how each region in Pyrrhia is a different culture from how the dragons look, eat, mate, talk, their environment, etc. This plays out in the book regarding stereotypes and prejudices. It is great that each book is from a different Point of View. The readers can relate to each type of dragon and empathize regardless of origin and can see that certain stereotypes and prejudices are wrong. The reader can enjoy each culture and love them for their differences.
Negative: My main complaint with these books is not one culture has a belief system in a higher being. This is a huge gaping hole in this land created with many different cultures (seven!). All cultures in history have had a belief system in a higher being, so why not include this? To leave this out was intentional and I wonder why? I am not arguing that Sutherland should have made each culture have faith in a higher being, but not having any is a huge oversight about differences in cultures and learning to love diversity.
Amazon: Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catechism of Catholic Church relevant paragraphs:
27: The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. . .
28: In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behavior: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being.
Violence: A lot of fighting and death. 4/5
Sex: There is some talk of mating and a few dragons seem to like each other in a romantic way. 1/5
Positive Role Models: Many of the characters make good choices, are altruistic, firm to who they are and what they believe, as well as loyal. 4/5
Drugs: Nothing major stands out, but there may have been a few side references to partying. 1/5
Bonus Graphic Novels:
If your kids, like mine, love Graphic Novels these books have them as well.
Wings of Fire Graphic Novel 1: The Dragonet Prophecy
The Lost Heir (Wings of Fire Graphic Novel 2)
The Hidden Kingdom (Wings of Fire Graphic Novel 3): A Graphix Book
Keywords: Fantasy, Dragons, War, Culture, Adventure, Fiction, Young Adult, Middle School, Friendship, Family