New ‘Wings of Fire’ flies into the scene


Dragons, magic, and mystique, Wings of Fire: The Poison Jungle has much to offer for young fantasy readers. This book series is by Tui T. Slutherland and is one of the better-known child’s fantasy books, and is praised by many. This one keeps right up with that streak, being intriguing and interesting, if with a bit of an odd plot (more on that later). It is the thirteenth book in an extensive series, split up in groups of five, this is the third book of the third set, so you probably want to read the other 12, or at the very least, I would suggest reading the other two of the set. As I said earlier, this book series is about dragons, and all the main characters are dragons, with numerous different species with different habitats, abilities, and appearances. Of course, with dragons, there is a presence of violence, harm, and death, but Slutherland tries to stay away from such topics unless somewhat necessary, and even then, it is only mentioned briefly and without much description. The books have gained more concepts of violence and other teen-plus content over the series, though, since the original readers are around 15-17 now, and she is trying to make it still entertaining for them, too. Although, there are some good parts of that, too, since there is an increase of romance, which helps move along the plot, and makes the plot seem less shallow, and give it some deeper, more meaningful concepts. There are either 295 or 310 pages, depending on whether or not you count the prologue and epilogue. As I mentioned earlier, there is a bit of an odd plot, with mind-control and a mysterious person or thing behind it, it can be a bit weird and irregular. But, it is still pretty comprehensive of a plot, and easy enough to follow. There are definitely good aspects, too, like the characters. They are all different, but 90% have everyone’s best interest in mind and are very kind and sweet, though they show it in different ways. Also, the characters have an attitude throughout that’s positive and can-do, which is often much better than the pessimistic attitude that some book characters have. Moreover, they realize that they have to work for their success, and they’re willing to get dirty and put serious effort in, which is starting to become rarer in everyday life. Slutherland also does a great job of adding fewer clique things in, like how one of the breeds of dragon can spin silk, which is a pretty unique ability, and there are dozens of other examples of her ingenuity, like how in some of her earlier books, there was a breed of dragons that can only breathe fire in warm temperatures, which is a fairly different idea that’s never really been used before. Overall, I enjoyed this book and a large portion of young fantasy readers will appreciate it, too. Despite being a bit more geared to older readers, it’s still a great kid’s book, and a chip right off the rest of the series’ block.