47 pages 1 hour read

Tui T. Sutherland

Darkness of Dragons

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2017

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Summary and Study Guide


Darkness of Dragons is the 10th novel in the Wings of Fire saga by best-selling children’s author, Tui Sutherland. The novel is the last in the Jade Mountain Prophecy arc of the Wings of Fire universe. Set in a fantasy world of magical dragons and prophecies, the novel addresses power, violence, war, and xenophobia as the background to the adolescent protagonist’s search for identity. The book was published in 2017. This guide refers to the Scholastic edition.

Content Warning: The book contains violence and addresses the psychological toll of war.

Plot Summary

The Wings of Fire series is set in a fantasy world of anthropomorphized dragons that inhabit two continents, Pyrrhia and Pantala. Pyrrhia is home to seven tribes of dragons: SandWings, MudWings, SeaWings, IceWings, NightWings, RainWings, and SkyWings. Pantala houses three tribes: SilkWings, HiveWings, and LeafWings. The tribes are ruled by queens and mainly live independently of each other, although hybrid dragons exist.

Darkness of Dragons tells the story of Qibli, a SandWing dragonet, who must confront the mysterious figure Darkstalker to save Jade Mountain Academy and maintain the fragile peace in Pyrrhia.

Part 1 begins as Qibli watches a group of his friends fly away with the legendary NightWing hybrid, Darkstalker. Qibli uncovers a dark enchantment that compels the dragons of Pyrrhia to trust and support Darkstalker; however, Qibli wears an earring that protects his mind from such magical control. He must convince the other dragons of Darkstalker’s danger.

Qibli devises a method to duplicate his earring and takes his discovery to his friends Sunny and Tsunami. Tsunami leaves to take several earrings to distribute amongst the dragons in the rainforest. Qibli reflects on the powers of the animus dragons, demonstrating fear and longing for the power of magic.

Meanwhile, Qibli and his friend, Prince Winter, race to save their friend Ostrich from the crime lord, Vulture. Vulture is Qibli’s grandfather and rules over the Scorpion Den in the SandWing kingdom. There they learn of a plot to overthrow Thorn’s nascent rule of the SandWing tribe. Vulture has been inciting violence and acts of terrorism with a secret army of hooded mercenaries called the Talons of Power. He intends to sow discord amongst the SandWings before challenging Thorn’s authority by introducing a secret heir, the missing granddaughter of Queen Oasis, Onyx. Qibli and Winter realize these events may figure into the prophecy that looms over Pyrrhia and Jade Mountain Academy.

While Qibli and his friends are held captive in the Scorpion Den, Darkstalker takes control of the majority of the NightWing tribe, taking them and to the hidden kingdom.

Qibli is shocked to learn that Vulture imprisoned his mother for allowing Qibli to leave the Scorpion Den with Thorn to become an Outclaw. Horrified by Cobra’s circumstances, Qibli promises to help her, making a deal with Vulture to ensure the release of Cobra and Ostrich. Qibli, Cobra, Winter, and Ostrich devise a plan to trick Vulture and escape.

Qibli struggles with divided loyalties between his family in the Scorpion Den, Thorn and the Outclaws, and his friends. When they reach the SandWing palace to warn Thorn of Vulture’s plans and Darkstalker’s hidden threat, Qibli tells Thorn to arrest Cobra. Realizing Cobra was a part of a scheme to assassinate Thorn, Qibli is finally able to let go of his devotion to his family and give Thorn his full support.

Qibli sees Onyx attempt to assassinate Thorn. The assassination turns into an open challenge. Qibli fears for the queen and uses magic to prevent the challenge and protect Thorn. Unaccustomed of the new power he wields, Qibli buries the palace in sand.

In Part 2, Qibli and Winter discover that Darkstalker created a plague to kill the IceWing tribe. Qibli duplicates and distributes more of his earrings, counteracting Darkstalker’s power and saving the remaining IceWings.

Qibli and Winter learn their friend Turtle is held captive by Darkstalker while Moon remains unaware of the evil nature of the dragon. They locate the hidden NightWing Kingdom, meeting up with their friends to rescue Turtle and warn Moon.

Darkstalker learns that his plan to kill the IceWings has failed. He enchants the NightWings with powers that will make his army invincible and leaves to attack the IceWings.

Qibli meets a mysterious female NightWing who gives him an enchanted device, explaining that he will need it to confront Darkstalker. She disappears.

Qibli, Moon, Winter, Anemone, and Kinkajou realize Darkstalker’s army and the IceWing army will meet over Jade Mountain Academy. They go to save the school and try to stop the war.

Qibli attempts to use magic again when he realizes that he is the true danger to the school. He quickly gives the animus-touched object he controls back to his friend and devises a plan to make the two armies see eye-to-eye. Part 2 ends with Qibli more certain of his identity and with a growing sense of self-worth. Then he is snatched and carried off by Darkstalker.

In Part 3, Qibli faces Darkstalker. Darkstalker complements him on his cleverness and offers to give him magic, describing a future where they become friends and change the world together.

Finally confident in his value and abilities, Qibli rejects the offer. When the ongoing threat of Darkstalker becomes clear, Qibli gives the dragon the mysterious, enchanted device he received earlier. He learns it is a soulreader, created by Darkstalker long ago. It measures the level of good and evil in a dragon’s soul. Darkstalker is distraught when he realizes that he is almost completely evil.

Moon arrives bringing the mysterious female NightWing with her. The NightWing is Darkstalker’s mother, who was awakened from an enchanted sleep like her son. She comforts Darkstalker and advises him to give up magic, start over, and live a normal life. Darkstalker rejects this option. So, his mother tricks him to ensure Darkstalker will get a second chance. He becomes a young dragonet, and his mother raises him without any memories of war or violence. Qibli, Moon, and his friends can enjoy peace in Pyrrhia once more.

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By Tui T. Sutherland