Book Review: “Wings Of Fire: Escaping Peril” by Tui T. Sutherland

Cover of "Wings Of Fire: Escaping Peril" by Tui T. Sutherland.
Cover of “Wings Of Fire: Escaping Peril” by Tui T. Sutherland

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing the book “Wings Of Fire: Escaping Peril” by Tui T. Sutherland! I read the previous books in the series before, and I’m glad to pick up another one to read and review. Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“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.”

Content Warning:

This book contains mentions of murder, death, actual character death happening in somewhat explicit detail, mind-control via magic, emotional manipulation to a very unhealthy degree, as well as mentions of decapitation. If you’re uncomfortable with this content, please be careful when reading this book or skip it entirely.

Character Development: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading what happened to Peril after the events of the main story’s first arc. It serves as a reminder that though the main heroes of the first arc saved the day, those that helped them (such as Peril) were neglected and sometimes even treated worse than when they first started. However, I quickly got annoyed with how unsure Peril was of herself and her loyalties. She especially kept moaning about it purely because Clay wasn’t around to help her out. For the majority of the book, Peril didn’t know what to do without Clay. I honestly thought she would act a lot more independently, considering all the betrayals and secrets she went through in the first main story arc of the series. Peril didn’t change much or develop, which disappointed me.

I was also disappointed with how the book handled writing Peril’s father. His power-hungry side came out of nowhere close to the end of the book, and even his behaviour leading up to it felt inconsistent. I disliked that he had to be another parental/leader figure to Peril that just ended up disappointing her/hurting her. I also wasn’t thrilled with Turtle’s development in this book. All the thought put into him felt mildly thrown out the window for reasons that I can’t spoil here.

Worldbuilding Development: 4 out of 5 stars

Remember how I mentioned the animus magic in the previous book and how effective it was? It also applies to this book to an even scarier extent. It affects not just Peril, but also those related to her. It’s frightening to read and reread, considering all the abuse and manipulation Peril has already been through in the first main story arc.

However, I’m very confused as to how Peril’s destroying of the scroll meant that Darkstalker was released. I assume this will be explained next book, so we’ll see what happens.

Plot Development: 3 out of 5 stars

I’m still surprised sometimes that this book series is marketed to children in the 9-12 age group/preteens. There is a large number of deaths and/or content that probably isn’t suitable for children, and this book is no exception. However, the main plot overall makes sense. Peril has to figure out who to trust and work with. She has to figure it out fast, to help herself and the rest of the dragons in the long run. I felt that the main plot was fine. As I mentioned earlier, Peril’s own character was hard to read for me as a whole. It doesn’t help that this story is written from her point of view. These two things affected my overall enjoyment of reading the whole story.

As I mentioned earlier in the worldbuilding section, I’m confused about why Peril destroying the scroll means that Darkstalker is now free to roam about. I hope this is explained next book.

Overall, I’m rating this book out 3 of 5 stars!

Though this wasn’t a bad book, it wasn’t the strongest in the series, either.


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