Book Review: “Wings Of Fire: Moon Rising” by Tui T. Sutherland

Warning: This book review contains spoilers for “Wings Of Fire: Moon Rising” by Tui T. Sutherland.

 

Cover of "Wings Of Fire: Moon Rising" by Tui T. Sutherland.
Cover of “Wings Of Fire: Moon Rising” by Tui T. Sutherland.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Wings Of Fire: Moon Rising” by Tui T. Sutherland! It’s been a while since I read and reviewed a book in this series, and I figured it was about time to continue the series. Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“Peace has come to Pyrrhia…for now.

The war between the tribes is finally over, and now the dragonets of the prophecy have a plan for lasting peace: Jade Mountain Academy, a school that will gather dragonets from all the tribes and teach them to live together, perhaps even as friends.Moonwatcher isn’t sure how she feels about school, however. Hidden in the rainforest for most of her life, the young NightWing has an awful secret. She can read minds, and even see the future. Living in a cave with dozens of other dragons is noisy, exhausting — and dangerous. In just a few days, Moon finds herself overwhelmed by her secret powers and bombarded by strange thoughts, including those of a mysterious dragon who might be a terrible enemy. And when someone starts attacking dragons within the academy, Moon has a choice to make: Stay hidden and safe? Or risk everything to save her new friends?”

Content Warning:

This book does contain attempted murder and actual murder (though mostly non-graphically described). It also discusses some of the trauma and grief left behind in the aftermath of a war (specifically, the war that drove the plot of the first five books in this series). If you’re uncomfortable with any of this content, please read this carefully or skip it entirely.

Character Development: 5 out of 5 stars

The main story in this series changes to something almost-completely different, with a new academy-oriented setting and introducing several new characters. However, previous characters from the past five books do return, such as Queen Coral, Tsunami, and more. It’s funny to read all the dragonets (Clay, Sunny, etc.) take on a more mentor-esque role and start an academy in this book to teach/mentor all the new characters, especially given how these dragonets used to be mentored by other dragons before back from the first book.

I enjoyed reading the main protagonist, Moonwatcher (Moon for short). Her struggles with keeping her mindreading powers a secret fascinated me. The way the author wrote Moonwatcher being overwhelmed with hearing everyone else’s thoughts felt very immersive and helped me, as a reader, get into her head and understand her better.

Many of the new characters were also fun to read. Qibli officially became one of my favourite characters in this book, and maybe the entire series, from his hilarious introduction onwards. He’s also has a lot of depth; reading his thoughts (courtesy of Moon’s mindreading powers) shows that he’s much more observant than he lets on. He’s also generally one of the kinder dragons introduced in this book, but he’s not afraid to try to settle disputes or call out others (including Winter, his roommate). Kinjakou was also super-fun to read, with her hyper dialogue and great enthusiasm about trying to get to know others. She also dealt with some of the trauma she had from previously being held captive by NightWings, too.

Darkstalker also grew on me in time in this book. He had such mysterious initial interactions with Moonwatcher, and then the two got to know each other well enough to talk so casually with each other. I enjoyed reading how they stayed being very serious about serious topics (like Moonwatcher gaining better control of her mindreading powers, or Darkstalker’s past). I’m interested in learning more about him and his past in future books.

Worldbuilding Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading how the academy works. It’s clearly a work-in-progress, given that the peace in Pyrrhia is recent. There are clear consequences to the war (for example, some dragons deal with the trauma of being former captives and/or warriors during the war). However, it’s also clear that the current protagonists and their mentors are trying to make things better for the future.

I am, however, very curious to learn more about Darkstalker’s past. This past was mentioned often between his and Moonwatchers’ many conversations in this book. It’s hard to tell whether he’s telling the truth, considering that the reader mainly hears his point of view. Is what he says is actually true, or if turns out to be fake? I think this will be a major plot point for future books in this story arc.

Plot Development: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This book marks the beginning of an entirely new story arc. “Moon Rising” takes place shortly after the first five books. The previous main characters starting an academy to foster peace and unity with all the dragons. However, you cannot just pick up this book in the middle of the series and straight-up understand everything. It’s definitely best to read the first five books before this one before reading this one. Reading the first five books before this one helped me, as a reader, understand specific characters thoughts. It also helped me understand the background of the setting, going into reading this book as well.

The main plot itself is fun and new. I enjoyed trying to figure out who’s trying to kill the new dragons.

Overall, I’m rating this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

“Moon Rising” is definitely a fun book to read in this series, and a fresh new start with its new story arc and characters. I’m interested in following the new protagonists’ adventures to see what comes next for them!


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