Sutherland, Tui T. Wings of Fire (The Lost Heir #2)
1 January 2013, Scholastic Press
Copy received from Young Adult Books Central and reviewed there.
Tsunami has escaped from the control of the Talons of Peace with the other dragonets of the prophecy. She is tired of the neverending war between the different dragon factions and wants to finally meet her mother, Queen Coral of the SeaWings, since Tsunami was stolen from the royal nursery as an egg by Webs, who was merely trying to keep the dragonets safe. When Tsunami and the other dragons approach the SeaWing kingdom, Riptide rushes to attack them! Eventually, the misunderstanding is cleared up, and he takes the group to the Summer Palace. Queen Coral and her young daughter Anemone are pleased to see Tsunami but afraid of the other dragonets, who are placed under guard for their own safety. Tsunami finds that things are not going well in the SeaWing kingdom either-- the dragon eggs are being killed far too often. Tsunami is able to figure out what is happening, and prevents her mother from killing Webs when he returns to collect the dragonets so that they can continue to help with the war. The Hidden Kingdom, book three, comes out 1 June and centers on the RainWing kingdom.
Strengths: Here's the kicker-- Sutherland has written three of the highly addictive Erin Hunter books. I can't explain why reluctant readers like these books SO much, but they do! There is something about the different types of animals, the different factions, the territorial disputes and the general soap opera-ish feel of these that keeps young readers waiting breathlessly for the next installment. The same is true here, but it's even better than cats, polar bears or feral dogs-- it's dragons! The book is complete with maps of the dragon kingdoms as well as pictures of the different types as well as descriptions and explanations of which kind of dragon is aligned with which.
Weaknesses: I had a copy of the first book in the series and couldn't get into it at all, so I gave it to a 6th grader who liked it so much that he bought the second. He also loaned the first to several friends, so now I have to buy the series. Nothing I personally dislike more than the Warriors series, and this is also about dragons and involves maps. Just not my cup of tea. More my cup of brussel sprout/beet juice. Wrinkling your nose? That's just how I feel. How I suffer for my students!