Darkstalker (Wings of Fire: Legends #1)

Title: Darkstalker

Author: Tui T. Sutherland

Series: Wings of Fire: Legends #1

This is the story of Arctic and Foeslayer, and how they fell in love, and ended up starting a war. And it’s the story of their son, the first animus Nightwing, Darkstalker, who will leave his own legacy.

Clearsight is a seer much more accurate than any of the usual Nightwings. She knows all about Darkstalker’s ominous destiny. But can she save him, or will the future she tries for escape from her claws?

Fathom never asked to be an animus. It’s a rare power for a Seawing, and one he learns too late has its own price.

I’ve only read up through Escaping Peril, which gave plenty of context to the things that happen in this book. I don’t know that it’s strictly necessary to have started the second set of five books in Wings of Fire, but it certainly changes how you’d approach it, because Darkstalker’s fate gets some attention there.

Despite that, Darkstalker himself can command some sympathy. The romance between his parents didn’t end in a happily-ever-after, but something more like an unending nightmare. Especially for Darkstalker, who can read minds, or Whiteout, who is a bit different in the head. On the other hand, the only dragon who cares enough for Darkstalker to challenge his evil choices is Clearsight, and Darkstalker would rather look at how he benefits rather than how other dragons get hurt, and try to convince Clearsight she’s wrong.

Fathom’s story is also an interesting layer to the whole mess. Darkstalker thinks he’s being kind, trying to draw Fathom past the trauma, but Fathom can’t help but take what happened as a warning against animus magic. And Darkstalker’s profligate use can’t help but worry him.

Yet for all the tragedy, there’s still quite a lot of humor. Like the scavengers (humans), who the dragons view as interesting pets but never more than animals. Or Clearsight’s best friend, who absolutely refuses to let Clearsight tell her how things work out for the various dragons she wants to date.

Overall, this is a good addition to the lore, though possibly one better appreciated after seeing in the later series some of the reverberations of the decisions made here. I rate this book Recommended.

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