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The Hidden Kingdom (Wings of Fire, #3)

The Hidden Kingdom by Tui T. Sutherland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (4.5/5)

This series makes me so happy! It’s probably one of my favorite middle-grade series since Percy Jackson. I don’t really count the Harry Potter series as middle-grade. As the third installment, Sutherland has continued to bring us new information and depth into her world of Pyrrhia. Every time I open one of these book and see that dragon shaped island, I’m excited to see what new things we discover and this one doesn’t disappoint.

If you haven’t gotten the chance, here is my review of the second installment of the Wings of Fire series.

From this point on there might be some minor spoilers!

I was super excited to get to learn more about Glory’s family and the entire Rainwing culture. Up to this point we’ve only gotten prejudice concepts of the culture and Glory’s personality was definitely not matching up, but at the same time those concepts were correct. The disappointment wasn’t a surprise as both Clay and Tsunami have found something to be disappointed in with their respective families and cultures, but I was almost expecting a totally opposite culture for shock value. While I didn’t get that I most certainly got some shock value with the entire “missing Rainwings” story arc which led to the discovery of the Nightwing home.

Before I get too ahead of myself, I’ll go back to the Rainwings. After the dragonets of destiny are brought back to the Rainwing home, Glory is finally introduced to her culture and she’s impressed, yet not impressed. Sutherland once again displays a wonderful character growth by showing Glory transform into someone who can accept help, and become a strong leader. Glory becomes confident in her abilities and her people by accepting her own destiny, not the destiny she’s been forced into.

This is what I pictured when Deathbringer showed up…

Also, I’m liking the possible interest between Glory and a new Nightwing we meet named, Deathbringer. What a name… Anyway, I like this new character because of the uncertainty he brings to the mix. I’m not sure what side he’s on or if he will really impact the group as a whole. There were actually a lot of hints for Glory/Deathbringer and Starflight/Sunny. It was cute while not overshadowing the overall story, which is perfect.

Going back to the “missing Rainwing” story arc, I thought it was a great way to both show Glory’s character development but also highlight the troubles in the Rainwing “government”. The entire Rainwing culture seemed to be lacking, and it was showing exactly the type of lazy, weak, attitude that Glory had been trying to deny her entire life. When Glory hears from a worried Rainwing, Mangrove, that Rainwings have gone missing she’s adamant to save them. Knowing that something malevolent is lurking in the Rainforest, Glory also can’t stand behind and do nothing while 12+ Rainwings have gone missing.

This leads Glory and the other dragonets into the Rainforest where they eventually find a tunnel that they find leads them to the Kingdom of Sand, near Burn’s stronghold, but close enough to the Ice Kingdom that they end up meeting with Blaze, one of the three Sandwing sisters who could be the future Queen. First of all, looking at the map… HOW!? I know they describe magical options, but still this is a large span of land being crossed.

From the Rainforest Kingdom up to the Stronghold and farther northwest! Plus – where is the island where the Nightwings live!?

Anyway, of the three sisters, Blaze is…not seemingly evil, but when she was near the dragonets I was always on edge. I really don’t think any of the three sisters will be Queen at the end of the series. At this point, I have a theory that deals with Sunny, but I won’t know until I finish the series.

Of the books so far this is probably my second favorite, after the first one. Glory’s character was so interesting and fun to read. The development she experiences is fantastic and she really became the Queen character among the group. Her position in the group isn’t dictated by any destiny, which actually seems pretty worthless. Glory is creating her own path and I think it highlights the possibilities of the others following in her path. I’m super excited to get into the Nightwing world and get into the head of Starflight!

Until my next review – Later!

P.S. – I absolutely love that the “pets” for the Rainwings is a sloth… what would be a better pet for a species that is thought to be completely useless and lazy!

Glory’s sloth, Silver – at least in my mind!