Assassin is the second book in the Winglets series. Taking place before the events of the main series, it follows Deathbringer as he goes on an assassination mission with his mother Quickstrike. Assassin was released as an e-book September 29, 2015, and in the paperback collection A Winglets Collection: The First Three Stories in late 2016.
Welcome to the story of life as a NightWing assassin in the middle of a war. What was Deathbringer like before he met Glory? What missions did Queen Battlewinner send him on? Who did he kill . . . and how did he change everything?
Deathbringer is ready to be the next assassin for the NightWings. If he can just convince them to send him along on one mission with his mother, Quickstrike, he'll prove that he can help the NightWings decide who wins the war between the dragon tribes of Pyrrhia.
But when their mission takes an unexpected turn, Deathbringer has a terrible choice to make . . . one that will change his path forever, and perhaps alter the course of the entire war . . .
The story started eight years before The Brightest Night with four-year-old Deathbringer being told by his mother, Quickstrike, to spy on a secret meeting between herself, Morrowseer, Princess Greatness, and Queen Battlewinner. Deathbringer, who always followed orders, obeyed and snuck off to where the meeting was being held. After waiting for a while, the meeting started, and Deathbringer heard that it was about whether or not he should be sent to the continent with Quickstrike on a peace mission. Quickstrike was in favor of letting him join her but Morrowseer and Greatness said that he was too young and that she should take someone else. Battlewinner then said that if Deathbringer could kill Vengeance or Slaughter tonight in stealth then he could go on the mission.
That night Deathbringer found Slaughter in his room, asleep. As he prepared to kill him, Morrowseer arrived and woke Slaughter up, informing him that Deathbringer was coming to murder him. While Morrowseer was talking, Deathbringer quietly assassinated Slaughter and ran off to find Quickstrike.
When Deathbringer found Quickstrike she accused him of not spying on the meeting, but he assured her that he did and told her that he was going with her to the continent. Quickstrike said that he was not allowed to go, but Deathbringer showed her his talons covered in Slaughter's blood, impressing her and describing the kill. Quickstrike said that she was going to tell him not to do it because it was too dangerous and that they had to leave for the mission now so they didn't get in trouble. They left the island together.
Two weeks into the expedition, Quickstrike informed him that their first target was a SeaWing. When she tested his knowledge on the alliances, it was revealed that the MudWings were currently allied with Princess Blister. She told him that they must not kill any of the SandWing queens and they should drag out the war for the next ten years. The goal was to kill Commander Tempest, a talented SeaWing general who was threateningly close to winning the war for Blister's side. They discussed that Blister and Tempest must meet somewhere on land to discuss war plans and they just needed to find that place.
As they continued their search, Deathbringer found that his night vision was growing stronger. They flew into a storm and found a SandWing hurrying into an island, the site of Blister and her dragons. They got ready to fly onto another island to wait out the storm but lightning suddenly hit Quickstrike, rendering her unconscious and wounded. Deathbringer struggled to steer her onto the beach. He tried to wake her up but it doesn't work so he hid her and himself.
Two days later, when Quickstrike still hadn't woken up, he decided to continue with the mission. At midnight he snuck off to spy on the camp and heard Blister and the MudWings discussing war plans. He heard from Blister that Commander Tempest would arrive tomorrow. The next morning Tempest arrived with King Gill, Piranha, and several other SeaWings. They laid out their weapons before going to discuss war strategies in the tent.
When the dragons came out of the tent, concluding their discussions, Deathbringer threw a spear into Tempest's heart from his hiding place, killing her. A note was found with the spear which said "THIS IS WHAT WE THINK ABOUT YOUR SECRET DEAL WITH BLISTER. STAY IN THE WATER WHERE YOU BELONG! THE COAST OF THE MUD KINGDOM IS OURS!" The dragons became outraged with each other and the different tribes started arguing, but Blister demanded that the island was to be carefully searched. No one found Deathbringer, but a pair of dragons reported to Blister that they had found a NightWing who had been hit by lightning. Blister, though curious, told them that it was irrelevant and that they should just kill her. Deathbringer blamed himself and silently cried for Quickstrike's life, vowing that if he ever found someone else to care about, he would not let his mission come first.
Two weeks later, Morrowseer met with Deathbringer to deliver a message. Deathbringer didn't tell him about Quickstrike's death and instead reported the results of the mission, saying that the MudWings may leave Blister and would possibly ally themselves with one of the other sisters. Morrowseer admitted they did better than he expected and with these results he handed him a mission to kill General Six-Claws who was working for Princess Burn and left. Deathbringer decided that he wouldn't kill Six-Claws but instead would try and convince him to stop working for Burn.
- The cover is a re-coloration of the bottom left corner of Moon Rising.
- This is the second Winglets book based around a NightWing and is the fourth out of five books with a main NightWing PoV.
- Deathbringer is likely still mourning his mother's death because (so far) he has never mentioned it to Glory.