Darkness of Dragons is the tenth book in the New York Times bestselling series Wings of Fire and the fifth book in the second arc. The main protagonist is Qibli. The book was officially released on July 25, 2017.
Time is running out.
Qibli knows Darkstalker must be stopped. And he knows he could stop him — if he had magic. With even a sliver of the ancient dragon's all-powerful scroll, Qibli could rewrite history the right way: end war forever, make every dragon happy, perhaps even cast a very small spell so that everyone would like him …
Instead, as Darkstalker's dangerous influence spreads across Pyrrhia, entrancing or killing every dragon in the seven tribes, Qibli can only grasp the small animus objects he's borrowed from Turtle. With some clever thinking, Qibli's talons finally hold the power to make a difference.
But prophecies are not easy to rewrite. Can Qibli be the magical force Pyrrhia needs, or will he be the one to bring Jade Mountain — and his family, his friends, his whole world — crashing down?
Quote on Back of Hardcover
"Um," said Qibli, "Wait. How exactly do we know Darkstalker is humble and unambitious now?"
"Because it's obvious," Winter said, rolling his eyes. "It's not like he immediately demanded to be made king of the NightWings or anything."
With impeccable comic timing, the slate in Qibli's pouch gave a little jump. He waited until no one was looking, then pulled it out and hid it under his desk. The message from Turtle appeared, agonizingly slowly.
Darkstalker wants to be NightWing king. NightWings deciding what they want.
Qibli nearly laughed, but he didn't want to draw attention to the slate.
Oh, and also, it was too terrifying to be funny.
For Elliot and Jonah, my heroes and my heart, who make me happy every single day
With thanks to Robert Doar and Aayush Srivatsa for Typhoon and to Amy Doar for supporting Lifting Hands International
The prologue was from Palm's perspective. She was shown running away from Queen Oasis' soldiers, who intended to take her back to the SandWing Palace and execute her for having eggs with Smolder, which could lead to more challengers for the SandWing throne. She fled, running for hours in the baking sun, and tried to find the home of her sister, whom she had not visited in a year. On the verge of passing out, she found her sister, Prickle, in her hut near an oasis. Prickle reluctantly let Palm in, and they started arguing about how she should not have been with Smolder. Palm begged her sister to allow her to stay even for a day. In return, Prickle took Palm's earrings, her last connection to Smolder, as payment. Palm realized that it was the only thing she could do, so she hesitantly unclipped them and gave them to her sister. Prickle examined them and decided she wanted to keep them rather than sell them, clipping them onto her own ears and demanding an explanation. Palm explained how she tried to elope with Smolder but was caught before the two could meet up. Prickle and Palm had a hunch it might have been the SandWing princesses who told the queen about their attempted elope.
After a while, the guards then burst in, arresting Prickle by mistake since the sisters were almost completely identical and she was wearing Palm's earrings. Agave, who was one of the guards, recognized the real Palm but did not mention it, as the two had been good friends when they were dragonets (because Palm had noticed how shy and scared Agave was in the hatchery), allowing Palm to escape. Palm lied and pretended to be Prickle for the sake of her dragonet, and they took Prickle away. Prickle swore that she would set the moons on fire and drop them on Palm's head, which, ironically, was how she died: from skyfire falling on her head. Palm then decided to run away and travel to the mountains. As she ran away, she caught sight of three scavengers heading to the SandWing palace, but soon forgot about it as she planned to raise her child to show that the throne did not matter and to be ordinary, in the way Smolder could not.
Part One: Storm of Sands
The book then flashed to when Moonwatcher, Turtle, Darkstalker, and the other dragons who followed him flew away from Jade Mountain Academy. Qibli noticed that the dragons fell behind Darkstalker, despite him not knowing where the village was because he acted as their leader, so they followed him. He noticed different observations about Anemone and worried about Turtle. He wondered if he should have gone with them. Qibli flashed back to his time before the Scorpion Den and his life with his horrible mother, Cobra, and siblings Rattlesnake and Sirocco. Qibli had a flashback to when he was a little dragonet and tried to steal a coconut for his mother. His mother yelled at him for not being worried about his own survival and caring too much about other dragons, drawing the attention of her client, Thorn, who becomes interested in Qibli. Thorn then took him in after his mother sold him to her. She soon won his loyalty when she complimented him, as she was the first one ever to have acknowledged that he had done something right. He later had a conversation with Winter, stating mentally that it seemed like "his brain is wrapped in walrus blubber," referring to Darkstalker's spell.
Winter told Qibli to stop moping in the next chapter, and Qibli protested, saying Winter was the one who was moping. Winter denied it haughtily. Qibli then modified the term to "brooding," and Winter claimed that it would be a better description, but he was not doing that either. He tells Qibli that it was time to go to History Class, but Qibli says they were in the middle of history right now. Winter scoffed, saying the excitement was in the rainforest now, and they were just the footnotes, much to Qibli's disappointment and irritation. He gives up the argument, and they go to the History cave.
When they get there, Tamarin is tapping cave walls and sniffing the air, and Qibli asks her what happened. She asks Qibli if he smells smoke, and he denied it. Tamarin decided it was just that she had not been able to get the scent of smoke cleared from her nose since the explosion. Qibli reads her scale colors, and Tamarin admits that the burns hurt and that she is worried about Kinkajou now, and Qibli agreed. He thought back to the talisman and wished his friends had let him have it so that he could have used it to help Tamarin see, and so Darkstalker would still be trapped, Kinkajou would be healed, and Moon would still be around him. Pike bursts in, asking where Anemone is, and Winter responds that she went to the rainforest. Pike started freaking out about Anemone alone and unprotected and that he must go after her, so he does not get in trouble with Coral. Winter says that Turtle went with her, and Pike was not in the least reassured. Qibli pointed out that Turtle would be great at protecting her, deciding not to reveal Turtle's invisibility spell. Tamarin added that Anemone is an animus, so she could protect herself. Pike decided to go after Anemone anyway, but Webs orders him to stay, and Pike protested to no avail at all.
Webs says that since the Jade Winglet and Gold Winglet had shortages in population, the Silver Winglet will be joining them. Qibli is excited as his friend, Ostrich would be joining him. However, Ostrich was not among her winglet, much to his disappointment. Thrush asks if they can learn about Darkstalker, and Changbai agrees, saying he did not seem like the legends. Boto is worried if Darkstalker is likely to murder them. Webs is irked, saying Darkstalker's legend happened 3,000 years after where they currently were in their lesson, but Tamarin interjected, saying they desperately needed to know about him now. Winter snaps that they can see what Darkstalker's like without a history scroll, adding that he trusts his own instincts than a scroll. Sepia and Winter then start pointlessly arguing about who was more villainous, Icicle, or Sora. Qibli interjected, saying Icicle did try to kill Glory and Starflight, which did not help Winter at all. Webs finally gave in, telling what he knew about Darkstalker. Qibli received a message on Turtle's slate saying that Darkstalker wanted to be king. Sunny then entered the classroom and asked to have a moment with Qibli, only for him to learn that Ostrich is missing from the school.
Qibli and Sunny searched Anemone's room and found animus enchanted bands that can control the weather, which Sunny takes. After searching the mountain with Sunny, Qibli realized that Onyx is also missing and is upset that Ostrich is in danger because of him. Turtle sent him a message that says Darkstalker is the new NightWing king. Qibli then gets frustrated at Turtle for not adding more details. Then, Qibli tries to put his earring on Winter, but Winter refused, saying it would clash horribly with his scales. Then, Qibli thought of trying to multiply his earrings (that remove any of Darkstalker's spells from whoever wears it) with Turtle's bowl, meant for multiplying food. He gets the bowl and gets frustrated when he cannot remember the command words. Peril came along and joined in with insulting the bowl, then gives Qibli the idea of asking the bowl politely. Then, Qibli starts to multiply the earrings. With the new earrings, he doubles them for Sunny, Tsunami, the other dragonets of destiny, and the students at Jade Mountain (Peril was unable to wear one due to her firescales). Sunny tells Qibli that by using the dreamvisitor, she saw Ostrich with a dragon covered with tattoos, who Qibli confirms to be his grandfather in the Scorpion Den. Qibli decided to go there, and bring Anemone's weather bands and prepared to face the terror of his grandfather to rescue Ostrich, and Winter insists on coming along.
They got to the Scorpion Den and met Qibli's siblings, Sirocco and Rattlesnake, who brought him to his grandfather, Vulture. He greeted Qibli and assumed he must be there to join him. He tells Qibli about a group he had made called the Talons of Power. Winter and Qibli realized that might be what the prophecy meant by "beware the talons of power." He also showed them a MudWing witness who confirms that the MudWings are behind all the attacks on the Kingdom of Sand and that Thorn has not been doing anything. Then it is revealed that Cobra is being held captive. Qibli also discovered Ostrich, who was betrayed by Onyx and captured here. Qibli had the choice of freeing Ostrich and giving Thorn's secrets away or find other means of escape. He pretended to choose to join them and starts writing gibberish instead of secrets, and Cobra plays along by scolding him for misspelling "Capybara." Eventually, they had a chance to escape. Cobra knocked out the guards, and Winter, Ostrich, Cobra, and Qibli escaped (with Cobra's help since she knows the layout of the hideout). They confronted the MudWing, and he turns out to be Peril's father, who was pretending to be a MudWing called Bog and was working for treasure as always. They also found the hideout treasury and steal the Obsidian Mirror.
The four fled to Thorn's stronghold after Cobra dramatically blew up a dragonflame cactus. Qibli found Thorn and talked to her for a bit, having convinced her to wear an earring, which Smolder suspiciously objected to. After they exchanged quick greetings, Qibli realized something wrong and brought Thorn and the others to Ostrich, Winter, and his mother. Qibli claimed that she was meant to escape and then when inside, assassinate Thorn, so Cobra is then arrested after proving guilty. Thorn and Qibli discuss the trouble in the Ice Kingdom, and there is a plague caused by Darkstalker, so Qibli asks them to bring earrings to the IceWings. A SeaWing/IceWing hybrid named Typhoon volunteers. Just as they were discussing the IceWings, Winter comes inside, curious about what is going on. As soon as he hears about the plague, he tries to take off to ask Darkstalker for help, but Qibli and the SandWing guards pin him down. Winter breathed ice on his arm, and Thorn managed to put his earring on Winter, but he and Qibli pass out. Qibli woke up, but soon after he did, they are confronted by Vulture. He said he had the Eye of Onyx, and that meant he should be in control of the throne, but Thorn laughs it off before revealing the real Eye of Onyx. She says that the real eye is an animus enchanted object which only those worthy can hold, and all others would die (implying Onyx or Vulture is not worthy). Qibli noticed not seeing Onyx there while the grandfather is threatening Thorn, which is strange. He warns Thorn just in time as Onyx tried to sneak attack her. It is revealed that Onyx is the daughter of Prince Smolder and Palm, which means she is of royal blood and can take the throne.
Thorn suggested battling for the crown, and Onyx agrees. Qibli worried about Thorn's lack of royal blood and called a sandstorm to interrupt the battle, but it becomes too big, and everyone has to take cover, so they do not die. Thorn revealed the eye does not discriminate against or the lack of royal blood, so Qibli did not need to worry. After the sandstorm finally clears up, the Talons of Power were gone. Qibli, Thorn, Six-Claws, and Winter go down in the dungeons to see Onyx badly injured with Smolder by her side. Next to them is a "mad prisoner" who will not keep quiet. Onyx recognizes the dragon as Aunt Prickle. She had been trapped there, and Oasis forgot about her, and Burn did not care for her prisoners. As they are discussing, from the outside, Ostrich opens the window to the dungeon and gets rid of the darkness. The three dragons went back up, and just as soon as they did, Turtle sent a message to Qibli saying, "Darkstalker knows about me. Trapped in the NightWing Palace. Help!"
Part Two: King of Shadows
Qibli starts panicking because Turtle did not give any useful information like where the old Night Kingdom even is. Winter and Qibli then argue about rescuing Turtle. Qibli and Winter next use the Obsidian Mirror to see their friends. In the one of Moon, Moon is arguing with Kinkajou about her behavior. Moon says that they should go back to Jade Mountain, and Kinkajou agrees. Winter remarks that Kinkajou is making more sense than Moon. They then move on to Turtle, coiled in the corner of what Qibli assumes is a cell. He hopes that this is not their fault. They then move on to Darkstalker, who is praising one of his NightWing subjects for doing a good job with clearing the weeds from one of the derelict gardens. Darkstalker says that he could give the dragon some master gardener magic, and the other dragon politely declines, saying he would prefer seeing the future. Darkstalker disagrees, saying that he can see the future and one seer is enough for the tribe. He says that lots of gardeners would be great and that the other dragon could think it over. The other dragon hastily apologizes and accepts Darkstalker's offer. Thorn is surprised that it is that easy for Darkstalker to use his magic to give wondrous powers, and Qibli agrees. After listening to Darkstalker greet some more of his subjects, Qibli says there is only one thing they can do, and that is to go back to Jade Mountain. He says that Moon and Kinkajou should be there in a few days. He shakes his head, saying he wants to get Turtle now. He also thinks about how Moon and Kinkajou are in danger every second. Winter says to try Tsunami to see if she gave the earrings. Qibli says with a sigh that she is probably back at the academy, but he whispered the name to the mirror. This shows Tsunami yelling at a captor that she evidently cannot see. The chapter ends when Qibli, Thorn, and Winter realize Tsunami is not at Jade Mountain and is a hostage.
The two set off to the Kingdom of Night, finding Anemone on the way, trapped in Darkstalker's spell to "shut up." Qibli frees her by giving the earring, and the three head off to find Darkstalker. At the Night Kingdom, Winter worries about not returning, but the spell is blocked because of the earring. The IceWings called that area "Darkstalker's Teeth." In the Night Kingdom, Darkstalker is testing out powers with the NightWings, all of them fighting with each other in an arena. They realize that Darkstalker is planning revenge against the IceWings. They find Kinkajou but realize Bog is there too. They develop a plan to take away his forms, and Qibli approaches him when he turns into Shapeshifter. Qibli calmly tells Bog a lie that he ran into Peril in Possibility, and she asked Qibli to buy a matching earring for him if they ever ran into him. Bog angrily accepts the earring, but he is reverted into his normal RainWing form. He gets furious, but Kinkajou knocks a brick down from the tower, hitting Chameleon, and he passes out. As they enter the library, Qibli finds Moon, and everyone reunites. Qibli offers Moon an earring to protect her. Darkstalker comes up to them and asks about the earring, suspiciously. He also introduces them to what seems to be Clearsight in the present time.
"Clearsight" is very monotone, and she does not seem to be interested in being a seer again. Darkstalker says that they are getting married and that she is tired, so they go away. Moon is very confused about this, as they go to their apartment where Winter, Anemone, and Kinkajou are at. Qibli gives her the earring, and Anemone gives Moon skyfire, but she says that she does not feel any different and genuinely likes Darkstalker. Winter gets so shocked about it that he accidentally breaks one of the vases. Qibli tries to intervene, which causes more trouble. Moon and Kinkajou throw the broken pieces away. Qibli explains to Moon that Darkstalker created the plague that targeted the IceWings and locked Turtle away. They agree that Anemone and Kinkajou go off to rescue Turtle, while Moon and Qibli go to confront Darkstalker.
They find Darkstalker testing his spells out on the dragon who appeared to be Clearsight, turning out to be Fierceteeth. Moon walks up to Darkstalker, saying that enchanting and doing that is wrong. She also tells him that he created the IceWing plague.
Part Three: The Light of Dragons
The IceWings decide to attack the NightWings because of Darkstalker's plague that killed twenty IceWings, including their queen. The IceWings fly to Jade Mountain Academy to demand the whereabouts of Darkstalker and are confirmed to be the "ice" in the Jade Mountain Prophecy. The NightWings arrive shortly, and a battle springs out between the two tribes. Qibli summons a storm using Anemone's weather bands to prevent the IceWings and NightWings from fighting.
The storm quickly goes out of control, and Qibli realizes that the "thunder" that would bring down Jade Mountain in the prophecy was him. He gets Anemone to drive off the storm and tells the dragonets of destiny to evacuate the school and the rest of the students.
Qibli then retreats to Moon, Turtle, Kinkajou, and Anemone just as Moonwatcher receives a new vision about a strawberry picking NightWing. Anemone sends away the storm a few moments later. Moon suggests trying to talk to Darkstalker through his mind, and Qibli agrees, despite the fact she may be overwhelmed with the ongoing battle around them.
After thinking over Moon's ability to connect with other dragons with her mind-reading, Qibli devises a spell that connects the minds of all the IceWings and NightWings to realize the thoughts of the other side, and make both sides show compassion for each other, and then teleports them back to their own kingdoms. Anemone is the one to cast the spell using Qibli's library card and also takes off the love spell she cast on Kinkajou. The spell works, and the two tribes are sent home.
Darkstalker swoops in and carries Qibli off to his original prison under Agate Mountain. There, he asks Qibli if he wants animus magic. He then proceeds to show him all the wonderful things he could do to bad dragons if he were to have powers, using Vulture to show him. Darkstalker wants Qibli to be his best friend who will help guide him through tough times. The last thought he has before his choice is, "Say yes." Then, he looks at Darkstalker in the eyes and tells him, "No." He reasons that there would definitely have to be something more than that. Darkstalker admits that there would be a "tiny spell," which would enchant Qibli to not being able to do him any harm. Darkstalker does not like Qibli's meddling in the futures, where Qibli is not his best friend. He continues to find clever ways to stop him and eventually decides to kill him before changing his mind electing to enchant him as his best friend instead.
Just as Darkstalker is about to rip off Qibli's earring and enchant him to be his best friend, he hears the sound of the soul reader spinning in Qibli's bag. When it finally stopped rotating, it was pointed at Darkstalker and showed him how bad he really was, with the bottom half filled with white sand and only a few grains of black sand at the top. Darkstalker does not believe this because his soul is protected and enchants the soul reader over again. It again shows him the same result, and Qibli explains that he lost his soul not because the magic ate it away, but because of his terrible actions.
Darkstalker suddenly gets a vision and is dumbfounded. He demands to know if Moon, who was hidden behind a camouflaged Kinkajou the whole time, can see it, too. It is revealed that the vision is about Foeslayer, who is waiting for Darkstalker on the peaks of Jade Mountain. They embrace, and Darkstalker admits that the soul reader sees him as an evil dragon. Foeslayer tells him that he should not try to get revenge on the current IceWing tribe and wishes that she could start over.
Moon then shares the vision she had of the strawberry picking NightWing dragonet. That dragonet is Darkstalker but with a new life that has no animus magic or NightWing powers. Darkstalker is reluctant about this future as he eats the strawberry Foeslayer offered him. He says that he is immune to all animus spells, but Kinkajou says that one dragon's magic will still work on him. Darkstalker disagrees. Kinkajou says she is right, and he asks whose. Kinkajou says his own magic could still work on him. The strawberry that Darkstalker ate was enchanted to remove his memories and turn him into a NightWing-RainWing hybrid with no powers. Kinkajou is revealed to be the mastermind behind the enchantment, using the scraps of Darkstalker's enchanted scroll, the ones Chameleon used to transform into his different dragon forms.
Foeslayer decided to rename him Peacemaker and rename herself Hope (using Qibli's suggestion) and went to live with what remained of the NightWings in the rainforest.
Peacemaker is growing up in the forest with Hope, Moon, and others. He is making mud pies and loves strawberries more than ever. Moon is thinking about deciding who she should love. She has been thinking hard for a long time and has finally made her decision. She talks for some time with Hope and Peacemaker, asking about the lost continent as Peacemaker runs off to take a nap. Hope explains that according to NightWing calculations, there is a high probability that there are other dragon tribes around the world and suggests that the search for the Legend of the Hive, which is presumably a scroll from her time about the lost continent and its dragons or maybe a story that may have something to do with dragons in the lost continent knowing the "old language" which is used in Pyrrhia (we will likely learn more soon). Moon thanks her and leaves to go to the Kingdom of Sand, intending to do something about her vision of Jerboa.
Winter (who is still hated by his family) decides to study scavengers in the wild. Kinkajou comes to talk with him, scaring away the scavengers, and he asks if Moon came with her, to which she responds no. He admits that he was not the best towards her sometimes, and Kinkajou says he can still work to mend their relationship even though she believes Moon truly cares for Qibli. Winter realizes that he does not actually hate Qibli and considers his former winglet his family. He then suggests for Kinkajou to help him catch scavengers for examination, which she responds to positively.
Peril is contemplating the new school year, excited that she is in the same Winglet as Turtle. She wanders down to the prey center, telling herself that it is to make apple sauce for the RainWings, although she really hopes that Clay will be there. When she arrives, she sees Clay and the two have a brief conversation. She then instinctively asks Clay to go flying in the rain with her, and he agrees.
Turtle reads a message from Coral and Auklet. Kinkajou comes up to Turtle, and they start to joke around about Anemone's love spell that she put on Kinkajou. She asks him if he could write more of the story he wrote for class earlier, and he is surprised that she actually likes it. He begins to think about how he is not perfect yet, but he is working towards being the dragon he wants to be and is currently satisfied with himself.
Qibli is helping the SandWings rebuild Thorn's stronghold after his sandstorm-disaster. During the break, Moon visits Qibli and starts talking to him. She admits her feelings for him, and Qibli says that she should be saying this to Winter right now. Moon seems confused and says that Winter will be fine without her. Moon then tells Qibli that she cannot live without him and asks if they can be together, and Qibli says yes. Moon also says that she has been having a vision and takes Qibli to see if it is true. The two of them head off towards the further ranges of the Sand Kingdom and find a dragon named Jerboa, much to Qibli's surprise. Jerboa is actually the daughter of the original Jerboa. She says that she wants to show them somebody: the first visitor from the Lost Continent, who happened to be Luna.
- This book features a fan's character named Typhoon, belonging to a wiki user named Typhoonseawing, who won an auction Tui held that ended on May 2, 2016.
- In a few places, the book was titled as Storm of Sands, which is both the name of Part One and the French title.
- Originally, the epilogue of Darkness of Dragons had ten sections — one for each of the featured POVs from the first arc to the second arc. However, Tui's editor stated that it felt "too epilogue-y" and too much like it would be the end of the series forever.[event 1]
Click here to see the cover gallery.
- Chinese: 火翼飞龙. 逆转未来的草莓符咒 (March 2021)
- French: Les Royaumes de Feu. La Tempête de Sable (May 2019)
- Russian: Драконья сага. Драконья тьма (July 2019)
- German: Wings of Fire. Dunkelheit der Drachen (May 2021)