Deserter is the third book in the Winglets series. Taking place before the events of the main series, it shows the early life of Six-Claws up to the point of him heading to the Scorpion Den. Deserter was released as an e-book March 29, 2016, and in the paperback collection A Winglets Collection: The First Three Stories in late 2016.
Fans of the New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series won't want to miss this all-new story set in the dangerous and thrilling world of dragons!
Six-Claws is a happy and industrious SandWing, always working hard and loyally for his queen. So when the youngest SandWing princess, Blaze, wanders off during a sandstorm, Six-Claws doesn't think twice before trying to rescue her. But it turns out that loyalty isn't always enough to stay safe in the Sand Kingdom...
Before the War of SandWing Succession, there were three SandWing princesses... and a queen.
Discover the New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series with this ebook exclusive origin story! Author Tui T. Sutherland soars further into the world of Pyrrhia's dragons than ever before! In these brand-new short stories, fans will meet old friends and new ones, uncover shocking secrets, and learn more about the terrible challenges that will test all dragonkind!
The book starts when Six-Claws is five years old. He is having dinner with his family, and his parents are discussing Oasis's new daughter, Princess Blaze. Six-Claws realizes that Oasis will not be queen forever as his parents talk about who she will get rid of. They eventually deduce it will be Oasis's sister, as she is closest to challenging the queen. They are later proven correct.
Two years later, Prince Smolder approaches Six-Claws and says that his sisters, Blister and Burn, are planning something. Six-Claws heads to the wingery to look for Blaze and meets Dune, a young SandWing dragonet. They notice a sandstorm coming and when Six-Claws sees Blaze, he goes out to save her. He accomplishes this and attracts Blister's attention. When Blaze is rescued, the king, Char, recruits Six-Claws and Dune to join the army. They take his offer and are always together for years.
One night, several years later, Six-Claws, Dune, Singe, and Scald are comforting Smolder over the disappearance of his girlfriend, Palm. A scream is heard and Queen Oasis is found dead, killed by scavengers. Smolder finds a scavenger hiding in the sand and later they follow the horse tracks to burn down the den. Over time, Blister takes a squadron of guards and Blaze flees north with half the army.
About twelve years after, Six-Claws, Dune, and several other soldiers are shown driving off defending IceWings. Dune gets severe frost-breath injuries from an IceWing and Six-Claws takes him to the nurses. Burn comes in and says that they are going to attack the MudWings, disagreeing with Six-Claws' idea of invading the borders of the Ice Kingdom and finding Blaze. Six-Claws is approached by a dragon in the shadows (suspected to be Deathbringer), who tells him to leave Burn and go to the Scorpion Den. Six-Claws initially disagrees, and the dragon leaves. Six-Claws goes back into the tent and tries to change Burn's mind, asking her for one more day to find Blaze, but she remains adamant and destroys Dune's wing and his foreleg until Six-Claws finally agrees. Burn leaves and the SandWing nurses do their best to help Dune. When there is only one nurse left, she and Six-Claws leave with Dune to the Scorpion Den. The SandWing reveals her name as Kindle. Dune wakes up and says to Six-Claws that loyalty is stupid. Six-Claws disagrees, saying that they were loyal to the wrong dragon, and now they would find a dragon worthy of their loyalty. Kindle says she hopes he is right, and they fly toward the Scorpion Den, with a piece of hope.
- It is the first Winglet, as well as the second book (along with The Brightest Night (if you count it) and Darkness of Dragons), to have a SandWing PoV.
- The cover is a recoloration of the left bottom left side of The Dragonet Prophecy.