Kestrel was an adult female SkyWing who was introduced in The Dragonet Prophecy. Formerly a member of the Talons of Peace, she was one of the guardians of the dragonets alongside Dune and Webs. She was killed by Blister when the SandWing stabbed her in the heart with her tail barb.
Kestrel had jewel-hard, bright red-gold scales the color of rust and flames. She had orange-yellow eyes, as well as a red tail, wings and talons. Her tongue is described as forked.
She was enormous, bigger than Scarlet, and twice the size of Sunny. She had a talon-shaped burn scar on her right cheek left by Peril, as well as several scorch marks across her palms.
During her imprisonment in Scarlet's palace, her talons became blunt, and her scales became scraped and chipped.
Kestrel was mean, grumpy, aggressive, and insensitive. She was initially assumed to be cruel and naturally hostile, but was later revealed that this was because she was bitter about being lied to and losing both her dragonets. She abused Glory due to her being a RainWing and not a "powerful" SkyWing. Kestrel seemed to hate all of the dragonets of destiny and was excessively hostile towards them; she herself seemed to be a core reason the dragonets loathed life underground, as brought up many times later on in the books on how Kestrel treats them. However, Kestrel seemed to have a protective side, which was shown when Morrowseer and Blister tricked her into believing that the dragonets were in danger. She arrived immediately to 'save' them, hinting she had some protectiveness over the dragonets.
Years before the series began, Kestrel was one of Queen Scarlet's most loyal soldiers. Under Queen Scarlet's orders, she entered the SkyWing breeding program and produced one large egg containing twins, which is a rare occurrence. One of the dragonets, the female, hatched with twice the amount of fire she should have had while her brother had almost none, causing guaranteed death.
Since SkyWings always killed such dragonets for the danger they caused, Kestrel attempted to escape with them but was caught at the Diamond Spray River. Scarlet told her that if Kestrel killed one, she would not be held responsible for her disobedience, and the other dragonet would live. Kestrel decided to kill the fire lacking dragonet, yet the dragonet secretly survived after she dumped him into the river. Afterwards she went looking for him, however she was unable to find him and assumed him dead.Scarlet went back on her word and ordered her guards to attack, forcing Kestrel to flee for her life. Kestrel attempted to save her daughter but burned her palms on the dragonet's scales. She was forced to leave her surviving dragonet behind and could not return to her, as she knew Scarlet would kill her.
The Dragonet Prophecy
|The Dragonet Prophecy|
|In the prologue, Kestrel found Hvitur's dead body and the shattered SkyWing egg at the base of a mountain after he had been murdered by Burn and had a short, snappy conversation with Webs before the prologue ended, speaking of Webs retrieving an egg from the Rainforest. It also included the news of Asha's death, where she got caught in a skirmish and was killed, but not before she got Clay's egg to the Talons of Peace.
She acted as a guardian and fighting instructor for the five dragonets of destiny, a task she loathed because it reminded her of her lost dragonets. She was also fiercely annoyed by Glory because the SkyWing dragonet never made it, and Glory was the replacement for it. She was one reason the dragonets were so desperate to escape the cave, although Sunny wasn't bothered by her constant temper. This is likely because Kestrel was not as cruel to the hybrid and that Sunny was a better spirit than the other dragonets, and perhaps helped make her feel better.
Later captured and imprisoned again by Queen Scarlet, she was set free by Peril, Clay, Tsunami, and Sunny when the dragonets escaped with Peril's aid. She was seen as Peril hid behind Clay, wondering about the trial she was forbidden from watching, and when her daughter burst from hiding, she was stunned by the revelation. Scarlet appeared to find their relationship amusing, and Peril offered to go through the challenge of the Champion's Shield to rescue her mother. She later parted ways with them and her daughter, but Peril believed she'd have time to talk to her mother after making sure that Queen Scarlet was dead.In the epilogue, Blister and Morrowseer betrayed her. First, they told her that the dragonets were in danger, to get her to come. Then Morrowseer said that neither the dragonets, Blister, nor himself needed the SkyWing; Blister then slashed Kestrel's throat and stabbed her in the chest with her venomous tail barb. Morrowseer proceeded to fling her off the cliff and into the ocean.
|The Lost Heir|
|A SeaWing guard, possibly Urchin, found Kestrel's body upon a boulder at the base of a cliff near the Summer Palace. She was murdered violently before the arrival of the dragonets of destiny at the Summer Palace, having her throat slit and her heart stabbed by a SandWings's tail — earlier found to be killed by Blister in the epilogue of The Dragonet Prophecy. At first, only Tsunami and Coral's court knew about the murder, although the other dragonets eventually found out. Sunny was distraught over Kestrel's death, even though Tsunami assured her that Kestrel, with her foul temper, did not deserve Sunny's grief.|
|The Hidden Kingdom|
|Glory thinks about how she is angry at Kestrel and Dune for mistreating her and at Webs because he agreed to let Kestrel kill her.|
|The Dark Secret|
|Kestrel appeared in Starflight's dream. She stormed into the study room and destroyed the scroll about the prophecy that Starflight and Sunny were reading, yelling at Webs for "filling their heads with questions and ideas."|
|The Brightest Night|
|Sunny told Peril of Kestrel's death. Peril seemed devastated and deeply shaken, even though she had shown distaste towards her mother. Later, Sunny mentioned Kestrel as one of the dragons who did not survive to see the end of the war.|
The Jade Mountain Prophecy
|More information flying in soon …|
|Kestrel was mentioned several times, including when Peril and Turtle talked to Cirrus and the Talons of Peace.|
|Darkness of Dragons|
|When Sunny told Qibli to go to history class, Qibli said that the class was "torture." Sunny responded by saying that he was lucky that he didn't have to do battle training with Kestrel.|
|At first, Wren sees Kestrel shortly after finding Sky. She hides and wonders if Kestrel was Sky's mother and if she was making sure Sky was dead or looking for him. Eventually, Wren spots the burn marks made by Peril as well. Kestrel later appeared with the younger dragonets of destiny, watched by Wren and Sky from the smoke hole at the top of the dragonets' main cave. When Sky trembled in fear, Wren wondered if that was because Kestrel was the same mountain dragon going after Sky a year earlier. Wren had thought that Kestrel was there to make sure that Sky was dead.|
Clay was often the one to be picked out of all the dragonets to learn how to fight because of his ability to breathe fire and his size. Kestrel expected Clay to be the dragonet who supposedly tried to "kill" the other dragonets of destiny during hatching, and often used this as an excuse for expecting Clay to win every fight. Kestrel was shown often visibly disappointed in Clay, loathing how he did not use his "inner monster" to help him fight like a SkyWing.
Clay did not think of Kestrel quite as strongly as the other dragonets, but it was revealed that he thought of her as hot-tempered and mean when he stops an argument by saying that they are "mini-Kestrels."
Dune helped Kestrel and Webs raise the dragonets of destiny while hidden in the caves. Kestrel seemed to be neutral with him, and tolerated his strict and slightly rough personality.
Kestrel never liked Glory and claimed she never would. Her hatred stemmed from the fact that originally they were supposed to get a SkyWing egg for the prophecy, however they had to use Glory's egg as a replacement. Kestrel didn't like RainWings in general and saw them as "wretched creatures," and "nothing like SkyWings." She would often verbally abuse Glory by calling her "lazy" and using "lazy RainWing" as an insult to her and her friends. She, along with Dune, would call her a mistake and growl at her constantly. When Morrowseer ordered the guardians to dispose of Glory she expressed no remorse, and claimed she didn’t care about the RainWing dragonet.
It is likely that Kestrel cared about her daughter, as she tried to flee with her despite getting burned. When she found out Peril was alive, she told her, "I thought you were dead." In addition to that, after Glory injured Queen Scarlet, she invited Peril to come with her. However, Peril declined, ending their relationship, due to Kestrel supposedly "killing" Peril's brother and abandoning her with Scarlet, and Kestrel was killed shortly afterward. Despite her grudge against Kestrel, Peril was devastated upon learning of Kestrel's death, since she never got the chance to know her mother well.
Initially, Kestrel appeared to respect Scarlet, but also be a bit fearful of her – she was one of Queen Scarlet's most loyal soldiers, but Scarlet ordered her guards to attack her, forcing Kestrel to flee for her life. Kestrel hated the queen much afterwards for lying to her and forcing her to lose her dragonets.
Kestrel seemed to care about Sky before his supposed "death" in Dragonslayer when Kestrel roared and flew over the river, looking for Sky. However, this might have been her searching for confirmation of his death rather than his life, showing that she didn't care if he was dead, though it might have been an act, as Queen Scarlet was likely watching. After failing to locate her son, Kestrel believed Sky had perished. Kestrel never learned that her son is still alive and well. The loss of her dragonets also prompted Kestrel to take her anger out on the dragonets of destiny.
Chameleon was Kestrel's partner when he was in his SkyWing form, Soar. They had an egg with twins in them, but they never saw each other again after the latter.
Kestrel would often insult Starflight just like all the other dragonets, likely because he couldn't and did not want to fight.
Kestrel seemed to dislike Sunny the least. The optimistic dragonet was most likely treated better by the guardians, including Kestrel. However, Kestrel called Sunny "defective." Sunny cried after learning of Kestrel's death.
Tsunami appears to dislike Kestrel, and Kestrel felt the same way, perhaps due to the ancient SkyWing grudge at the SeaWings due to the Royal SeaWing Massacre. Kestrel severely punished Tsunami to the point of chaining her up when she disobeyed an order. Kestrel seemed to consider Tsunami the strongest out of the dragonets, as she said that the SeaWing was the only one who could have stopped her from killing Glory.
Webs helped Kestrel and Dune raise the dragonets of destiny while hidden in the caves. Kestrel seemed to be neutral with him, like Dune. In The Dragonet Prophecy (graphic novel), she is shown to yell at Webs for bringing a RainWing egg instead of a SkyWing egg repeatedly, but it was only thanks to her suggestion that Webs managed to escape Queen Scarlet's attack in the caves.
- "We await the wings of fire, […] Not that it'll do us much good now, […] Hvitur is dead."
- ― to Webs (The Dragonet Prophecy, prologue)
- "Of all the horrible ideas. RainWings are wretched creatures. Nothing like SkyWings."
- ― about Webs' plan to replace the broken SkyWing egg with a RainWing egg (The Dragonet Prophecy, prologue)
- "I'm your teacher. Nothing I do is cheating. Get down here and fight like a SkyWing."
- ― to Clay, after stomping on his tail (The Dragonet Prophecy, page 3)
- "STOP YAMMERING AND GET DOWN HERE!"
- ― to Clay (The Dragonet Prophecy, page 3)
- "Where's the monster I saw when you hatched? That's the dragon we need for the prophecy."
- ― to Clay (The Dragonet Prophecy, page 4)
- "Aren't you sweet? Protecting a dragon who tried to kill you while you were still an egg."
- ― to Tsunami, about her protecting Clay (The Dragonet Prophecy, page 5)
- "We'll tell you what you need to know about the prophecy, […] You don't need a pile of gossip and rumors and speculation cluttering up your tiny little minds."
- ― to Sunny and Starflight (The Dark Secret, page 92)
- Kestrel was part of the breeding program to supply the SkyWing army with soldiers.
- Though Kestrel is mentioned to have had her throat cut out by Blister as well as being stabbed by the SandWing's tail barb, she is only shown to have been stabbed in the chest by Blister's tail in the graphic novel adaptation of The Dragonet Prophecy. However in graphic novel adaptation of The Lost Heir, Kestrel is shown to have had her throat cut out.