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This article contains plot details about the upcoming book, The Poison Jungle. It would be best if you did not view this page until after reading the new installment.
Sundew is a young female LeafWing and the main protagonist of The Poison Jungle. She was first introduced in The Lost Continent and was one of the first of her tribe to be introduced in the series. She is a member of the LeafWing rebellion under her parents, Belladonna and Hemlock, and is currently on the run in Pantala with Blue, Bumblebee, Cricket, and Swordtail. She currently has a crush on Willow, but it is unknown if her feelings are returned.
Sundew has a small and wiry body and a face similar to Belladonna's. She has light forest green scales, with small gold scales speckled along the edges of her wings, talons, and across her snout. She wears several small pouches that contain numerous plants and bugs, most of which come from the Poison Jungle. The pouches are woven from long grass and fashioned from waterproof leaves.
Sundew is irritable, grumpy, and snarky. Often aggressive and quite short-tempered, Sundew is a fearsome dragon. It was noted in The Hive Queen that Sundew usually wears a scowl on her face; additionally, although snappy and sarcastic, she is rarely loud or boisterous. She is a good planner with a strategic and thoughtful mind, and is very knowledgeable on which plants and insects can help her gain an advantage in sticky situations. She believes in justice and in doing what she believes is right, but her anger and bitterness can overshadow her reasoning in some situations, such as when she created a plan to execute almost every HiveWing in The Hive Queen.
Sundew seems to also value dignity, and dislikes embarrassing herself in front of others, namely those she respects or wants to impress. She is hard on herself and seems to expect perfection in most things that she does, becoming angry at herself if she fails or shows weakness in any given situation. Likewise, Sundew has high standards for other dragons, even referring to the SilkWings as "subservient worms" for letting Queen Wasp control them. Sundew also has a great capacity to be open-minded, however; as seen near the conclusion of The Hive Queen, Sundew's resentment towards the HiveWings lessened when she realized that they could be better if they weren't under Queen Wasp's lies and mind-control.
Although she wouldn't like to admit it, Sundew can actually be compassionate beneath her sarcasm and moodiness. Although it was already established in The Lost Continent that Sundew hated most HiveWings, she took care to make sure that a paralyzed HiveWing guard, who was guarding Queen Wasp's greenhouse, was well away from it before Blue set fire to the greenhouse's plants in The Hive Queen.
Sundew appeared in the late half of the book, asking for her mother's permission to kill Blue, Cricket and Swordtail, then leave their bodies someplace outside the greenhouse, stating, "That will really scare those worms in the Hive." Her mother, Belladonna, immediately disagreed as this would alert the HiveWings that some intruders were in the area.
Sundew willingly accompanied Blue and Cricket to the Temple of Clearsight to help them steal the Book of Clearsight. She used flower dye and wing-shaped leaves to disguise herself as a SilkWing, though the disguise was imperfect. It was still better than Blue's cracking paint, however. Before entering Wasp Hive, she defaced a carving of Queen Wasp, and as described in the book, "raked her claws across the queen's elegant snout." Cricket protested that the vandalism was unnecessary, but all Sundew said was, "Wait till I get to her actual face," implying that Sundew intends to rake off Wasp's face when they meet. In the Temple of Clearsight, she paralyzed several HiveWing guards from a distance with blow-darts similar to HiveWing nerve toxin. Sundew later fought the Librarian while the HiveWing was under Queen Wasp's mind control. Although the Librarian was bigger and stronger, Sundew broke her arm and nearly killed her before Cricket intervened. Sundew then freed the Librarian from mind control using bullet ants to bite the dragon, causing unbearable pain to her, and by extension, Queen Wasp, making her leave.
After the Librarian's room was surrounded by mind-controlled HiveWings, Sundew threw a smoke bomb made of waxy leaves to distract Wasp and obscure her, Cricket, and Blue's escape with the Book. Instead of helping the wingless Blue fly away (relegating the job to Cricket and the Librarian), she fought against Wasp's drones with her organic weapons to buy them time.
In the ensuing chaos, Blue lost track of Sundew and didn't know if she or Cricket had escaped the Temple with the Book. However, they later made contact with Blue again, and Sundew revealed that she had escaped, and, using a tunnel system made by LeafWings, originally to find a way into the Hive from below, could rescue Blue and Luna, which she did by rapidly growing a plant and using its roots (proving she had the LeafWing ability to control plants) to punch a hole in the wall. She then led them through the tunnel to the sea.
When talking, Sundew said that she would probably go back to the LeafWings, to form a new plan to take down the HiveWings. However, when Luna and Swordtail were discovered by HiveWing soldiers, she bravely leaped into the fight to protect them and ended up fighting alone. This was the last Blue saw of her before entering his Metamorphosis.
Sundew first appeared when Cricket heard the sounds of another dragon in the caves where she and Blue, still in metamorphosis, were hiding. Cricket was terrified that the dragon could be another HiveWing, or worse, a mind-controlled one, but her fears were unfounded. Cricket was relieved and asked Sundew what had happened above ground. Sundew explained she led the HiveWings "all the way to Lake Scorpion" before losing them and taking the long way back to the caves. She didn't find Luna, but she did find Swordtail, having likely hit a rock and passed out, and dragged his unconscious, seaweed-covered body into the cavern (Possibly the seaweed is how she carried him, as Swordtail is larger than her).
Sundew mentioned that she understood his devotion to Luna, since she "has a one true love herself", but ignored Cricket's questions as to who and continued that Swordtail did leave her fighting two HiveWings alone. Sundew eventually snapped at Cricket, irritated by all the questions, so Cricket offered to get some water for Sundew's injury to make peace. She agreed and gave Cricket a kind of absorbing moss. Cricket was intimidated by the LeafWing's "scowly" expression and decided that "it would be safer to back away for a little while." Sundew then had Cricket use a berry from one of her pouches to wake up Swordtail, who she claimed was in no state to still be looking for Luna.
When Cricket and Swordtail were talking about Blue's flamesilk status, Sundew admitted her motives with Blue; to use him and his silk to burn down the Hives. Sundew, Cricket, and Swordtail then had a long argument about whether it was the right thing to do, with Swordtail taking sides with the LeafWing.
Sundew called the Book of Clearsight "completely useless" because it couldn't tell them the future (as the predictions had gotten over a thousand years ago before the Tree Wars), and then told the others that she would rather have Luna with them as Luna would have jumped to the idea of burning down the Hives and that she'd settle for using Blue to destroy the HiveWings. Sundew believed that all the HiveWings (except Cricket, as she might have been growing fond of her) deserved to be killed for what they did to the LeafWings and their home. Sundew then tried to get more information about The Chrysalis out of Swordtail, who explained it was an organization of SilkWings who are "fighting (the HiveWings) for (their) freedom.”
She agreed to go looking for the Chrysalis after Blue finished his Metamorphosis and try to find a way to defeat Queen Wasp's mind control powers. Eventually, the four reach the decision to find out how to stop Queen Wasp's mind control instead of slaughtering innocent dragons.
Sundew then went to talk with her parents to tell them where she’d been and what to do with the book. She requested more time to create a less violent plan of destroying the HiveWing kingdom than the one in effect (mass slaughter and destruction). After much argument, Belladonna and Hemlock relented, giving Sundew, Blue, Cricket, and Swordtail two days to make a plan.
Cricket suggested going to Jewel Hive to look for clues, as it was the closest Hive to the group, and the laid-back rules and security would allow them to remain undetected for longer. Once they arrived, Sundew once again disguised herself as a SilkWing (much to her chagrin) using gaudy fabrics. During their stay, the four made the water tower near Cadelle's house their seat of operations.
At midnight on their first day, Sundew and the others met with The Chrysalis's Jewel Hive branch (though only three members were there, Tau, Morpho, and Cinnabar), much to their surprise. Sundew told them about the LeafWIng plan to destroy the Hives, and they jumped on the idea, to Cricket's distress.
Near the end of the book, Sundew met up again with Cricket. She watched Bumblebee hatch, and discerned what Queen Wasp's poison was made of by the dragonet's eggshell; a plant from the restricted greenhouse she and her parents hid in days earlier. When Bloodworm Hive was attacked by LeafWing forces, she used the chaos and destruction as a cover, having Blue destroy the greenhouse and thus Wasp's source of mind-control poison.
They are flying and a flash of yellow and black catches her eye. Sundew hisses and Cricket apologizes to her for startling her. Sundew says that it didn't.
As they fly closer, Blue asks nervously if the Poison Jungle is actually as dangerous as the rumors say they are. Then Swordtail asks, “Like, maybe LeafWings spread stories exaggerating how dangerous it is so that no one else would go there? That would make sense; I bet that’s it.” Sundew laughs and replies “How could we spread stories? We haven’t communicated with any SilkWings or HiveWings since the end of the Tree Wars fifty years ago. We were supposed to be extinct. That was kind of your whole goal, remember?”
Blue protests that it wasn't his goal, or Cricket's, or Swordtail's. Sundew confirms the rumours. “Queen Wasp sent a few expeditions to the Poison Jungle looking for resources and trying to make sure no dragons were hiding from her there. Almost all of them died; the rest are the ones who brought the stories back to you. One of the expeditions was sent to burn down the jungle, because Wasp wanted no more trees anywhere. None of those dragons survived. We helped the jungle make sure of that. No one who comes for the trees again will be allowed to live.” Blue asks how a whole tribe could be living there, if it's so dangerous for dragons. Sundew replies with "We didn't really have a choice," and then follows up with how they have adapted for living there, knowing how to heal snakebites, and suchlike. She mentions carnivorous plants, and Swordtail starts to panic. Sundew notices and says "Yeah, you will probably get eaten. They always get the loud flappy ones. And that HiveWing dragonet is cobra lily food for sure.”
Swordtail says that he doesn't enjoy this conversation. They start talking about why they're going there. The Distant Kingdoms gets mentioned. They move closer to the Jungle.
Sundew hovers over the river and realises that the others had stopped. Cricket marvels at the size of the trees. Blue says that it feels like one big creature, and that it almost sounds like it’s breathing. Bumblebee starts yelling out “Eepow!” suggesting that she is hungry. Sundew tells her that she can eat when they get to the village. They start talking about the outside of the jungle is the thickest to keep intruders out. They walk further into the jungle and Blue pots an interesting looking plant. He asks Sundew what they are and Cricket says that she thinks they’re called touch-me-nots. Sundew replies, saying that that’s one name for them. Swordtail laughs and says that it sounds super dangerous. “Touch me not — or you will DIE!” he says. Cricket smothers a laugh. “Actually,” Sundew says, “this is probably the only plant up here that won’t kill you.”
Cricket steps on a tree slug and lifts her foot up again, which is covered in ooze. “Oooom-yum?” Bumblebee squeals, “Eeee?” Cricket tells her that it’s not for eating, and Bumblebee cries “GWOSE!” She wakes a snake up and it narrows its eyes at her. Sundew tells them to keep moving. She slinks through the trees nimble and quick. Swordtail comments that she’s like a monkey, not foolishly, but fast and agile. They stop for a rest, and Blue says that it’s like the Hives, high up and smelly, and loud. Swordtail spots a pink book-like flower and goes to sniff it. Sundew yells that he shouldn’t touch the plant, but its too late, Swordtail’s nose brushes it, and he is swallowed whole by the plant.
Although Sundew claims to hate all HiveWings, she seems okay with Cricket and has actually expressed friendly affection for her at various times. She has mentioned that Cricket is "different" from the other HiveWings, possibly due to her insatiable curiosity and immunity to Queen Wasp's mind control powers. Cricket's company also seems to relax Sundew, as she seems more friendly and open than she did in The Lost Continent.
Sundew dislikes Bumblebee, although she can't seem to stop the dragonet from clinging to her and messing with her, likely since she imprinted on Bumblebee due to being present at her hatching. It is possible the dragonet considers her, Blue, Swordtail, and Cricket her "parents". It's also possible she looks up to her for her just being a "big dragon", or like an older sibling.
Blue, like Cricket, believes that while Sundew may seem fierce on the outside, she really is sweet and kind on the inside. Sundew is constantly surprised by Blue, from his sister being a flamesilk to him standing up to Queen Wasp. She knows that Blue understands everyone (or at least tries to) and tries to hide her feelings from him that she believes are wimpy (for example, guilt and fear) to show that she is tough. Blue is her friend but tends to side with Cricket on many things, for example, like not setting all the Hives on fire, or painting Jewel Hive with messages of Wasp lying about the Book of Clearsight.
Sundew considers Swordtail to be quite rash, yet has respect for him as of The Hive Queen. They tend to share the same destructive mindset and are similar in terms of personality. She understands his devotion to Luna, as she also has a lover. In The Hive Queen, Sundew is tempted to leave Swordtail on the shore after trying to find Luna, however just brought him to Cricket.
Sundew mentions Willow several times. Sundew is revealed by Tui T. Sutherland to have a crush on Willow. However, Willow is not aware of this and thinks of Sundew as her best friend. It is likely that the jade frog in one of Sundew's pouches mentioned in The Poison Jungle was given to her from Willow.
Family Tree Edit
"We wouldn't. As if we'd tell you anything! Tree killers!" - To Blue
"To THINK about it? ARRRRRRRRRRRGH." - Her reaction to Blue's request to think about their plan.
"Of course you can, you ungrateful beetles! We're not lying, conniving HiveWings! We're LeafWings! We're honorable!" - Yelling at Swordtail after he says he is not sure they can trust the LeafWings.
"Are you seriously making small talk with me right now?" - To Blue
"You're just like I always pictured SilkWings. Subservient worms." - To Blue after he shows her proper SilkWing posture.
"How many trees had to die to make this place?" - To Blue about the Temple of Clearsight.
"I heard rumors that the HiveWing queen could control her subjects. But I thought they were just stories the old ones made up to frighten us." - Sundew about Queen Wasp's mind control
"You seem surprised. I thought you were 'expecting' us. Didn't your precious Book tell you I'd be a LeafWing?" - Sundew mocking The Librarian.
"That may be, but I'm guessing that's because you've never been bitten by a bullet ant before." - To the Librarian about the pain Queen Wasp can suffer before she leaves a mind-controlled dragon.
"I don't have any more blow darts. Or enough bullet ants for everyone in the whole Hive, although that would be my kind of revenge."
"You sat around in a greenhouse and then followed me into a tunnel. I'm not sure you qualify for a statue in your honor just yet." - To Swordtail
"You sure took your time growing those flappers." - To Blue after he broke out of his cocoon.
"And to drive out the LeafWings. Queen Sequoia wouldn't agree to step down without seeing the Book first, which of course Wasp wouldn't allow. Our queen said if she'd seen it in Clearsight's own handwriting, she might have considered it. Which I think is insane in the first place. We don't need anyone else to be our queen!" - Talking about how Queen Wasp lied about the Book of Clearsight.
"He's alive. I found him like this on a rock in the bay. He's lucky I found him instead of a HiveWing, although I was pretty tempted to leave him there." - About Swordtail
"My guess is Luna got blown out to sea and he tried to follow her, But the storm chucked him into a boulder instead. Which he deserved, if you ask me. Did you see him fly off and leave me fighting two HiveWings alone? I mean, sure, Luna is great and I know he just got her back and all and I get it; I have a one true love, too." - About Swordtail trying to follow Luna, mentioning Willow.
"Want me to drop a mango on her?" - About Cadelle
"No, you acorn. It's a metaphorical mango." - To Swordtail
"Also, it's a little bright. If I must wear something ridiculous, I'd prefer it in black or dark green or midnight blue if absolutely necessary." - About the cape she was given.
"Oh, good, you used up our resources and moved on to exploiting a different tribe." - To Cricket about making books from silk instead of trees
" They're CENTIPEDES; what is WRONG with you dragons?"
"I perhaps should have mentioned this sooner, but I rather intensely dislike small dragonets." - To Cricket
"No. I'm just wondering where they are, that's all! I don't need them! Let's go kill some plants! Oof, no, I don't like the sound of that at all. Let's go destroy some HiveWing stuff! That's much better." - About her parents.
"Listen here. We are on a STEALTH HORTICULTURAL MISSION and you are going to be ABSOLUTELY SILENT until we are done, do you understand?" - To Bumblebee
"I feel like you're mocking me." - To Bumblebee
"I like the way you think. But they're centipedes, you dingbat." - To Swordtail
"Wil - my tribe would fall over laughing at me right now." - When she complains about her disguise
"It's the best part of my day, a little tiny bit of vengeance every morning." - To Swordtail, when he complains about her methods of waking dragons up
"Is that tiny lizard trying to say my name? How did THAT happen?" -To Cricket after Bumblebee makes a noise similar to her name
"No, everything you've heard about the jungle is true. Queen Wasp sent a few expeditions to the Poison Jungle looking for resources and trying to make sure no dragons were hiding from her there. Almost all of them died; the rest are the ones who brought the stories back to you." -To Swordtail
"If you would all like to fly out to sea in search of an imaginary continent, go for it." -To Cricket when she mentions The Distant Kingdoms
"Flying gets easier farther in. But for now, we climb. Follow me. stay close-- and don't touch anything I haven't touched first." -To Blue, Cricket, Swordtail, and Bumblebee about the Poison Jungle
"No, it isn't! The smell of hundreds of dragons trapped in one structure is much worse! This is what plants and fresh air and freedom smell like!" -To Swordtail when he says that the Poison Jungle smells bad.
"You smell like swamp gas!" -To Swordtail when he comments that the Poison Jungle smells like swamp gas.
"DO NOT--" -To Swordtail seconds before a plant yanks him off of a branch
- Sundew is named after the carnivorous sundew plant and the only known LeafWing in her family who is not named after a poisonous plant.
- Sundew will be the second LeafWing PoV in the series (after Bryony).
- Sundew is the first character who has demonstrated the "unusual control over plants" that some LeafWings were rumored to have.
- Sundew claims not to "do sparkles" despite the fact that she's covered in gold flecks, which are compared by Cricket to sparkles.
- It was confirmed by Tui T. Sutherland that Belladonna, Sundew's mother, is second-in-command, and that she and Hemlock don't approve of peace believers such as Willow.
- On the cover of The Poison Jungle, Sundew is depicted without her numerous pouches.
- The LeafWing page in A Guide to the Dragons of Pantala says LeafWings can be green or brown, but Sundew has some gold scales.
- Sundew is the first named dragon known to have an exercise program, as she performs a series of stretches every morning. Another group of unnamed dragons was a group of MudWings in The Dragonet Prophecy who were performing a series of stretches.
- It has been confirmed that Sundew has a crush on Willow. This makes her one of seven confirmed LGBT+ characters (the others being Anemone, Burnet, Silverspot, Snowflake, Snowfox and Umber), as well as the first LGBT+ protagonist in the main series, and second overall, after Snowflake.
- ↑ An email from Tui T. Sutherland
- ↑ The Lost Continent, page 223
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Lost Continent, page 168
- ↑ The Lost Continent, page 170
- ↑ An email from Tui T. Sutherland