The Dangerous Gift is the fourteenth book in the New York Times bestselling series Wings of Fire and the fourth book in the third arc. The main protagonist is Snowfall. The book was released on March 2nd, 2021. Additionally, the B&N Exclusive Edition of the book came with a poster of Jerboa and young Jerboa III.
A wall can't protect them anymore …
Snowfall didn't expect to be queen of the IceWings at such a young age, but now that she is, she's going to be the best queen ever. All she has to do is keep her tribe within IceWing territory, where it's safe — while keeping every other tribe out, where they belong.
It's a perfect and simple plan, backed up by the Ice Cliff wall and every bit of IceWing magic Snowfall can gather. Perfect, that is, until a storm of unidentified dragons flies in from the ocean, looking for asylum.
The foreigners are completely strange and, Snowfall is certain, utterly untrustworthy. But as she escorts the miserable new tribes out of her kingdom, the young queen is forced to reconsider her plan. Maybe she can only keep her tribe safe … if she's willing to risk everything.
Quote on Back of Hardcover
"The lost continent isn't real!" Snowfall cried.
"Unless it is real, and we're about to get hundreds of visitors to prove it!" Lynx was nearly dancing on her claws. Snowfall wanted to drop a mountain on her.
"What if they have extra-murdery superpowers we've never even thought of?"
"We can't worry about that until it actually happens," Lynx said.
"Yes, we can!" Snowfall cried. "I'm worrying about it right now!"
For Benjamin — welcome to the family!
And for the Pyrrhia-Pantala AU, with hugs and awe for all your amazing dragons.
The prologue is set a few days after the LeafWings and some of the SilkWings fled Pantala. Swordtail woke up and remembered the events of the past day, along with how the two armies at the river had burned the Poison Jungle and how he had been looking for Cricket while under the control of the othermind, but was unable to find her. He saw Blue asleep and as soon as he went to wake him up, the othermind took over Swordtail's mind again, intentionally thwarting his attempt to reunite with his friend. Knowing it cannot read his thoughts, he retains hope that Cricket and Sundew found their way over to the Distant Kingdoms and found Luna, and will come back to rescue him and Blue.
Part One: Blizzards and Buried Magic
Snowfall hears about a group of dragons flying towards her kingdom. She demands the scout who reported the sighting to her if he is sure that it is not NightWings and he responds that no black dragons have been spotted. She ponders about numerous possibilities, such as if Darkstalker is not gone after all and if it is a group of RainWings flying towards them. After telling the scout to look again, Tundra shows up and informs Snowfall that it is time to rearrange the names on the gift of order. Snowfall thinks about her experiences of being queen and, after what she lost in order to get it, finds it to be her least favorite thing in the world. She mentions how she thought the gift of order was a good thing for the kingdom, but she realized that it is more an act of twisted revenge rather than a gift at all and hates how she has to move names every single night. Snowfall puts on her crown and moves a couple names around, such as Hailstorm and Permafrost. Tundra questions how little she reordered the names and Snowfall orders her to go away, wanting to move on to dealing with the mysterious dragons as soon as possible. She remembers how Tundra and Narwhal used to be second-in-command to Glacier and that Tundra hates having to bow to her niece. Snowfall then hears a noise in the courtyard and realizes that someone is watching her.
She orders the dragon to show themselves, preparing to use her frostbreath on them. Lynx appears from the tree of light and Snowfall asks if she was spying on her, being surprised when Lynx jokingly confirms that she was. Lynx says that she is worried about her and mentions how the only dragons Snowfall talks to nowadays are "old, bossy, and kind of mean." Snowfall brags about how she has been prepared for being queen her whole life and Lynx says that she did not expect her to be queen for at least a couple decades. A flashback is then shown with then-queen Glacier on her deathbed as a result of the plague, with Snowfall, Crystal, and Mink beside her. Glacier stresses how she does not want a succession war like the SandWings have and makes her daughters promise to not challenge each other for the throne and to support whoever she chooses to be queen. After all three of them do so, she names Snowfall as the next queen. Crystal leaves the kingdom the next morning afterwards, leaving Snowfall to wonder if she is plotting against her. Lynx suggests that Snowfall should take a break and she rejects it, yelling that her sister is going into hiding to kill her and the "evil" mysterious dragons will likely arrive by tomorrow, and ponders if Crystal and the mystery dragons are working together, or if queens Coral and Glory are working together to take her down. Lynx tries to reason with her, asking why anybody would want another war so soon after the War of SandWing Succession, but Snowfall continues to be paranoid. She then tells Lynx that the unidentified dragons are coming from the western ocean and Lynx realizes that they might be from the lost continent. She proposes a plan to Snowfall: they will fly to the coast to meet them and find out who they are and what they intend to do. Snowfall reluctantly agrees and decides to head to the Forbidden Treasury to see if any animus gifts can help her.
She sees Mink chatting with some of her guards as she was walking towards the vault. She gives Snowfall a gift, a mink carved from a tiny block of ice, and asks if she can come into the royal chambers, stuttering that she slept with her mother when she had trouble sleeping. Agreeing to her request, Snowfall stresses to the guards that nobody is allowed in the room for tonight and pushes her bed aside, revealing a hole underneath it, leading to the vault. She tells Mink to never tell anybody else about it and they look around the area. Snowfall spots a small tiara, the gift of strength, and takes it, wearing it on her head. Refusing the gift of compromise when she sees it, she spots an opal ring on one of the alcoves, the carved words saying that it is the gift of vision. Assuming that it would improve her eyesight, she slips the ring onto her talon. Passing by a piece of the gift of understanding, Snowfall sees a set of pale silver wristbands with diamonds and is certain that it will give the invading dragons an unwelcome surprise upon reading the inscription.
She sets off towards the coast at dawn, accompanied by Lynx and five guards. Lynx wonders if Snowfall got any sleep and she admits that she did not, lying that she was busy with both the treasury and trying in vain to have Mink not sleep in her bed. She reveals that her items are animus-touched, causing Lynx to remind her that the Forbidden Treasury is named that way for a reason, which Snowfall ignores. Asking the queen if she can understand and control the items she is wearing, Snowfall assures her that she can, leaving out that the gift of vision is not working the way she assumed. Snowfall then shows Lynx the weapons she has on her, leaving out some of the other hidden weapons on her in case Lynx was working against her, and asks her about one of the outer villages. Lynx mentions that her estate overlooks Among-The-Evergreens and how she has not been back there in a while when one of the guards spots the mystery dragons up ahead. When Snowfall sees them, she starts to panic and says that they are going to kill her, but Lynx manages to calm her down. The group flies to a cliff and watch the mysterious dragons land on the beach below them. Snowfall recalls the Battle of Jade Mountain and how she learned from the empathy spell that the IceWings doubted her ability to rule, and that the NightWings do not believe that she is a serious threat, remembering it as the worst day of her life. Snowfall and her guards approach the exhausted refugees and Queen Hazel introduces herself and the two tribes, pleading for help, but Snowfall refuses and orders them to leave her kingdom. She hears a scream and pulls her knives to prepare herself, but it turns out to be Bumblebee, who cries upon seeing her threatening gesture and runs back to Cricket. The IceWing queen continues to demand that they leave as Tsunami, Turtle, and more of the LeafWings and SilkWings arrive. When Cricket mentions that HiveWings are descendants of Clearsight, Snowfall, seething with rage, smashes the diamonds on her wristbands together three times, and reveals that she had brought her entire army with her, using the gift of stealth to conceal their presence.
Intimidated by the army, Hazel relents and agrees to leave her kingdom. Tsunami insults Snowfall and decides to lead the refugees south to the SandWing kingdom, where Moonwatcher and Luna are. Realizing that the route would lead them to the Great Ice Cliff, Lynx warns Hazel and decides that she and Snowfall will escort them safely across, with Snowfall electing to bring ten of her guards. After putting Ivory in charge of the IceWing kingdom, Snowfall flies with everyone to the southern border and she privately considers it to be the happiest day of her rule since she is not rearranging the names on the wall. She and Hazel talk to each other about being queen, the IceWings and LeafWings, and Hazel mentions the breath of evil. Snowfall presses and asks if it is Darkstalker and Hazel clarifies that it is a plant. She advises Hazel to watch her back and not trust anyone as a queen, and the refugees reach the far side of the tundra where Jerboa's hut is. Sundew reunites with Luna and tells her what happened to her friends back on Pantala. After Snowfall talks to Jerboa, Moonwatcher introduces herself and says that her vision is showing only the beginning, much to Snowfall's annoyance. Jerboa decides to let the refugees stay for a bit and Qibli proposes taking them to Sanctuary where they will be safe. Relieved that she will not have to attend to the gift of order for a little longer, Snowfall decides to keep going with them. Night falls and she notices that she cannot remove the ring on her talon. Giving up and believing that it will come off with palm oil, she falls asleep.
She falls asleep and has a dream that she is Atala. She does not tell anyone about it. A short while later, after interrogating Lappet about SilkWings and LeafWings, she discovers that the ring of vision was the one behind her visions, and she attempted to get it off by hitting the ring onto a nearby rock. This failed, resulting in her talon feeling bruised and sore.
Lynx demands Snowfall to tell her what is wrong, and she tells Lynx about the gift of vision, leading to an argument where Lynx warns her about how her paranoia and mistrust of other dragons will lead to her downfall before angrily storming away, convincing Snowfall to keep her problems to herself. She later asks Luna to use her flamesilk on the ring, but nothing happens other than Snowfall's wrist hurting.
They reach Sanctuary, and Snowfall sees an IceWing running away from her. She uses the gift of stealth to catch her, and finds her long-lost sister, Crystal.
Part Two: Sanctuary and Scavengers
Snowfall asks Crystal what she is doing here, and Gharial attacks Snowfall, thinking she is going to hurt Crystal. She counters with the gift of strength, and severely injures him. Crystal sorts things out with Snowfall, and she realizes Crystal is not plotting against her. Snowfall, Hazel, and the Pantalan refugees fly over to Sanctuary after hearing Moon's prophecy about Pantala. Tsunami invited the queens from each tribe to a meeting in Sanctuary. As Queen Thorn arrives with Qibli, Snowfall lapses into another vision, and this time she is Blue and Queen Wasp, from back on Pantala. Blue is forced to round up all the SilkWings in Cicada Hive so they can be contained until a new batch of the breath of evil is ready, while Wasp is furious that SilkWings keep disappearing from the Hives, so she stations soldiers in Cicada Hive, Blue included, to finally catch whoever is warning the SilkWings. Once the vision is over, she and Queen Thorn went for a long flight and they came back to the town square, where Tsunami and Sundew are arguing. As the other queens begin to arrive, Snowfall falls into yet another vision, ordering Winter and Qibli to take her away before she is seen.
This time she is Bryony, hiding in Pantala's caverns. When she wakes up, Snowfall is told by Winter to guard the scavenger sanctuary, as the only scavenger currently in there is Daffodil, nicknamed Pumpkin, by Winter, who is constantly trying to escape. As she is guarding the sanctuary, she notices an odd-colored SkyWing talking to some bushes. This dragon, who turns out to be Sky, tries to get Snowfall's attention, distracting her while Wren frees Daffodil from the sanctuary, by cutting/digging a hole through the fence.
When Snowfall discovers Daffodil is missing, she chases after Sky, using the gift of stealth. When she catches up to him, she meets Wren, and is completely taken by surprise when Wren begins to speak to Snowfall. During this conversation, Snowfall falls into another vision, thinking that scavengers absolutely cannot be sentient, and this time she is Raven, a scavenger that lives on Pantala, the vision taking place in the abyss. After, Snowfall requires a little time to remember that she is a dragon, and understands Daffodil. Snowfall later convinces Wren to speak with Winter. After this, Snowfall convinces Wren to go to Pantala as a representative if Snowfall can convince the other queens to make eating humans illegal. The queens agree, and prepare to send the representatives to go to Pantala: Sky, Tsunami, Bullfrog, Pineapple, Moonwatcher, Qibli, Lynx, Luna, Cricket, Sundew, and Wren.
Part Three: Walls of Ice
The night before Snowfall returned to the Ice Kingdom, she had no visions. She woke up some time past dawn, and she sees Lynx and Crystal. Snowfall realized that Crystal was trying to hide her nervousness by looking bored. She tells Crystal that she will not have her killed if she returned to the Ice Kingdom unless Crystal was coming to steal the throne. Crystal replies, saying she has no interest in taking the throne. Snowfall then adds that Crystal has permission to marry Gharial. Snowfall then starts talking about the council with the other queens and has a small talk. They say goodbye and leave for the Ice Kingdom. As Snowfall flies towards the Great Ice Cliff, she thinks about what would happen if the othermind landed in the Ice Kingdom, and about how the IceWings would need connections to the other tribes. She then uses the tiara of strength to break a hole in the cliff.
At night, Snowfall asks the ring again to show her what happened to animus magic. She enters Jerboa I's mind, discovers how she dies, and enters Jerboa III's. She then sees that Jerboa III broke animus magic before Luna arrived.
When she returns to the IceWing palace she sees that her aunt and uncle had put the IceWing crown on Mink and dubbed her queen in her absence. They discover that the crown Mink is wearing is enchanted by Diamond to make the wearer hate NightWings. She orders Ivory to destroy the crown. She takes Mink to the gift of order. At the gift of order, Snowfall asks Mink if she knows what what the gift of order is. Mink replies that the dragons above her are better than her and that she is better than the dragons below. Snowfall replies that Mink was correct, but it did not make sense, as Mink might do a math test better than the dragonet below her, but he might make a better ice sculpture. Mink is shocked at this and Snowfall quickly says that it is a maybe, and Mink calls out to the dragonet below her, Polar Bear, that she still loves him anyway. Snowfall contemplates whether she should have explained later, and smashes her fist into the gift of order. Tundra shrieks and charges Snowfall, but Snowfall batted her away and continued destroying the wall. Once she finished, Tundra was staring at the rubble as if it might come back, and Lynx was separating Tundra from Snowfall to keep her from charging at Snowfall again, then Tundra fainted, and had to be taken to her room while she recovered. Snowfall went to bed, and dreamed about herself in the forbidden treasury, with an animus IceWing named Opal. After her chat with Opal, she slipped into her mother's mind, and sees herself, realising that her mother did not just choose her to be queen just because she could not have chosen Crystal or Mink.
Raven is seen going to the abyss to give Vole some food. It is said that she and Mole are the only ones who dared approach him, since he has tossed others into the pit before. Vole asks if she can hear the whispers, and she responds that she cannot understand what it is saying. He suddenly becomes strange and ominous, saying that it is growing and it will soon need a dragon. She attempts to ask for details, but he remains vague, telling her to bring the dragon to the pit to save the village or everyone she knows will die.
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