This article contains plot details about the upcoming book, The Flames of Hope. It would be best if you did not view this page until after reading the new installment.
The Flames of Hope will be the fifteenth book in the New York Times bestselling series Wings of Fire and the fifth book in the third arc. The main protagonist is Luna.[event 1] The current publication date is April 5th, 2022.
It is preceded by The Dangerous Gift.
With talons united …
Luna has always wanted to change the world — to fix it, to free it — even if she's never actually known how. Now that all of dragon — and humankind are in mortal danger, Luna is flying back home to Pantala with a team of dragons on a rescue mission, determined to be brave and useful.
But saving a continent isn't as easy as a prophecy makes it sound, and "facing a great evil" definitely requires more than the fiery silk that Luna is uniquely able to create. As she fights her way to the abyss that hides the dark roots poisoning Pantala, Luna must uncover a long-buried secret and unite her friends, her enemies, and her own powers. If she doesn't, she won't get to change the world. She'll have to say goodbye to it — forever.
The following excerpt was transcribed as accurately as possible from an event Tui hosted.
Luna thought about the day she'd met Swordtail.
It had been her first day at Silkworm Hall, and it had started as a sunny season morning in her mind.
She'd been so excited to finally go to school where she could learn to read, and weave, and how laws worked, and why "things just have to be this way Luna," and how to make big ol' mean dragons listen to you.
But everything started to go wrong at the entrance to the hive, when the guards there had roughly clamped on her metal wrist cuff inscribed with the name of the school. It had been so unexpectedly heavy that she yelped, and the HiveWing putting it on sneered at her.
"Too bad for Silkworm Hall, getting a whining little caterpillar like you," he had hissed.
"I'm not whining," Luna had huffed, ignoring Blue when he nudged her in the side. "I don't think it's supposed to be this heavy."
"It is," the HiveWing had snapped. "Move along!"
Don’t let the fog in, Luna had ordered herself. Don’t let one mean dragon ruin your day. But, the dragons who ran Silkworm Hall weren't any kinder.
Some of the teachers were SilkWings, but the administration was all HiveWings. There were prickly guards at the doors, and the walls were thick with no windows and no sunlight at all.
Students crowded the narrow corridors, quiet and listless. She was separated from Blue, and given a different schedule. Teachers snapped at her to "sit! Be quiet! Stop asking questions! Fold in her tail! Eat Silently! Wait for permission to speak!" (which never came.)
By recess, Luna was in the grip of one of the worst sadnesses she'd ever felt. She knew she couldn't let herself cry at school, and if she escaped out the front gates and ran back to the safety of the webs, she'd only be in worse trouble later. But her wrist hurt, and her heart hurt, and she didn't know how she would make it through the rest of the day.
"Recess" apparently meant standing or marching around an open balcony on the side of the Cicada Hive. It was boring, but at least there was sunlight and wind. Luna tried to breathe in all the air she could fit into her lungs.
"Bit close to the edge there, aren’t you?" an older voice growled. She turned, and saw one of the HiveWing guards approaching a student who was looking out at the savannah. The little SilkWing was not all that close to the balcony railing, and he blinked up at the HiveWing in confusion.
"M-me?" he squeaked. His scales were light pink and lime green, with hints of darker rose inside his wingbuds. Luna had math class with him. "Glider" if she remembered right.
"Seems a little dangerous, worm," the HiveWing smirked, looming over the wingless dragonet. He inched back, and she stepped closer. The balcony edge was a few steps behind him now.
"Without any wings, you could tip right over, and just think of how far you'd have to fall. All that time to contemplate the giant splat you’d make at the end."
"I-I-I don’t- I-I didn’t mean to- c-can I p-please go inside now?" Glider stammered. He risked a glance over his shoulder as she crowded him back.
The balcony railing was only as high as the students' wingbuds. It looked like it had been built as an afterthought. "Oh right, SilkWing dragonets have no wings, we should pretend we care about their safety. But don't waste too much treestuff on this since we don't really." It would not be hard to fall over it, or be pushed over it.
"We lose at least one dragonet every year," the HiveWing said in a fake sad voice. "Poor little brainless worms who aren't careful enough."
She took another step, and Glider squeaked with fear.
"Stop that!" Luna said. She was startled to hear her own voice lancing through the silk fog around her. It felt like bright little flames of anger were burning holes in her sadness. "Why are you being so mean? You're scaring him just to be awful!"
Most of the other SilkWing students stared at her with wide, terrified eyes. The HiveWing flicked her tail, where a dangerous looking [sic] stinger gleamed, and turned her head slowly to glare at Luna.
"A worm with a voice?" hissed the guard. "Gross. No one has ever told you your place, have they?"
"Has anyone ever taught you basic decency?" Luna demanded. "How to be a dragon with a heart? Or were all your classes about acting like a pile of poisonous sludge to anyone smaller than you?"
There were audible gasps from the rest of the class, who started edging away as fast as they could sidle. The HiveWing stepped towards her, and raised her tail menacingly. Glider slipped away from the railing and bolted back into the school, but the guard didn't notice.
"Mouthy little worms end up on Misbehaviors [sic] Way," the HiveWing snarled. "But, I get to paralyze you with my tail toxin first. I hear it's quite painful."
"Oh no!" shouted a voice on the far side of the balcony. Everyone hustled out of the way as the guard whirled around. The shouting dragonet was a little bit older than Luna. He was dark blue, with several small white triangular scales, and larger orange splotches. And he was standing on the railing of the balcony!
"I got too close to the edge!" he yelled. "I wasn't careful enough! I was just wandering around, exactly like a worm with no brains, and suddenly, I ended up here on this railing! Oh no, the horror! I'm probably going to go splat! I'm such a brainless worm! Tragic day! Poor world! What are you going to do without Swordtail?"
The HiveWing guard goggled at him. Luna could not imagine what her own face was doing.
"If ONLY someone had WARNED me about going SPLAT!" the dragonet howled. "If only some BRILLIANT HIVEWING had reminded me I have no wings, and should be CAREFUL in tall places! Alas! Alack! Woe in despair!"
"GET DOWN FROM THERE!" the HiveWing snapped furiously. "Get down right now!"
Luna saw a strange flare of something in the HiveWings [sic] eyes, and she suddenly realized that the guard was never intending to push Glider over the edge. The HiveWing wanted to scare them and prove her power over them, but if any of them actually fell, she'd be in big trouble.
"Get down from here?" Swordtail echoed, looking thoroughly befuddled. "But how? Which way do I go, I'm much too stupid to figure this out myself!" He took a wobbling step along the railing and failed around as though he couldn't get his balance.
The HiveWing charged over and yanked him over onto the safety of the floor.
"What are you playing at?" she snarled. "You're going straight to the headmaster. And you too" she barked, pointing at Luna. "I know you know the way," the HiveWing added, scowling at Swordtail.
"I do," Swordtail said cheerfully. He sauntered over and bumped Luna's side with a grin. "Come along, troublemaker."
Luna glanced around the balcony, but everyone else was studiously avoiding her gaze. Why hadn't any of them stuck up for Glider, or tried to stop the guards bullying? Were they all too scared?
The dark blue dragonet led the way into the school, and down a couple of levels, then stopped in a deserted corridor and sat down, beaming at her.
"That was wild," he said. "You are bonkers."
"Me?" Luna protested, but she couldn't help smiling back. "You’re the one who nearly ended up a SilkWing pancake on the savannah. I’m surprised she didn’t shove you over the way you were carrying on."
"Eh, they're getting used to me." he said with a shrug. "Yelling at a guard on your first day though? What's the plan for day two, drawing trees all over the walls? No, wait! Announcing at lunch that you're starting a rebellion against Queen Wasp?"
He must have seen something in her face, because he added quickly, "I'm just kidding, don't do that. I mean, save it for day five at least."
Luna giggled, and realized, this was the lightest she had felt since stepping into Silkworm Hall.
"I'm pretty sure announcing your rebellion isn't the best way to start," she said. "Mine will be stealthier than that. In fact, I just recruited you, and you didn’t even notice."
"Really?" he said. "I’m leading a secret rebellion now?"
"No, no. I'm leading it” [sic] she said. "You're the comic relief."
He laughed. "That sounds about right. I’m Swordtail, by the way."
"Oh, I know." she said. "The one this poor world would miss so terribly. Very dramatic. I’m Luna."
Click here to see the cover gallery.
- The book will begin with Luna thinking about each of the characters in the "secret stealth team."[event 2]
- There will be a non-binary human in the book.[event 3]