So, I read Darkstalker. I think it was the best WOF book yet - it was engrossing, funny, dramatic, I loved the characters, etc. But I'm not here for a review - we all read the book (if you didn't, get out of here now, because spoilers await you!) I just wanted to note various things I wanted to comment on.
1. What exactly is the deal with Jerboa and his mysterious disappearance? It really had no relevance to the book... but it does seem to match with some other mysterious SandWing disapperances like Palm and Oasis' sisters. I wonder if there is some secret animus trap thing that SandWings put their most politically important adversaries, just like (well, not literally, but same concept) what Scarlet and Chameleon did. I bet Jerboa will turn out to be important in book 10.
2. Involving the technology level - why do these dragons seem MORE advanced than 2,000 years later? They have stuff like toothpaste that they don't have now (given that Clay says older dragons tend to not have white teeth), they have larger cities, more doors and houses, scientific research projects, and Whiteout knows about chaos theory (okay, that might have something to do with all of the future tellers running around). And more anthropomorphic - they eat more complicated food dishes that are often vegetarian (while 2000 years later everyone but the RainWings only ate meat), eat breakfast and dinner instead of just meals whenever they can, sometimes only a few times a week, have all of the stuff I mentioned before, and use weapons rather than their claws/teeth/tail etc. even if it doesn't make sense (e.g Splash, using a spear against an ANIMUS isn't a good idea, why not just try to whack him unconscious with your tail, because you're a SeaWing? And Darkstalker, you don't need to reach through your stuff a dagger to test your invulnerability, because you have claws!) Though speaking of which, why don't you see more dragons doing that iron-tipped claws thing Quickdeath used? I wonder if something happened between Darkstalker and the present to make the dragons not really technologically advance and even regress in some areas - a lot could have happened between Darkstalker and now.
3. Speaking of potential future cataclysms, wasn't it implied that Diamond went insane (well, Qibli just said AN IceWing queen went insane and Winter assumed it was Diamond because of breaking the gift rule, so it could have been an earlier queen that required the rule in the first place, though that probably wouldn't work since it was before animus dragons married into the royal family in the first place, or one who made an overly complicated gift). And if it was Diamond, wouldn't Clearsight have noticed and saw that future?
4. Where were the SkyWings in all this? Eagle was obviously pretty mad, but that was the last we saw of them - no apparent war with the SeaWings. They were at war with the IceWings when the whoel Foeslayer thing happened also, so wouldn't they have been the NightWings' natural allies based on a common enemy? But no, for some reason no one tries to ally themselves with the SkyWings. Maybe they had a new queen after the one having war with the IceWings, and this one was especially peaceable to the point of cancelling the previous war and avoiding a possible war with the SeaWings?
6. Speaking of SkyWings, in Escaping Peril Foeslayer mentioned seeing a SkyWing with too much fire. Given Foeslayer was alive for a decent amount of years before the Royal SeaWing Massacre. but by then the SkyWings already killed dragons like that (or at least animus dragons). So that must have been a pretty recent policy. I'd like to hear the story of the last fire scales dragon to be allowed to live. Might it have something to do with why the SkyWings were at war with the IceWings at the beginning? Or maybe it wasn't like that and Foeslayer just happened to be on a diplomatic visit to the Sky kingdom and happened to encounter a newborn dragonet with too much fire who was promptly killed?
7. So does Whiteout have sort of vague future telling abilities like Fatespeaker because of being supposed to be/almost born on the brightest night? That comment she made about the "one who loses the future" being able to see Foeslayer actually made sense - had Darkstalker not gone after Whiteout she would have seen Foeslayer, but because he did it led to the chain of events that will probably lead to him seeing Foeslayer in the main series!
8. When Indigo was talking about Darkstalker, it mentioned that chill as if someone was walking over her grave or whatever, and I realized that was the same as Anemone felt when he was freed. Any connection?
9. Surely Darkstalker would be smarter than making his secret spells visible by any fire/candle light in a tribe of nocturnal, fire-breathing dragons. Was that particular candle Fathom used enchanted, but no others?
10. I'm a bit confused about Clearsight. Sometimes it seemed she opposed Darkstalker's conviction that him being king would lead to a great future because Darkstalker was arrogantly overestimating the number of good futures that could come from it, and thinking he could easily avoid the ones where he was completely evil despite his propensity for violence, but then other times she seemed to just oppose it on principle that killing Vigilance would be the worst thing ever. Even though Vigilance is a paranoid, genocidal dragon who would kill a lot of dragons herself, which of course Darkstalker was like later on too, but she thought the future of him killing Vigilance was horrible even from the beginning where him being king would have clearly saved a lot of lives. And I understand that on principle killing a queen, no matter how horrible, if you aren't in the line of succession, could lead to civil war, but Darkstalker is an animus who can become immortal, he doesn't really have to worry about that. And the whole time I was wondering - so in exactly what percentage of futures did Darkstalker become a horrible king, and what percentage was he a great king? And since Darkstalker saw the most probable futures only, doesn't the fact he mostly saw the good ones mean that really was the most probable? The question basically becomes, since their views of the future were inconsistent - was Darkstalker blinded by his arrogance of Clearsight blinded by his worry, or a combination of both? Or maybe I'm getting it all wrong and the issue was the IceWings would still be a casualty of his rule no matter how great he was to his own tribe, but he was only threatening to the IceWings after Foeslayer's capture, which Clearsight couldn't predict earlier on when she still opposed Darkstalker being kinh.
11. And, about uses of animus magic: Why didn't Albatross just grow back Sapphire's claws, since no one knew there were any real consequences to that back them? Did she just go mad from the whole thing pretty quickly, and everyone decided they just didn't want a dragon like that being physically able to become queen? Also, why couldn't Darkstalker enchant his scroll to not be able to be stolen after he made it, even though he was able to enchant his scroll to give him a twinge when someone used it?
12. And about RainWings - this confirms what has already been stated in the books, which is that they weren't considered lazy back them. It kind of annoys me when people refer to RainWings as the lazy tribe, and forget that that was for only less than 200 years out of their 5000 year + history. I do totally want a Grandeur Legends, though I feel like less people would stereotype RainWings if we didn't get SO MUCH information about RainWings over the last few months, and only a VERY BRIEF teaser about RainWing history. It could be a story about the greatest threat the RainWings ever faced. Here's how I imagine it. I imagine all or most of the other tribes basically decided, due to various propaganda and such the distorted history and reality, that RainWings are useless and they could just take all their territory and kill them all, and Grandeur managed to lead a daring and nearly impossible fight against multiple tribes - especially the MudWings, who bordered them, because we need to see more MudWings!. Maybe it could tie into their own succession crisis mentioned in Escaping Peril. But she felt to allow them to be respected, to make them survive, she had to be harsh, and even as she won an epic, horrifying, seemingly impossible war and became known as the tribe's hero and the greatest queen in a long time, she distrusted and abandoned her own children, thinking that anything less than the perfect war effort, the perfect society, would lead to them losing their chance at acceptance, losing the war, being destroyed. This culminated in one of her daughters challenging her to a contest, but her saying the other tribes would never accept this and killing her. Eventually, five dragons publicly challenge her, but with an offer to show themselves as the opposite of Grandeur - that they won't kill her, exile her or even overthrow her completely, but ask to rotate with her on the throne. With Grandeur gone most of the time and replaced by queens who don't have her competence, but knowing of her threat, the rest of the continent dismisses the RainWings, and over time various queens retire or die and are replaced by new ones, generations pass, and the RainWings want to avoid anything like the war happening again and purposefully build a society that's the opposite of Grandeur's. Grandeur gives up, wanting nothing to do with these RainWings but still determined to protect them, because she truly does care about her tribe. The war is forgotten and dragons no longer feel love or hate for Grandeur, just a vague respect. But she never gives up waiting for a successor.
13. Another book I would like to get - "The Futures of Pyrrhia"! Basically a book of short, one-chapter stories that take place in alternate futures of Pyrrhia, as inspired by Clearsight's visions. Like "What if the comet never passed Pyrrhia (no Darkstalker and probably no unexpectedly early volcano eruption, either)", "What if Peril was allowed to fight in the war", "What if Starflight was born outside", "What if Tempest hadn't been assassinated", "What if Darkstalker had found out Clearsight and killed her", "What if scavengers still ruled Pyrrhia", "What if Arctic had successfully brought Whiteout to the Ice Kingdom", "What if Whiteout was born in three moons (one option among many)" "What if Clay wasn't chosen for the prophecy and an IceWing was instead (because Clay is the only one who isn't "wings of (his tribe)" and IceWing blood and probably some eggs are both blue", "What if Peril's brother had lived instead, and since he didn't have too much fire Kestrel raised him with the dragonets of destiny", etc.
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