The Dark Secret is the fourth book of the New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series, and also the fourth book in the first arc, featuring Starflight, the NightWing dragonet of the prophecy, as the main protagonist. It follows The Hidden Kingdom and precedes The Brightest Night.
In the shadows, trouble is brewing. . . .
The mysterious NightWings keep everything hidden, from their home and their queen to their allegiance in the war. Now they've kidnapped their own dragonet of destiny, and Starflight is finally meeting the rest of his tribe — whether he wants to or not.
The NightWings have also kidnapped several innocent RainWings, now trapped in the dark, barren, miserable place that is the NightWing kingdom. Starflight wants to help the RainWings, but he's busy saving his own scales and trying to find a way back to his friends. The fate of two kingdoms rests in is talons, and with no one to save him, Starflight will have to find a way to be brave . . . before it's too late.
For Jonah and Elliot's first tribe: Willamina and Wyatt, Ashwin and Syrus, Leo and Maya, Amelie, Charlie, Adam, Stella, Rady and Lyla, Sylvie and Penelope, Calvin, Evie and Joshua, and Noah and Grace
The prologue shows Reed and his siblings in a battle between the IceWings and the MudWings, where Marsh becomes terrified after he saw his sister Crane die in front of him during their first battle. After the battle is over, Umber claims to have noticed a scavenger den the IceWings were after. Reed takes note but does not ponder on it anymore. He then thinks about joining the Talons of Peace with his siblings. The prologue ends with him not wanting to lose anyone else in the war, having already lost their sister Crane.
Part One: The Secret PlanEdit
The book begins with Starflight unconscious and worrying where Sunny is. He remembers that when Clay left and was chasing a boar, NightWings came up out of the tunnel and abducted him. Starflight is awoken by his half-sister, Fierceteeth, who dumped salt water on him. He is introduced to all of the NightWing dragonets, however, the introduction is cut short when Morrowseer storms into the room, demanding that Starflight join him at the council. Starflight nervously comes along.
At the council, Starflight watches as they debate on attacking the RainWings. They ask Starflight what he knows and Morrowseer threatens to kill him if he didn't say anything, so he says that he thinks they are attacking. He witnesses Vengeance's death because he endangers the tribe for bringing Glory to the home of the Nightwings with Greatness saying "You brought us a viper disguised as a garden snake" and so the guards throw him in the lava.
When he tries to come up, the guards push him down. Deathbringer thanks the queen but Greatness orders him to the dungeon saying "The queen will figure out what to do with you later."
Morrowseer takes Starflight to an island to hunt, and when Starflight sees how the Nightwings hunt he is disgusted and tries to talk his way out of eating the giant albatross Morrowseer had killed. After listening to Starflight rant on and on about the strange hunting habits of NightWings, Morrowseer confirms who his father is. Morrowseer takes Starflight to the labs, but on the way they meet Fatespeaker. Morrowseer agrees to take her to the labs if she promises to be quiet, and she happily agrees. When they meet Mastermind, Morrowseer goes away being bored with science, leaving him and Fatespeaker with Mastermind.
At first, when Starflight meets his father, Mastermind, he is filled with elation at the prospect of having such a smart father, but when he is given a tour by Mastermind around the labs, he is sickened by the fact that his father is abducting and torturing RainWings without even showing that he cares. He says that they were doing it for "science" because he doesn't want his son to know the real reason. When Mastermind shows him a RainWing test subject - which turns out to be Orchid - Starflight says reassuring things to her, turning her a pink color. Mastermind marvels at this, wondering why and how she turned colors. When Starflight realizes that Mastermind might be reading his mind, he momentarily panics, but then relaxes when he realizes his father had not reacted to any of his thoughts. Fatespeaker gives him a look that says, "We'll be talking about this later."
Morrowseer then comes back, saying that Starflight must be introduced to the "others". However, Starflight is not paying attention but instead pondering why the NightWings would be abducting the RainWings. The puzzle pieces clicked inside Starflights mind, and he figured out the plan was to take the Rainforest from the Rainwings and make that their new home. He also figures that the NightWings allied with Blister so that she and her army could help take the territory. Part One ends with Starflight thinking "I've figured out the NightWings' secret plan. But now... what do I do about it?"
Part Two: The Queen's SecretEdit
Starflight is brought to meet the false dragonets, and almost immediately afterwards Morrowseer orders the dragonets to kill him as a test. He runs away and hides in the RainWing prisons where a guard stops him. He tells her he is there for a “school project” and she lets him through. While waiting there, the other dragonets run into the Nightwing guard who freaks out, not knowing that the alternate dragonets of destiny are on the island. When Flame, the false SkyWing dragonet of destiny, shouts "We’re trying to kill a NightWing dragonet! Did you see where he went?" The guard then screams "THEY'RE HERE TO KILL OUR DRAGONETS!" and slams a gong on Flame's head. After a while, Fatespeaker finds him and brings him back to the cave where the dragonets originally were. Morrowseer then takes them to the fortress and to the dormitories where Starflight sleeps.
Fatespeaker wakes Starflight up in the night to explore the volcano. They find the old treasury and Starflight discovers a dreamvisitor. He attempts to contact the real dragonets with it, but has to enter Kinkajou's dreams instead. In her dream, he learns that his friends think he either betrayed them, or is too cowardly to even do something in that nature. Starflight then falls asleep feeling lonelier than he ever had before.
He is woken up by Morrowseer, who brings them to the mainland to try to convince a remote outpost of SkyWings to switch their alliances to Blister. The dragonets fail, and Nightwings, who were following them, burst in and killed all the Skywings. Squid then says he doesn't want to do this anymore and Morrowseer sends him away, saying he hopes Squid would die. Morrowseer then takes everyone back to the volcano island. Starflight and the rest of the dragonets then take a long deserved sleep.
Fatespeaker wakes Starflight up saying that Flame just snuck out and she wants to follow him. Flame leads the way to the dungeon Flame and Ochre had to stay in when the RainWing dungeon's guard caught them trying to kill Starflight. In there, they find Deathbringer, the NightWing who helped Glory escape the Night Kingdom.
Fatespeaker and Starflight leave so that they have time to find Queen Battlewinner. They find her in a secret room behind a map. When nobody is in the room, Starflight thinks that there might be no queen at all until a dragon rises out of a cauldron of lava in the middle of the room. They find out she is forced to stay in the cauldron because an IceWing shot their frostbreath straight down her throat. Since the lava and ice cancel each other out, if she left the lava, the ice would finish its work and kill her. Both NightWing dragonets try to convince her that what Morrowseer is doing is too cruel, but the queen tells them to do as he says and for them to leave her. The dragonets had failed to change anything.
That night, Starflight takes out the dreamvisitor again and successfully contacts Glory. He tells her that the Nightwings are attacking and he was captured and didn't betray them. He then wakes up after talking with Glory and realizes the blankets have changed and the dreamvisitor is exposed.
The next day Morrowseer instructs them to do battle training and while attempting to kill Fatespeaker, Viper falls into the lava but manages to accidentally scratch Flame with her venomous tail. Morrowseer attempts to save Flame and leaves Viper for dead. While Morrowseer takes Flame back to the fortress to find healers, Starflight discovers that none of the alternate dragonets were born on the brightest night. Fatespeaker and Starflight return to the fortress to rest.
Before Starflight can get any sleep, Mastermind tells him to walk with him to their library to find something on how to cure SandWing venom for Flame. Knowing how, Starflight is caught in between the thought of telling him and not telling him. Starflight decides to tell him, but before he can, NightWings come to take Mastermind to the council. There, Starflight learns that the NightWings will attack at midnight that night.
Part Three: The TruthEdit
Frantically trying to find the dreamvisitor to warn Glory, Starflight discovers it is missing. He wakes Fatespeaker and tells her that they need to help the RainWings, but does not know how. Fatespeaker agrees that they should help and comes up with the plan to go to the Rainforest.
Using Flame's scratch as an excuse, they trick the guards into letting them into the rainforest, claiming that they would find the antidote for the venom. The guards decide to let them in. Immediately after they come in, RainWings pin them down, as ordered by Tsunami. Starflight and Tsunami spot each other and Tsunami explains a bit of their situation and brings them to Glory, Sunny and Clay. Fatespeaker asks who Sunny is, and soon after they find that they are quite alike. They plan how they're going to do the battle and decide they will go in within a few hours. Sunny suggests a new way of fighting for RainWings: Sleeping darts. Soon all the RainWings are armed with their tranquilizer darts.
Starflight believes he might die in the fight, so he confesses to Sunny that he loves her. She says she loves him back but she can't share the same kind of affection for him when they are going into battle. The army of RainWings then go through the tunnel. Glory frees Orchid first and tells Liana and Grandeur how to free the RainWings with the spear. They then go to speak to Queen Battlewinner. As they are entering her chamber, Starflight notices the ground shaking, and realized the volcano might erupt. Glory demands that Battlewinner stop the battle but the NightWing Queen refuses. Starflight comes up with the idea for letting the NightWings come to the rainforest, as long as they accept Glory as their queen. Queen Battlewinner shrieks in rage and attempts to attack them, but having jumped out of her lava bath, the ice freezes her insides and kills her in a matter of seconds.
Then they go to free Splendor and Deathbringer. During this period, the volcano is shaking violently. They free Splendor and Deathbringer and tell the NightWings their plan. Almost all the dragons enter the rainforest, saying "Queen Glory" except for Morrowseer. As they are about to leave, Morrowseer tells them the prophecy is false and made up, as part of an elaborate plan he and Battlewinner orchestrated to take over the rainforest. When the volcano erupts, the dragons dash through the tunnel to the rainforest as the explosion consumes Morrowseer. Starflight then feels the blast on his scales and feels a stab of pain through his eyes. Clay brings him to the rainforest and Fatespeaker comes up to him (he was unsure whether or not it was Fatespeaker or Sunny at first) and he was then jabbed in the neck by a sleeping dart and is knocked unconscious.
Blaze is with Glacier, telling her about the dragonets. Glacier confirms that she only is supporting Blaze for the land. Glacier allows Blaze to go inside and thinks to herself about killing the dragonets if they don't choose Blaze.
Blister is with Nautilus and Squid, who was found by the mountains after Morrowseer had left him to fend for himself. Both Nautilus and Blister are wondering about Morrowseer's disappearance and why he sent Blister to a scavenger den. She realizes that the dragonets may be the reason for his disappearance and vows to kill them.
Burn is outside of her stronghold, with her brother, Smolder. They are talking about their prisoner, Ex-Queen Scarlet. Burn then tells him about how much a bore Queen Ruby is, and how she won't enter battle while her kingdom is in turmoil. Burn then states she will destroy the prophecy by killing the dragonets.
- The Dark Secret is the only book where the dragonet featured on the cover is fully depicted on the front panel, without part of the dragonet's wing or tail on the spine of the book.
- It was following the release of this book that Wings of Fire made the New York Times bestseller list.
- The Dark Secret, Winter Turning, Darkness of Dragons, and Darkstalker are the only covers to have the main dragon not in flight.
- The Dark Secret and Winter Turning have the same number of pages: 295.
- It's the only book in the first series where the POV doesn't encounter a scavenger.
- In The Dark Secret it says that the Dreamvisitors were enchanted by a SandWing animus dragon. Later revealed in Moon Rising, they were actually enchanted by Darkstalker, a NightWing.
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|Wings of Fire books|
|First Arc||The Dragonet Prophecy • The Lost Heir • The Hidden Kingdom • The Dark Secret • The Brightest Night|
|Second Arc||Moon Rising • Winter Turning • Escaping Peril • Talons of Power • Darkness of Dragons|
|Third Arc||The Lost Continent • Book 12 • Book 13 • Book 14 • Book 15|
|Winglets||Prisoners • Assassin • Deserter • Runaway|
|Graphic Novels||The Dragonet Prophecy|