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The Lost Heir

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Lostheir

Wings of fire: the lost heir. Art by Joy Ang

Sea kingdom

The Kingdom of the Sea

The Lost Heir, the second installment in the Wings of Fire series, was published on the first day of January 2013. It features the SeaWing dragonet, Tsunami, as the main protagonist. Tui T. Sutherland had debated on calling this book The Princess Murders. It follows The Dragonet Prophecy and precedes The Hidden Kingdom.

This book has only one setting, the Kingdom of the Sea.

The title refers to Tsunami, the lost heir to the SeaWing throne.

Summary

"The Wings of Fire saga continues with a thrilling underwater adventure — and a mystery that will change everything!"

The lost heir to the SeaWing throne is going home at last...

She can't believe it's finally happening. Tsunami and her other friends of destiny are journeying under the water to the great SeaWing Kingdom. Stolen as an egg from the royal hatchery, Tsunami is eager to meet her future subjects and reunite with her mother, Queen Coral.

But Tsunami's return to the home she never knew doesn't go quite the way she had always imagined. Queen Coral welcomes her with open wings, but there are undercurrents of malice swirling in the waters of the Sea Kingdom. A mysterious assassin has been killing off the queen's heirs for years, and Tsunami may be the next target. The dragonets came to the SeaWings for protection, but this ocean hides secrets, betrayal —and perhaps even death.

--The Lost Heir, back cover

Plot

Prologue

The prologue begins with Webs waking up on a stream bed. He thinks of the dragonets and emerges from the river. Stepping into the woods, he comes across the SeaWing Nautilus and the IceWing Cirrus. Webs explains how the dragonets escaped as the MudWing Crocodile arrives. Nautilus and Cirrus question Webs further and decide to kill him, mentioning a "backup plan." Cirrus pins Webs, but is incapacitated by Crocodile, who tells him to flee. After she catches up with Webs, Crocodile explains that Queen Coral, queen of the SeaWings, might grant him mercy. He contemplates this as Crocodile flies away.

Part 1: The Edge of the Ocean

The story begins with Tsunami standing on a beach. Starflight tries to order the others back under the trees, but no one listens to him. Starflight begins worrying about all the dragons looking for them after Glory possibly killed Queen Scarlet. Clay begins rambling on about the tiny fish in the shallow water. Tsunami and Starflight then get to arguing, to which Sunny reacts by asking Clay to intervene. Glory then teases Clay about his being a "Bigwings." Clay explains that they should get to the SeaWings as fast as possible. Starflight then hears wing beats and dashed for the shades in the trees.

Tsunami dives into the water upon seeing a patrol of SkyWings approaching. Sunny chases after Starflight, while Clay finds a mud shelf and Glory camouflages (see RainWing) in with the sand. The SkyWings shoot past and the last one stops and looks around. Tsunami, thinking he saw Sunny, attacks the dragon. Clay comes to Tsunami's aid soon after she attacked, and helps drag the SkyWing into the ocean. After the soldier passes out, Tsunami and Clay haul him onto the beach. There, Clay tries to "fix" him, much to Glory's displeasure. The others soon arrive and mock Tsunami for attacking the soldier. Starflight then asks Tsunami and Clay to go get a fallen tree, which they place on the soldier's shoulders. They cover his eyes with leaves, and fly inland, "just in case." As they leave, Tsunami casts a longing glance over her shoulder at the sea.

Four days later, Tsunami wakes up on an island in the Bay of a Thousand Scales. She contemplates the recent events concerning Starflight. Then she dives into the ocean. She fights the currents to the next island, where she spots another SeaWing. She stalks him and watches as he performs some kind of 'ritual' with another SeaWing. The second SeaWing then leaves and Tsunami catches up with the first one. He seems startled to see her. She points to the surface and the SeaWing flees. Tsunami gives chase and pins him after he head-slams a whale. The dragon flashes his stripes at Tsunami. Tsunami responds in kind, causing the dragon to look confused. They swim to the surface. The SeaWing follows momentarily, but stops and flashes his stripes again. Tsunami imitates him and he lunges for her. Tsunami then attacks him and flies back to her friends. The SeaWing follows her and asks what is wrong. Tsunami tells him that he attacked her, but he denies the accusation. He then says Tsunami said she liked him. He claims that Tsunami said, quote, "Hey, sparkling teeth, I totally love three of your claws, but not the others, and I wish your nose was a herring so I could eat it, and, also your wings sound like sharks snoring." Tsunami laughs at this. The SeaWing tells her to leave because he thinks that a SeaWing that does not know Aquatic, is not a SeaWing. Then he attacks Clay, whom he mistakes for an enemy. Tsunami then sets him straight a few points (after Sunny tries to stop the SeaWing) by telling them that they are the Dragonets of Destiny.

The SeaWing introduces himself as Riptide. He asks about Webs and Tsunami explains a few things. He then offers to go get Queen Coral, but Tsunami refuses, saying, "How would she feel if you told her you met her missing daughter and did not bring her to the palace?" Riptide protests, but again, Tsunami insists on bringing her friends. Riptide then uses seaweed to blindfold Clay and Sunny. Then the six dragons fly over the sea and towards the Summer Palace. They meet Shark, Tsunami's uncle and Queen Coral's brother and Chief of Defense. Tsunami acts defensive towards him. Shark then orders the soldiers to kill the dragonets and bring Tsunami to the Palace. Tsunami knocks one soldier out and forces Shark to bring all five of them to the palace. They swim under water for a long time, surfacing occasionally to breathe in a semi-aquatic tunnel built for Queen Blister's rare visits.

Part 2: Into the Deep

As Tsunami emerges from the water, she notices all the blue-green faces staring at her. She remembers the stripes on her wings that Riptide mentioned earlier and lights them up. She then tries an "I'm home!" speech, but ends up embarrassing herself. Riptide leads the dragonets to the top of the pavilion, a stone structure, twelve stories tall. Each level, Riptide explains, has a different purpose. At the top level, Riptide tells the dragonets that an animus SeaWing designed it by animating the stone to grow into shape. Minutes later, Queen Coral arrives. Tsunami is thrilled to see her mother, but is shocked to see another dragonet with royal stripes on her wings with the Queen. Riptide tells Tsunami that the dragonet is her sister, Anemone.

Tsunami growls at Starflight and asks why he didn't know about Anemone. He claims that the scrolls, particularly The Royal Lineage of the SeaWings: From the Scorching to the Present, were old and outdated. Glory notices this and comments on the situation. Before Tsunami can even react, Queen Coral lands and embraces her, quoting the homecoming scene of The Missing Princess. Anemone complains that her claws hurt. Coral then explains to Anemone that Tsunami is the dragonet that she lost six years ago. Tsunami introduces herself, and Coral asks about Webs. Coral shouts at Clay saying, "WHAT IS A MUDWING DOING IN MY PALACE?" Tsunami explains by saying that Clay is her friend. Coral then tells the guards to place the dragonets in Blister's cave with a guard. Coral tells her that the other dragonets will be fine. Tsunami tells Coral about how Webs never let her near the ocean or taught her Aquatic. Outraged, Coral states that she will execute him.

Coral gives Tsunami a strand of smooth white pearls, claiming "I have to start making up for all the gifts I missed giving you." Tsunami notices dark stains on Coral's claws. Coral calls them the "Perils of my job. Well, my hobby, anyway. My art you might call it." Coral then takes Tsunami to the 8th level of the pavilion, the library. Coral then introduces Tsunami to Whirlpool, claiming that he will make a fine king someday. Tsunami the notices Anemone quickly hide a hopeful expression, and wonders how much the little dragonet could clear up. Coral explains that she loves to write and gives Tsunami four scrolls 'for her to read tonight.' One of them is The Missing Princess. Tsunami then tells Coral how that scroll is her favorite. "Really?" Coral asks."I wrote it for you."

Just then, a SeaWing baring a resemblance to Shark appears. Coral identifies her as Moray, Tsunami's cousin. Moray kisses up to the queen for a moment before explaining that there is a dead SkyWing a few islands from the Summer Palace. Coral immediately goes to see the dragon, with Shark, Moray, Tsunami, Anemone, and another dragon, Piranha, close behind. when they reach the island, Tsunami is exhausted. She then looks down at the dead dragon. Shock quickly subsides to disbelief. The dead SkyWing is Kestrel. Someone has clearly murdered her.

Tsunami is met with conflicting thoughts all the way back to the Summer Palace. She eventually decides to go see her friends tomorrow and tell them everything then. Coral returns from a war meeting with Anemone. The three SeaWings fly to a waterfall and swim under the bottom of it. There, is an under water bedroom. Tsunami collapses into her bed and falls asleep. She wakes up the next morning to find Anemone watching her. Startled, Tsunami fears that Anemone was trying to kill her. Anemone signals for her to be quiet, then tries to say something in Aquatic, forgetting that Tsunami never learned to speak the language. Anemone tries again and remembers, frustrated. Tsunami inspects the harness, which she guesses grew with her. Anemone signals Tsunami to follow her to the surface, which Anemone in barely able to reach. She expresses her relief that Tsunami in home, claiming that, "Maybe you can make her less crazy, or she might set me free now that she has you!." Anemone claims that she in happy she no longer has to marry Whirlpool, but Tsunami says no to the prospect of marrying that dragon. She also states that she does not have the time to get married.

Tsunami asks a few more questions, which Anemone hurriedly answers so that the two sister can return to their beds before Coral wakes up. When the Queen does awaken, she gives another strand of pearls to Tsunami, these purple and oddly shaped. The three of them then go to the Council meeting on the 6th floor of the pavilion. Tsunami is given the pool marked 'Dragonet Care', to sit in, as it's occupant Tortoise is absent.

After embarrassing herself by eating before anyone else at Coral's council, Coral wonders what had happened to Gill, the SeaWing king. He was killed by Tsunami in the SkyWing arena. Tsunami soon learns after a confession from Coral that Gill was Tsunami's father. She feels incredible guilt after this, wanting to be alone. But Whirlpool insists on giving her an Aquatic lesson. After learning nothing from it she goes out to the island that looks like a dragon skeleton and meets Riptide there. He gives her a proper lesson and she leaves back to the palace.

While swimming through the tunnel, a dragon attacks her. She is saved by Riptide and heads to alert her mother. Queen Coral is reading to a bored Anemone of how she chose Gill to be her husband. Tsunami informs her that someone attacked her and Coral is concerned about her eggs. She gathers her council and they head to the Deep Palace.

They head inside to the hatchery. Tsunami sees a statue called Orca, which she knows is her dead sister. She hears Coral's rage of fury and sees the limp body of the blue hatchling. Coral exits the hatchery and Tsunami picks up the last egg believing she can protect it. Queen Coral is attacking the failed dragonet care council member Tortoise. She kills her and spots Tsunami with the egg. She beckons her to hand it over but Tsunami refuses and flashes her stripes saying I will protect. Coral heads to the surface with Anemone and Tsunami and they argue about the egg. Coral eventually gives in and Tsunami gets a harness for the egg but it doesn't fit. Anemone touches it and it shrinks to the egg and her size.

She swims back to the Summer Palace in a storm worried about her friends. She gets lost but eventually finds Riptide who shows her the way. She meets up with her friends in the caves and finds that Coral has chained up Clay. She convinces some guards to unlock him and they head into a dry cave. Tsunami gives Sunny the egg, due to Sunny's warm body heat that all SandWings posses.

Tsunami woke to find a SandWing watching them sleep. The SandWing is Blister, one of the rival queens. Tsunami and the dragonets come to breakfast after Blister convinces Coral they should come. Tsunami loudly says that Lagoon and Shark disobeyed Coral and gets them in the dungeon. They then talk about Kestrel, who Tsunami forgot to mention to her friends about. In the commotion, Blister backs Tsunami up by saying it could be shocking seeing a dead body of someone you knew. Then she says "especially when you've wanted to slash her throat yourself once or twice in your lifetime, right?". Tsunami wonders how Blister knew Kestrel's throat was slashed when no one mentioned it. Starflight also catches Blister's mistake.

Blister then wants to see their "secret weapon" and Tsunami follows them. Whirlpool takes a strand of pearls and tells Anemone to make it crawl across the room. On her second try she obeys and Tsunami realizes she an animus. Blister and Coral go off to talk privately and Anemone makes the pearls go off the edge causing Whirlpool to follow. Anemone explains that every time an animus uses their powers they lose a bit of themselves and she scared for that to happen. Blister and Coral finish talking but they then hear a noise from the canopy.

Blister flies up to see what the noise is and grabs a dragon, Webs, out of the canopy, leaving a hole. Coral is still angry at Webs and she attacks him, throwing him off the edge. Tsunami found herself trying to save him and Clay helps. They land on the library level and the other dragonets follow. Coral questioned her why she would save him and she lies saying they could use him for information about the Talons of Peace. Webs wakes and Coral forces him to explain how he got into the hatchery. He said he drugged the guards with help from his wife. Queen Coral says she put his wife in battle, and "too bad that battle was such a bloodbath." Coral then wanted information about the Talons. Tsunami is upset that Coral didn't seem to care that a dragonet's life was ruined. Starflight then says that Webs saved her life by stealing her egg, because she would of been murdered as well. Urchin comes and announces that they found a dragon outside of the palace. They bring him in, and it's Riptide.

Tsunami admits she has been taking Aquatic with Riptide and not Whirlpool. Coral suspects he is working for the Talons and Tsunami claims it's a lie. Blister cuts in and says that Riptide and Webs were working together to kill the heirs to the throne to use Tsunami as a bargaining chip. Coral is excited by this idea and believes it. Starflight then explains that it wouldn't work because the murders started two years before they stole Tsunami's egg and Webs couldn't have flown there and back whenever he wanted to kill a dragonet. Coral and Tsunami make a deal she would let Riptide go if she caught the murderer. Tsunami realizes Blister wants Webs dead, but for unknown reasons.

Part 3: Out of the Egg

Tsunami is in the pitch-black hatchery. She hears a scraping noise, and notices Orca's Statue moving. The statue attacks her and cuts one of her gills. It then steps on her and breaks some of her ribs. Tsunami fights back and yanks out its eyes, which has no affect. She grabs the narwhal spear while it looks for its eyes. The statue attempts to walk over her to the egg and Tsunami realizes that an animus enchanted the statue. While she is thinking, the statue leaps at her and she stabs the spear into its chest. She notices that it crumbles a bit, and gets the idea to trap it. She loges the spear into the statue's mouth and jammed the other end into a nest. The statue attempts to escape but Tsunami grabs the egg just as it breaks open. A little green head with green eyes blinks at Tsunami and she says hello in Aquatic. She swims over to the door and opens it. The statue freezes. Tsunami has a theory of who enchanted it, she believes it was Orca.

Tsunami names the newly hatched dragonet Auklet. Tsunami questions Starflight of why he's favoring Blister all of the sudden, and he doesn't answer. Coral, Anemone, and Blister arrive and say Orca's Statue was destroyed. Tsunami still believes that Shark attacked her in the tunnel. Clay says that they are leaving, but Blister claims that she wants the dragonets to choose her as the SandWing queen. She nearly says the NightWings want her, but she corrects herself. Blister says to Coral that Tsunami killed Gill, but Starflight says that Blister killed Kestrel. Coral unsure of who to believe scoops up Auklet and flies away. The dragonets were thrown in prison.

The prisons are islands with water flowing down around them. In the water are large eels that Glory is afraid of. Tsunami tries to question Starflight about them but he can't remember.  Glory says that they can shock dragons and kill them, if charged. Sunny says that she hears wingbeats and Glory spots someone. It turns out to be and unharnessed Anemone, and for Tsunami, Anemone enchants a spear to find her attacker. It turns out to be Whirlpool. He is impressed and admits that he wanted Tsunami dead so he could marry Anemone. Then he muses that he could marry Auklet. Anemone swings the spear across Whirlpool's head and he falls into the moat. The eels give out a shock, possibly killing him. Tsunami jumps through the pouring water and survives. She frees the dragonets, Riptide, and Webs. She then asks Anemone to come with them, but she refuses. Sunny hears the wingbeats again and a fire bomb is dropped through the canopy.
Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 6.00.06 PM

The Death of Whirlpool

Crocodile, a MudWing, claims that she followed Webs to the palace. She has brought an attack with her from Burn's alliance. Glory shoots venom into her eyes, killing her. Tsunami spots her mother and Anemone, who are throwing the scrolls into the water. The dragonets escape the palace, but as they do, Blister stabs Webs with her tail. He says it misses his heart but it's still poisonous. Tsunami has an idea to go to the RainWings. The book ends with her thought, "So the Kingdom of the Sea wasn't my home after all. I wonder is anywhere ever will be."

Epilogue

As Morrowseer and Blister discuss the problematic dragonets and the events in the SeaWing Kingdom, Nautilus approaches, after being beckoned over by Morrowseer. The SeaWing explains his back-up plan to Blister, and tells her about the false dragonets. Morrowseer suggests taking the best options from each group and mentions recruiting assassins.

Excerpt

To read an excerpt of the book click here

Trivia

  • The first two books so far have both ended with the main protagonists thinking a phrase.
  • Even though the text suggests that Tsunami has star patterns on her wing, the cover doesn't show them.
  • Even though The Dragonet Prophecy says that Tsunami has translucent, green eyes, the cover has them as pale blue.
  • The Lost Heir is one of the books that have the main protagonists not in the air on the cover. (the other one being The Dark Secret.)
  • Even through the guide shows SeaWings with having squared-shaped stripes on their underscales, the cover shows them as oval.

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