This is the first book in a series that takes place a few decades after the original Unwanted series. Featuring old characters as well as new, it focuses mainly on the twin sisters, Thisbe and Fifer. Both have extreme power in magic yet are not very adept at controlling when it comes out and how, making them a danger to those living in Artime. Their older brother Alex is constantly restricting them from advancing in their magical training for fear that they will hurt somebody like they had done in the past.
Because of his reaction to their magic, the twins feel like they are nothing but a problem to their brother. When the opportunity comes to prove to him that they can control their powers, they take it. To Thisbe and Fifer, it would be a simple journey to the land of dragons to create new wings for five young dragons. Little do they know that the land of dragons is no longer ruled by dragons but by a force much more sinister and less forgiving. As Thisbe and Fifer travel, they learn to trust themselves and others instead of always depending on their twin connection.
The first installment of this series was unknown to me, so it was a little confusing initially when I encountered all these names that I should have been familiar with but was not. The story itself is not directly connected to the first series so it did not matter too much.
One of the things I like about this book is the constant shift in perspectives. Often in books, points of view are divided by chapters, each dedicated to a certain person. In this one, Ms. McMann gives little tidbits from different characters throughout a chapter, not really staying with one person's perspective the entire time. This may sound confusing as you never really know what point of view you are looking from, but it gives a unique twist to the story since most of the time the characters are in different locations and have completley different mindsets.
The story itself is quite simple, as it is geared towards the 8-12 year old range, but the themes in it are ones that I find pretty prominent. Thisbe and Fifer are constanty living under the notion that they are bombs ready to go off and if they do, then many of the people they love will be hurt. But they are also so curious; risk does not always have the full effect that it should. Every time their curiosity gets the best of them, the guilt that they feel afterward can get pretty deep for their 12-year old mindsets. It's especially hard to read about Alex, who once was a war hero and now he feels useless, pandering around feeling sorry for himself and not wanting to take anymore risks that he once might have.
All in all, it tied together a lot interesting characters and moral questions that are not too layered to bore the reader, but just enough to keep the reader interested. If the first series was anything like this book, then readers of the first will enjoy this one all the same.