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I had other posts planned and then I bought a copy of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros and now my life is consumed by what might end up being my absolute favorite read of the year. So let’s skip the small talk and jump right in.
Violet Sorrengail is twenty-years-old and is ready to enter the Scribe quadrant, living a quiet life in the archives, among the books. Her mother, a highly decorated general, has commanded Violet to join the several hundred candidates striving to become the elite dragon riders of Navarre.
However, Violet is small and frail, her memory is her strongest muscle. Death is closer than it has ever been for Violet especially when she remembers that ultimate survival means bonding with a dragon and dragons don’t bond with weak humans, they turn them to ash.
With fewer dragons willing to bond than there are cadets, most turn against each other to increase the odds in their favor and Violet soon becomes the newest target within the walls of the Riders Quadrant.
Seemingly most hated by the powerful and ruthless wing leader, Xaden Riorson.
Violet will need to play to every strength she can muster, just to live to see another day.
Yet every day that passes becomes more deadly. The protective wards are failing, the death toll keeps rising, and even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership of hiding powerful and dark secrets.
Friends, enemies, lovers. Every single person at Basgiath War College has an agenda because once you make it in, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.
My Initial Thoughts
Let’s get one thing clear right away, this is not some literary masterpiece. The writing is iffy and even cringe at times. Sometimes the plot jumps around a bit too fast and if you don’t pay attention, can miss minor details.
However, I LOVED THIS BOOK!
The storyline, the best side characters a girl could ask for, enemies to lovers protagonists that aren’t afraid to communicate with each other!
There is a bit more spice than I initially thought there would be. This book is more New Adult (the students/main characters are all between 20 and 23) than it is Young Adult and so while the spice is quite appropriate, maybe keep this book out of younger hands.
(If you want to avoid spice, consider skimming Chapters 30 and 32.)
Even the cliffhanger ending was not a complete letdown or such a cliffhanger that I immediately spiraled because the second book isn’t out until November 7th. (2023)
With that said, let’s dive a little deeper.
Thoughts on the Plot
Fourth Wing reminds me a little bit of the Hunger Games and Divergent era days. Fourth Wing is the first book in The Empyran series and does a fantastic job of setting the world up. It is definitely a little clunky if you look at it too hard, but a general overview is enough.
There is a ton of setup in this book which makes me so incredibly excited for the second.
Violet is the main storyline. But there is so much more going on behind the scenes. Especially when it comes to other characters.
The plot moves along at a pace I really enjoyed. It wasn’t slow but also didn’t just fly by. No pun intended.
The only thing I found I did a bit annoying was how obvious all the setups were. The looming betrayal, the enemies to lovers, the foreshadowing around every single corner. Left little mystery within the plot, however, the plot was still able to hold its own.
Thoughts on the Characters
This book might contain some of my absolute all-time favorite characters.
Not only are these characters flawed, but they also don’t let these flaws consume them. Despite differences, disabilities, and the challenge of trying to survive a war college and ya know, bond a dragon, these characters’ true personalities shined. And I loved them even more for it.
The enemies-to-lovers trope in this book was *chefs kiss* and while I wish the writing was better, some of the lines regarding the trope were a bit cringe.
I will say, Violet and Xaden remind me a bit of Tris and Four.
I don’t consider that a spoiler because like I said, this book is a bit predictable. And as the only two characters mentioned in the summary, we all know where these two are headed.
Aside from Violet and Xaden – Liam, Rhiannon, and Andarna have a very special place in my heart. I also really appreciated how relatable these characters were sometimes. For young adults attending a freaking war college with dragons, I felt so connected to them.
This book gets,
5 out of 5 stars from me.
I loved it. There is no denying it. I am counting down the days until November 7th when the second book comes out.
I can look past every single flaw in regard to this book because Rebecca Yarros gave me something that warmed my heart in the form of dragons, love, magic, and the raw, real energy of what, it means to be human.
If you are debating reading this book, stop debating and start reading.
As I said, I wouldn’t recommend this to younger readers as it really isn’t a true Young Adult novel. And the spice is a lot heavier than making out and touching.
But if you like dragons, meaningful connections, kickass side characters, magical world-building, enemies to lovers, don’t-read-this-in-public-smut, and (literal) cutthroat competitions, this book is for you.