Even if you’ve just stumbled onto Bookstagram or BookTok for a second, you’ve probably seen at least one mention of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros.
I must have seen it about 500 times before I had chance to pick up my copy, and alongside many friends praising the book I felt like there was a chance I could have set my expectations a little too high.
Anyway, no chance, I just adored this book and it’s become a new favourite!
Full review below!
About the Book
Title: Fourth Wing
Series: The Empyrean #1
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Release Date: May 2nd 2023
Source: Advanced copy gifted by the publisher (this in no way affects my review which is honest and unbiased)
Welcome to the brutal and elite world of Basgiath War College, where everyone has an agenda, and every night could be your last . . .
Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general-also known as her tough-as-talons mother-has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.
But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away . . . because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.
With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter-like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.
She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.
Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.
Alliances will be forged. Lives will be lost. Traitors will become allies . . . or even lovers. But sleep with one eye open because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.
Fourth Wing starts off with our main character thinking her end is about to come, because even though Violet Sorrengail has weak limbs and joints she’s about to start her tests for becoming a dragon rider – a path that starts with testing your strength straight away with a task where you can literally just fall to your death if you can’t balance well enough.
If that wasn’t bad enough, her mother is hated by so many people that she has to watch out for those wanting to kill her for being weak and for things her mother has done. But Violet passes the first test, and she can’t help but start to think that maybe she can do it, become a dragon rider like her mother, sister and brother.
Violet’s personality shines throughout the entire story, she’s smart and kindhearted to pretty much everyone who doesn’t try to kill her. Even when someone does try, she’s quick to either let them off or try to have their lives saved. But… then we have the whole ‘touch her and die’ romance, so not many people actually get away with hurting her at all! More on that later.
There had previously been a rebellion, and the separatists’ children were all marked as a way of punishing them for their parents’ actions. Violet can’t see them as the rest do, they’re all quick to judge the separatists’ children whereas she can’t see them as anything over than more riders and cadets.
One such individual is 23-year-old Xaden Riorson, and from their very first interaction the chemistry and tension between them starts to build up. If you enjoy a good old slow burn and enemies-to-lovers romance, you’ll fall head over heels both for this book and Xaden. He goes from ‘I’ll kill you’ to ‘I’ll kill anyone who lays a hand on you’ and it’s done so well! There’s some spice to it as well, we get a couple of explicit scenes and a lot of tension…
Violet’s growth is one of the best parts throughout, and her various achievements make the book an enjoyable read, until around chapter 12 when the dragons start to really play into the story and honestly, from that point on the book just jumps up several levels of awesome. I don’t want to risk spoiling anything but let’s just say some of the dragons are my favourite characters in this story. Sassy and hilarious, I genuinely can’t remember the last book I laughed out loud to as much as Fourth Wing.
There’s so much more to Fourth Wing than I’ve wrote about here too, but I’m just going to end with saying I found this book exceptionally worth the hype and will be picking up book 2 as soon as I can!
“Strength of courage is more important than physical strength.”
Have you read this yet?
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