The hottest fantasy book in town is Rebecca Yarros’s, ‘Fourth Wing.’ The first book in The Empyrean series is well deserved of its hype on Booktok and should be your never-ending pile of book recommendations.
Violet Sorgiell trains all of her life to be a part of the Scribe Quadrient. Just three months before she is set to join, the commanding general — who also happens to be her mother — orders her to join the hundreds of candidates striving to be the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.
The only out of Basgiath War College is to graduate or die. Death is only one wrong move away for someone with a smaller stature and brittle body like Violet.
Fewer dragons are willing to bond than cadets striving to be a rider, half of them will kill Violet to better their chances. The other half wants to kill her for being her mother’s daughter. Enter Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.
Violet fights to survive each day, forge friendships and, in an unlikely place, finds love. She also suspects the leadership may be hiding a terrible secret.
This book comes heavily recommended on Booktok. It felt like every other recommendation video on my ‘For You Page’ was for ‘Fourth Wing’.
After 13 long weeks on the library waitlist for the book, I finally got it and was immediately hooked.
I hate reading fantasy novels because of the world-building part. One of the main reasons I loved ‘Fourth Wing’ is because it didn’t have that.
Yarros did a beautiful job of getting readers to see the world through Violet’s eyes — her experiences in the rider’s quad but also while explaining how this fantasy setting works.
One of my favorite parts of the novel was seeing Violet’s struggle. Struggle is often not shown in a lot of novels but Yarros not only encapsulates it but also represents people with disabilities.
Through her character, Yarros is able to paint a seamlessly diverse group of people who, despite being in competition with one another, find family in each other. The hilarious dialogue and bond between the characters is delightful.
My favorite part, however, was the romance between Violet and Xaden. The evident enemies-to-lovers romance plot is well-paced throughout the novel. Without giving away spoilers, the only thing I can tell you is that Xaden is THE book boyfriend.
If you like dragons and enjoy a well-written fantasy romance filled with witty dialogue and found family then this book is for you. I personally rated this book five out of five stars and cannot wait to read the next book in the series which comes out Nov. 7.
Some trigger warnings include: explicit scenes, cursing, attempted murder, war themes, death and the death of a parent off page.
I will leave you with this quote from the book and a song lyric that will convince you to read the book if I haven’t already.
“Every lesson forms a new scar, they never thought you’d make it this far.” –Eyes Open, Taylor Swift
“I wouldn’t be standing here if I’d quit every time something seemed impossible to overcome. I will not die today.” -Violet